I wish I had a better reason for why I haven’t posted in almost five months. I could tell you about how my summer with the kids was busy, how I spent more time focusing on prepping for a charity bike ride, and how lots of travel has distracted me. But those are all pretty flimsy excuses that mask the real issue I’ve been facing lately: Runner’s Block.
As running bloggers, we are quick to post when our training is going well, when we’ve met a particular goal, or after a successful race. Our blog becomes a non-stop highlight reel of PR after PR, inspirational pep talks, and enthusiastic praise of this sport we love. When we do post about the trials and challenges of running, it’s often as part of a story about how we overcame adversity and came out on top. Our words bubble forth as we do our best to convince everyone to join us in this blissful state of achievement and satisfaction.
Once you get swept up in the running culture, it’s easy to feel like you should be “up” all the time. If you call yourself a runner, you should love running all the time. And if you aren’t running, there should be a clear-cut reason — like major illness or injury — which will only serve to fuel the fire and make you more motivated as you begin your triumphant return. Cue the comeback soundtrack.
Looking back on my own blog, I can see how I perpetuated that pattern. I fell into the trap of presenting the airbrushed version of what being a runner is like, and when I felt like I wasn’t living up to that ideal image, I stopped writing. I haven’t even finished editing the second part of my marathon recap, which was an AWESOME race, because I feel guilty about posting it while I’m barely eking out a few miles a week.
So, here’s the truth: I haven’t been running very much. I decided to put other priorities first, and I let racing sit on the back burner for a few months. Without the added motivation of having a goal race, I slacked off and gained a little bit more “fluffiness” than I would’ve liked. I still liked the IDEA of running, but it didn’t feel very good and wasn’t very much fun.
I’m slowly getting back on track, but I still feel like I’m struggling with runner’s block. Most days I run only because my head tells me that I should. I still find myself pining for the good old days when I ran because I WANTED to, and because it made me feel good. I’m not sure what it will take to get that feeling back, but I’m determined to keep trying.
Cue the comeback soundtrack.
*Have you experienced runner’s block?
*What do you do to find (or keep) your motivation?
The author is a wife, mother, and solidly average “middle of the pack” runner from Northeast Ohio. Find her on Twitter, @MileageMama: https://twitter.com/MileageMama