12.09.2015

A Need to Buck Up

This year has been a strange one for me. I would say I have been "busy" but I don't know if I have been any busier than I was last year, or the year before that. There is always something on the To Do list; there is always something to fill the time. (See this post from 2013 where I was having similar "issues").

However, for some reason, this year, I have felt more of a change in my mindset, or my motivation. Or maybe I have just shifted my priorities. I am not really sure what the catalyst was or where the mood started to shift, but this year, I feel like I have been slacking in a few of my normal, pleasurable departments.

I used to talk a lot about running on this space. In 2012, I think I ran almost 40 races, including 12 half marathons and 2 marathons and my first ultra. In 2013, I traveled to Boston, Washington DC and BC for races and I ran my first 50 miler. In 2014, I ran 10 races over 50k. This year, I started off great. I wanted to run my first 100 mile race. I was training in January and I felt strong. I was running up hills with gusto. Then I fell one day and sprained my ankle pretty badly and my training went downhill and my fitness started to decline. Of course, I still had races on the calendar, because a lot of the races you have to sign up for really early.

The first race was Jed Smith, which is a loop course. I ran it about 45 minutes slower than I had the year before. My ego took a dive. The next one was the Gorges 100k in Portland in March. I had not trained enough as my ankle was just beginning to feel better, and this one was not as fast as I would have liked either. Next up was Lake Sonoma 50M, where I did not do as well as I wanted but I actually did better than I thought I would. The weekend after that I had a road race, which hurt me more than all of the other races combined (I was sore for days!).

I had a few week gap, where I ran intermittently, and then came the big one, Quicksilver 100k, where I did much better than I thought I would and was actually very happy with my time. The "training" by way of racing actually worked this time. But I had signed up for another race the next weekend and this one was my nemesis. It's called the Silverstate 50M and it's near Reno and it's got a couple of huge climbs and it's at about 7000 - 8000 ft. Last year I ran it while injured and it was horrible. I got the worst time I have ever gotten and the last climb was torture. This year I actually felt pretty good for the first 40 miles, but then for the last 10 I felt nauseated and tired. I crossed the finish line and had to go and sit by myself in the porta-potty just in case I was going to lose my lunch.

In the weeks after that, I had no energy. BUT, what I haven't said is this. There is another component to the story. In February, I started house shopping. Every week I scoured the internet. Every weekend I went to open houses. Every couple of weeks, I put in offers that got turned down. Finally, in April, my offer got accepted and thus started the downhill slide into home ownership. My escrow was 21 days and it closed on May 19th, three days after Silverstate. So I was physically and mentally tired.

The trifecta of this story is that work also ramped up at this point in a major way. My duties and responsibilities were doubling and tripling. I am not complaining, but I am just saying that when I got home after work, the last thing I wanted to do was run. I wanted to sleep. I did not sleep. I pulled weeds and moved furniture. I made many trips to Home Depot and Target. I paid bills and sorted files and went through all my old clothes. But I barely ran.

Fast forward to now. Today my average miles per week are about 30, if I am lucky. I am snacking more than I would like. My pants are starting to get a bit snug. The only thing saving me is my daily commute to work. But who am I kidding; the commute is not saving me, it's only prolonging the inevitable. So I need to buck up and get back on the horse and stop making excuses.

But I don't want to. I would rather bake a cake (and eat half of it in one sitting while watching Top Chef and making excuses).

How do you get out of a slump? 

8 comments:

  1. Slumps are hard to get out of... I try to get a strength workout done in the morning before the kids get up, seems easier to get it done while everyone is sleeping and no one is making demands... I was out of the habit for awhile, but I find having it planned out the night before and wearing my workout clothes to bed helps. Hope you get out of your slump!

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  2. I was totally in this place this fall. After this last surgery, I came back significantly slower than I'd been before. I just had no interest in running slow races, and I sort of stopped running. Or at least didn't run consistently or with a plan. Part of the problem was I had no incentive to speed up and no accountability, so I joined a track club. I need others around me pushing me forward!

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  3. If you figure out how to get that motivation, please share the secret.

    It sounds like a lot has happened in your life this year, and that's okay. We're constantly growing and changing and our priorities go right along with that.

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  4. Definitely be kind to yourself as you've had a lot on your plate this year between buying a house and having your responsibilities/work load increase significantly! But that said, I understand the conundrum of forgiving yourself for letting things slide but needing to have things change so that you don't put on some unwanted lbs! For me, I'm always motivated by signing up for a race or setting a goal for a race that will require me to work really hard. Or if you don't want to have a running-based goal, I've made it a goal to do 30 workouts in 30 days ( or 31 in 31 for December) so that I am motivated to fit in a lot of workouts during the month.

    I know you'll get back on the horse because as an upholders, that's just bound to happen if you are serious about a goal. And you can always use this blog as an accountability partner and do a monthly fitness recap?

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  5. Every road is winding. Mentally I'm pretty down in the dumps right now too. my dang hip is killing me, mileage is starting to slip, ego is taking the hit even though I still nailed 55 miles last week. Just know that there will be good times ahead. The bad times never last longer than the good times do. Also I think getting laid helps.

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  6. Oh yaaa, I am right there with ya and my pants are definitely tighter than I would like them to be these days. I just keep telling myself 'tis the season' and I will definitely be putting some real effort into healthy living and eating to hopefully drop a couple of pounds come January.

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  7. I know you're feeling behind the 8 ball, but as others have said, you are plenty full in other areas of your life (and have quite the work schedule it seems) so it's no surprise that you don't have much energy or interest to also do the running. Granted, I'm sure when you hop back on the train you'll feel more sane. But your commute does sound like it's a good workout anyway. I'll say that breastfeeding probably is the main reason that I'm not feeling my pants get tighter these days. I can have treats and magically nothing happens... at least for now. ;) I count it a win these days if I'm able to get in 3-4, 25-35 min runs in per week and maybe a little strength work.

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  8. I've never hit some of the mileage marks you have (either in training or in races), but I know that there are definitely ebbs and flows to all things in life. Buying a house is stressful and takes a lot of energy, so it's no surprise that you needed to give yourself some slack in another area. When you are ready to be back to the high mileage, you will work back to it. Cake will always be delicious. :)

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Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!