You can’t spell Pepper without “Pep” and I am not going to lie Salty readers, this pepper has lost the pep in her step since Boston. I have most certainly had my share of post marathon blues in the past but I am surprised to find myself here right now when I have so many other great things going for me. I have honestly been looking at the world with rose colored glasses since about two weeks after my serious low in September last year. After having fun on literally every run from October through Boston I am not happy to report that the love of running just isn’t there every day right now.
What is wrong with me? Where is my motivation? Where is my perky self? I have a few theories and hopefully by being proactive I will get that pep back this week and start working towards happy running again!
I’m trying to figure out why I’m struggling so much right now. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.
1) My next goal race is not until July. For the first time in a very very long time I do not have a big running goal on the horizon. It’s hard to get motivated when you aren’t sure why you’re running 70 mile weeks with 30 mile weekends. Yes I have Columbus in the fall, and the Great Lakes Relay in July, but those seem so distant right now. Plus I am kind of viewing this year as a building year. I don’t have a fire in my belly right now to really get after it.
2) Work stress + racing a hot marathon = slower than normal recovery. My body just doesn’t feel “right” yet. The recovery schedule I would normally follow isn’t working this time around for some reason.There are lots of variables here and I am to blame for some, but sometimes life just gets in the way of a quick marathon recovery. And instead of runs leaving me feeling better I am struggling to run easy paces and my legs are way sorer than I would like!
3) No structured schedule. Instead of using the work stress as motivation to sneak in some easy stress relieving miles I let it overwhelm me and keep me off schedule. My sleeping habits are whack right now and I have been slacking off on basic body maintenance like vitamins and PT. I need to get back in the habit of a schedule that allows me to train like I mean it!
4) A change in priorities. For the first time in a long time running is not my #1 priority. In the past I would have put my training 1st always, above everything else. Now, though running is still a major priority, there are other things in life that take precedent for me. Figuring out how to maintain my level of running fitness while not making it priority #1 is new to me and I am struggling with what that means for my training and potential.
Figuring out why is the first step. Now I have to figure out what I can do to lose the funk and get the spice back ASAP!
What do you think Salty Readers? What have you done in the past to get motivated without any key races on the direct horizon? How do your force yourself into a schedule when there are so many fun options to entice you otherwise? What is it that makes us runners so negligent of simple things like eating right, sleeping right, getting in our cross training and supplements? How do you handle making running a priority when other life stuff suddenly seems so much more important?
Please share your tips for coping with the post marathon blues. I need all the help I can get!