It's time to shake the run funk... the lack of motivation, no desire, the excuses... And lace up those running shoes to execute one step at a time.
Every year I purchase one box of thin mints. And the day came last week where I was informed that my cookies had arrived. I gathered my money together and very happily made the exchange to receive the brilliant girl scout green colored box. Happily I walked back to my desk and placed them on a table to share with co-workers as it is my hope to only eat a few. In my mind a few is equivalent to just 4 cookies. Yep, that seems reasonable. I proceeded to open the box and pulled out the first sleeve of cookies in my hand. There was that short moment of knowing that once I open the sleeve, there?s no going back. I rip open the sleeve and took in that wonderful thin mint aroma. Grab 4 cookies and then grabbed some more. Within less than 10 minutes a sleeve is devoured. And at this point, you can no longer look back. The damage has been done and you can only take one step at a time to go burn off the calories.
Do you try to run a 5K? Or try to run a half marathon? Or a marathon? No! You Do run that 5K, half marathon, or whatever event/goal you set out to do. But how many times have you said? ?Well, I?m going to try to run ## of miles today? and that try actually becomes a Do? Approach your events, your goals AND your training runs with a Do mentality as a very wise Yoda once said? ?There is no try.?
At my company gym, there are only a couple of treadmills that I like to run on. Not because the two are in front of TVs, have a built-in fan, etc. It?s because they provide what feels like a smooth run than the others at the gym. Today, I arrive to the gym during the lunch hour a little later putting me at risk of not being able to use my favorite treadmills. When I initially arrive, they were open. Yay. By the time I got changed, they were occupied. Boo. So I told myself? no sweat I can still do this? Just pick another treadmill and push through. After all, it shouldn?t be any different than any mental challenge you have during a race when you?ve hit a wall, hate the weather, annoyed by that blister, etc. Right? So I step on, set the incline and bump up the speed. Ok, this isn?t too bad and I begin my tunes. As I continue at the same speed and incline within less than a half mile I begin to hear the rattle. Grrrrr? where is that rattle coming from? I tried bumping up the volume on my tunes but I still hear it. Instinctively for some reason I try to change my landing because I think it?s me landing hard on the belt never mind the clydesdale on the belt next to me that makes my landing sound like twinkle toes. The rattle continues to haunt me and I search to find the source while I?m still running. Ah HA! It?s the cup holder. Stupidly, I try to hold it in place, see if it will pull out, or anything to make it not rattle. All of this within less than a half mile! I take a walk break, glance around the gym and find my favorite treadmill open. I make a bee line for my trusty TM and begin my work out again. Landing is smooth, quiet and feel light as air as I listen to my tunes while watching dancing snowflakes out the window in front of me. No more shake, rattle & run!
Your foot crosses the finish line with arms up in the air in celebration and you proceed to collect your shiny medal & Mylar. With juggling your post race snacks you meet up with friends & family in excited chatter of what you just did. You trained hard for your race and you finished!!! The moment is captured with snapshots. And the celebration might continue later as you hobble your way to a dinner with family & friends. You?re still on your high from what you just accomplished. And then a few days pass. You return back to work, home, whatever your normal life might be. You?ve shared your experience around the water cooler or written that race report. And then in time that moment that you trained so hard for, that step across the finish line, the adrenaline of emotion and excitement eventually fades away. You take a break from running for your planned post recovery and unconsciously settle into a mood. A mood that feels blah, lost, irritable, confused at why little things bother you and you wonder why you can?t get motivated or excited about anything. And maybe this mood feels like it?s smacked you in the face and you become critical of yourself trying to figure out just what is wrong?
There?s nothing wrong! It?s simply a case of the post-race blues. It?s real and don?t assume that it won?t affect you. The effects may vary for each person and even vary from each type of race, time of year, weather, etc. but the potential to experience blues on any level is there. For me, this is mainly true when completing a marathon. Over the years of running I have learned to execute the recommendations of signing up for that next race or switching gears (swimming, etc) and it is effective. However, for me it doesn?t eliminate the blues. But with having an awareness and strategy, I do believe that it helps to manage and maybe shorten the life span of that blah feeling. For the Goofy Challenge my plan included swimming & climbing and ease my way back into running in order to allow for recovery. The event was on January 12th & 13th and a little over two weeks later I feel like I?m starting to settle back into my normal training mode & life. While maybe the blue feeling could linger still a little here or there, I consider this a very short life-span of post event blues. I think the key to battling the blues is having awareness, a plan and a little patience.