The other day I wrote about how awesome it feels to come back from an injury. Every run feels exciting and even the crappiest of weather is fantastic.
But the truth is not all of us are coming back from an injury (although from the comments I received you would certainly think it seems to be the case!). Not all of us are just plain happy to be able to run again. For most of us, running is a part of our lives, and hopefully a healthy habit. Some of us have learned to love it, others have learned to tolerate it. I know that for me, I tolerated it for a long time until I realized what a wonderful thing it was for me both mentally and physically.
Despite the fact that I love running, the truth is that I don’t always have that burning desire every day to go get a few miles in. I typically run six days a week and take a nice and much needed rest day. Some weeks I run five days and others might be less. But running is a not only a passion for me but a part of my lifestyle. I am a runner and much like other things in my life, I don’t always LIKE it.
I’m sure you can understand that feeling. Just like our partners or children, nieces or nephews, our jobs, or even dessert…I love them all but at times, I don’t always like them. Seriously! My husband is my best friend and my business partner, my running partner, and pretty much my life. I love him more than anything, but at times I don’t always “like” him or necessarily what he is doing every single second. And that is ok. If I was crazy about him every moment of the day it would be super annoying for him and everyone else around us.
This is how my love for running is. I love running. I love how it makes me feel after I get a workout in. I love how it made my legs look so toned and my abs have definition to them. I love how sometimes my head is spinning with what seems like a million thoughts or concerns and a run helps me sort out my problems.
But some days when I wake up, it takes me forever to get my butt out the door. I take my sweet time and contemplate reasons to avoid doing it all together. I whine about how I am lacking the motivation. Sometimes I even take a nap, or heck I might even eat a cookie instead!
I learned something a long time ago about those sorts of days. When I was young and figure skating I had those days from time to time. I loved skating so much that I missed it on Sundays (my day off) enough to pick out an outfit for the next day and lay it out. It was my life. I moved away from home in high school and spent my time at a training center for figure skating. I lived among skaters 24/7 and breathed everything about the sport. Despite my passion, I had those days where I just wasn’t feeling it. I used to feel really guilty about this. How could I go from loving skating to dreading it some days?
I learned a great lesson from having those feelings. Some of the best sessions I have ever had on the ice were on the days I just wasn’t feeling it. Once I got my butt on the ice and started doing my routine, things just fell into place. Half the battle, or maybe even 75% of the battle, was just getting my skates on.
The same thing holds true to running. Some days I just wake up and am not feeling it. Once I finally put my shoes on and get out the door, it feels so much better. In fact, some of my best runs come surprisingly from the ones that start with me dreading them in the first place. My body knows what to do once I get out there and as soon as I turn the autopilot on everything else falls into place. Whatever that funk was that was clouding my mind, the running clears it away and I feel so much better. I might not even know this before I start, but the run was what I actually needed to get me going, lift my spirits, or just wipe the slate clean.
So if you are feeling like you are in this same unmotivated running funk, that is ok. It is normal. Just lace your shoes up. Tell yourself you are just going to go run a few blocks and odds are you will come back a few miles later sweaty and refreshed. Seriously, just get out the door!