I have days where I just don’t feel like running. This is a bit of a problem because I have a marathon to train for and those miles aren’t going to run themselves. My occasional lack of motivation stems from many factors – general fatigue (remember, my son doesn’t sleep through the night so neither do I), the weather (it’s hard to want go for a run when it’s hot and like a 1,000% humidity outside), aches and pains (that I worry will turn into a legit injury), or boredom (not with running, but with running the same route again).
So what to do? What to do? How do I keep myself going when I don’t feel like running?
The simplest solution: put on my running clothes as soon as I wake up. If I’m dressed the part, I have a better chance of actually going for a run. This is also a practical choice because with a toddler running around, I don’t have time for multiple wardrobe changes in the morning.
So I’m dressed, now what? During the week, I bring Zain along for most of my runs. Generally, the only reasons I don’t bring him are bad weather or if he’s sick (in those cases, I get up earlier and hubby hangs out with him while I run). I feed him breakfast before our run which means plenty of time for me to stand around and think about how I’m so tired and don’t feel like going for a run. I have to tell that inner naysayer to hush and keep going through the motions until we’re out the door.
I get Zain situated in the stroller and make sure we both have water, in addition to my keys, cell phone, etc. Then we walk to the corner where I usually start running. What happens when I get to the corner and I still don’t feel like running? I tell myself to just start nice and slow and try to make it to a mile and if I still don’t feel like running at that point, I will stop and walk.
I haven’t stopped yet.
Once I get going, sometimes it takes me at least half a mile to warm up, especially when I’m pushing the stroller, but once I’m going, I’m going. I don’t need to stop. My body has done this and it can do this again today.
I know I’m making myself sound like a slacker. The scenario I’m describing does not occur on a daily basis, I promise! It happens maybe once a week or once every other week. It’s a mental obstacle that I can overcome with my physical abilities. I feel like I can’t run, but I can run.
I encountered pretty much this exact situation during one of my runs this past week. The reason for the lack of motivation that particular day was without a doubt the heat and humidity. I struggled through every minute of my run, feeling like I could not breathe because the air was so thick. I kept telling myself to make it just another half a mile and I eventually made it to 4 miles. It was grueling, but I was proud of myself for sticking it out. I felt better for the rest of the day because I ran. I have to remind myself sometimes that I will be glad later that I pushed myself now.
As I’ve mentioned a few times already, the weather has really zapped my motivation lately. I rarely felt this way in the Spring when it was a comfortable 65 degrees. I just have to tough it out though and I know I can look forward to cooler temps in the Fall for the marathon. I do have the option of waking up earlier to run alone before it warms up in the mornings, but I’m The Running Mom! I like having Zain’s company for my weekday runs since I generally don’t take him on my long runs. Lucky for him, he’s nice and cool in the stroller with his sunshade and refreshing breeze I’m creating for him as we run :).
So whether you’re running for a particular weight loss goal…
…to burn off those treats you ate last night…
…or maybe you’re running away from something ?
Keep going and don’t give up. You can do it. You will do it. And you have to do it because I said so. Now get off the computer, and get running!
Happy running and happy Friday!
What do you do to stay motivated on days when you don’t feel like running?