After my marathon, I struggled greatly to find the joy in running. I’d been running continuously for 3 years and training for half marathons and then the marathon. My body literally SCREAMED at me to take a break from running. Physically, it told me to stop – my feet hurt, my calves ached – and mentally I just didn’t want to run….AT ALL.
I felt SO guilty for going the 26.2 mile distance and then basically stopping completely.
Oh boy, the guilt.
It was the longest 7 weeks of my life!
It felt like an eternity, which I know seems so silly. I kind of want to slap myself upside the head.
But, the joy is slowly creeping back in and actually, I am very much enjoying my runs of late. Not much hurts, I am not accountable to any training plan, and the weather has been cooperating beautifully. I haven’t been concerned with time or pace or distance. I am not *checking* off anything from a training plan. I am not signed up for any races. I am not running super long distances.
What have I been doing?
Running 1-2 times a week, anywhere between 2-4 miles.
Strength training. Pilates. Zumba. Yoga. Coaching Girls on the Run.
Giving my body the break it needed, doing other fitness activities, and coaching young ladies to run their first 5K has brought me so much joy. I finally gave myself the *OK* to not be tied down to running. Do you know what that means? Do I make any sense?
Let’s see if I can adequately explain:
When you train for something big, whether it is a marathon, a long bike race, a triathlon, or other *big* event, you pick a training plan and then you do the work. Day after day, week after week, month after month, you are married to your training plan. Sometimes (if you are me, ha ha), you find the training no longer fun but you are too far into the plan, too close to the race day, and most certainly NOT a quitter and you follow it through to the end.
This is not a bad thing.
However, after the race, you STOP all forward direction in said running motion because your body and mind are done done done. Maybe this only happens to me? I would venture to say I am not alone in these feelings.
What does this mean for you? You might be saying to yourself – I am no longer a runner. I am no longer a cyclist. I haven’t trained for anything recently, and I’m perfectly content. How does this pertain to me? If you are motivated and actively maintaining your level of fitness – then AWESOME. GO YOU. ROCK ON.
However, if you are struggling to find motivation, or you feel weighed down by guilt because you are no longer running, biking, swimming, or doing whatever needs to be done to take you one step closer to your goal….or maybe you are completely lost and have no goals and just need some help, encouraging words or support of some kind- then I want you to raise your hand high in the air and COMMENT ON THIS POST.
Tell us what you have done (or not done) and where you need help. I had many kind ladies from this site support and encourage me from afar as I had floundered, struggled and was plagued with guilt. They told me I was normal and shared all kinds of advice.
They lifted me up with their words. And now I am finding the joy in running….again.
I want to do the same for you. WE want to do the same for you. Let us help you find your joy.