Finding motivation

It’s HOT you guys.  Hazy, hot, and humid, as the weathermen are fond of saying.  After two summers of really lovely weather, we’re being hit with more typical Upstate NY heat and humidity this July, and it’s really bogging me down. I’ve had to force myself to go out and run, and even so have been running far less than I feel I should be running.  I had a goal of keeping an 8-10 mile “long run base” this summer, which would make my fall training that much more smooth, but that’s already gone completely out the window.  I could probably force an 8 mile run right now if I had to, but it wouldn’t feel good.  10 miles would feel downright awful.

Of course, some of this is excuses.  I’ve been a gigantic baby about running lately.  Running up hills.  Running in the heat.  Running in the rain.  Running alone.  Running with buddies who are keeping exactly the same pace I am at any given moment.  It’s like if I don’t have the perfect unicorn conditions and at least one buddy (running the perfect unicorn pace, of course), I just don’t want to.

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Extreme hills + extreme heat? Yikes, who wouldn’t be scared!

Am I burnt out on running?  Maybe a little bit.  I ran three half marathons last spring:

1.  While on vacation in Puerto Rico. I didn’t know that El Medio Maraton de San Blas overlapped with our scheduled trip until 3 weeks before we left, so my training was slapshot at best.

2.  Syracuse Half Marathon:  I actually trained really hard for this race, but was waylaid by freak blizzard conditions.

3.  Steel Rail Half Marathon: Though not a PR, I ran a really strong race with good friends and had a great time.

Sure, the first two races were less than ideal, but so it goes sometimes.  I had a great time training in moderate temperatures most of the winter, and feel pretty good about where my running and fitness level is right now.  Upcoming, I have two half marathons scheduled for the fall that I am actually quite excited about.

So … no.  I don’t think I’m burnt out on running.  I think I just need to get out of my own head.  In addition to the two halfs, I have Ragnar Trail New England coming up at the end of August.  After opting out of it last year and then seeing all of the photos on social media of all of my friends having a great time, I jumped at the chance to join a team headed up by a friend.  It is a great group of people and I feel confident we will have a good experience running together.  However, my main reservation for not participating last year was a bit of fear of running trails at night.  I’m a klutz on the trail in the best of circumstances.  FOMO is real and it convinces you to participate in things that may otherwise be against your better judgment.

So, if I am totally honest with myself, anxiety about Ragnar is what is making running feel like a chore.

Silly, right?

Last year, a group of us registered for Beat the Blerch in New Jersey before it was announced that it was a TRAIL half marathon.  The longest distance I had ever run on trails was a 15K, which seemed plenty long enough to me for that kind of running, and we all had some pretty hefty reservations about the race.  However, we knuckled down and trained for it, and we finished the race, and, considering some of the issues with the course, we were happy with our results.  I felt so energized afterward, and kept thinking, imagine how great it would be to run a trail half where the conditions were more optimal?  It would be AWESOME!  And I was also so happy that I didn’t back out and let my fears get the best of me.

I mean, you guys, I ran a half marathon IN A BLIZZARD.  And I’m anxious about Ragnar New England?

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Yup. Blizzard. This is pre-frozen eyelashes.

However, in the meantime, the weather lately really IS brutal.  Trading in some miles in favor of more time at the (air conditioned) gym is not going to negatively impact my training in the long run.  Cutting myself a deal – sure, conditions are less than favorable, but I need to at least do SOME running – will make it seem less of a chore and more of an accomplishment.