(Cross posted at Choose You Blog- a new campaign by The American Cancer Society to help encourage and support women to put their health first in the fight against cancer. I will be blogging with Choose You about my fitness goal- running in a marathon this year. This is my second blog post with Choose You. If you missed the first one, you can read it here.)
The last few weeks, I have lost some motivation. Ironically it started right around the time I made the commitment to Choose You, and subsequently announced I was going to run in a marathon this year.
Prior to Choose You, I didn’t announce my goals, or “put them out there” to everyone. I’d tell a few friends what I was hoping I could do. I’d sign up for a race, and write about it on my blog. I guess you can say the pressure is on, and I have a fear now- what if I can’t do this?
Another factor coming in to play is the conclusion of my divorce. It had been going on for a year and a half, and any divorce that takes that long is complicated, and usually not very easy. At the end of the court trial last Wednesday, it was finalized, and I felt completely drained. I missed posting my blog post here last Thursday, because I had no energy after the trial to write anything. I think the conscious and unconscious stress that has been present for the last year and half has caught up to me.
Health-wise, my latest blood work shows I am extremely deficient in Vitamin D. The dose of radioactive iodine I had last August has depleted my Vitamin D levels. My doctor said this alone could account for my fatigue. She prescribed a second round of prescription Vitamin D, in hopes that will raise my levels back to the normal range.
All of this compiled has resulted in very little motivation or desire to run. The other day at the gym, I ran a third of a mile, and felt like I had run ten miles. (It is painful to write that!) I was tired, winded, and wanted to just stop, go home, and go to bed. I forced- and I mean forced -myself to keep going, and I ended up running 6.5 miles at a 9:10 pace, but my heart and my head were not in it.
I was going to try an ambitious mountain half marathon in June, but I have no desire right now to put in the hard training I would have to do to run it the way I planned to. I have been riding my bike more lately than running, and am really enjoying that. I have been building up my distance and speeds, and I’m not worrying about setting any hard or fast goals. Right now, bike riding doesn’t feel like work, and running does. Fortunately, cycling is good cross training.
I have still been running on average 10 miles a week, and I am going to try to keep that up. I hope over the next few weeks, I will decompress from everything, and my motivation will return. I have worked really hard to get to where I am, and I don’t want to just let it slide away.
Last week I was running on the treadmill at the gym, and having a really hard time just completing a 5K distance (3.1 miles). I had run 2 miles and saw I was on pace to finish at over 30 minutes. I haven’t run a 5K distance in over 30 minutes in months. For the first time in a while, I felt that drive and motivation kick in. I turned up the pace to run almost two minutes faster for the last 1.1 miles. It was hard, but I did it and finished in 28 minutes.
When I was getting off the treadmill a man came over to me and told me “very nice run-especially at the end.” He said he used to run, but didn’t anymore. He said he was going to ask me if I run in races, but after seeing me run at the end, he wanted to ask me now how many races I have won. It was a very nice remark from a stranger, who knew nothing of the funk I’ve been in, didn’t know that was one of my slowest runs, and I’ve been struggling. But I knew. And the part that he said was very nice was the end- when I was running like I know I can, when I’m motivated.
I am not sure what I really need to do, to get my running motivation back. I hope I can figure it out soon though, because I have a marathon to train for.
If you have any ideas, comments, or suggestions, I’d love to hear them.