When Running Isn’t Fun Anymore

Last Spring I was burnt out. The month before my goal race, I didn’t want to train anymore. It took every ounce of energy to get myself out the door. It wasn’t the typical “oh I’m just tired from training” feeling, nope. I literally hated going out for a run. Though I’ve trained for a bit since last year, I haven’t loved running like I did training in 2013. 

Yeah, you read that right. Since 2013. Four years ago. 

I loved traing that year. I love every single moment of it. I was PRing like crazy, and yeah, I’ve PRd a couple races since that, but it still doesn’t feel the same. I don’t know what it is. Okay, that’s a lie, I kind of think I do. I’m a little bit in love with CrossFit. Hear me out though… 

The summer of 2013 is when I started that serious rehab for my tendinitis. I met my physical therapist who got me back to 100% and then some. He recommended I check out his new office when it opened — in a CrossFit gym.  Somehow when they finally opened in 2014, I did. For somebody who won’t go to Chipotle, new coffee shops, etc. to order food (because, well, anxiety) I’m still amazed I brought myself to the gym that first day knowing nobody. 

Even though I’ve been a member since then, I haven’t ever been a regular CrossFitter, either. I’d try to make it once a week, sometimes not showing up for a month at a time. I was always focused on running and that damn half marathon or 5k PR (still haven’t gotten it), or the marathon. CrossFit wasn’t the goal, it was a means to get me to running goals. 

Truthfully, I’ve been afraid to really give in like I want to because I’ve been afraid I’m going to totally abandon running. I’m a runner. I like to race. I like to get faster. I’m not a CrossFitter, geez. 

Except I am. And maybe it’s time I stop trying to force myself to continue hard training towards a hobby (because that’s all it is) that I’m not loving. I’ve made a lot of friends through the running social media, some of which are my very best real life friends now. Because of that, it’s always been a little difficult to abandon running. It feels like a best friend I’m slowly kicking out of my life. In fact, I don’t know how to not think about my life in terms of running. 

What’s my next race? What’s my next goal? When will I want to race again? 

I listened to one of Lindsey Heins’ podcasts this summer with Kim Hoban to which I could totally relate.  It’s silly but it kind of made me feel better about wanting to focus my efforts elsewhere.  Kim’s focus was entirely on running for quite a while but, guess where it is now? Uh huh. 

Sometimes I forget why I’ve always run, though. 

I do it for competition. I like to beat myself and I definitely like to beat other people. I never did it for fitness, to lose weight, or to look a certain way. Lately though, and maybe it’s because I’ve been lifting more, but I find myself drawn to exercise for a physical reason that isn’t completion. That’s a first for me. I’m enjoying the lifting because I’m loving what it’s doing to my body. It’s weird to admit that. It feels a little vain, too. But I can’t lie, hello muscles and hello baby abs that running never gave me. 

In the words of my grandma, when she’s done sidetracking and rambling… “Anywhooooo!”

So anywho, I’ve talked a lot about nothing for no good reason other than I have thoughts and I have a blog with a paid domain name I should use more often. Run Fast or Faster might need a new name soon…

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Brittany

Just a 20-something homegrown Buffalo sports loving, distance running, gin drinking kind of girl.

9 thoughts on “When Running Isn’t Fun Anymore”

  1. I can relate to this a lot. I burnt out pretty hard this Spring. I’m somewhat starting to miss running.

    Life changes and interests do too. How about lift strong, lift stronger? LOL, kidding but I don’t think you have to choose running or choose “not running”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally understand. 2010 was a huge year for & then 2011-15 would run easy, take classes & videos but didn’t have the drive for PRs, it honestly wasn’t until 2015 that I I really returned to running. I know that it may burst and I’ll want to hike or bike instead. Its all just way to burn off some energy & set goals

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t think I was completely burning out but I def lost my mojo for a bit after my marathon PR. I’ve hired a coach now that I’m trying to BQ and she’s emphasized strength training A LOT. I always avoided strength training because well, I just liked to run. But since I’ve started, like you, I’m loving what it’s doing for my body. MUSCLES!! And I like them! Hey, it’s all about what makes *you* happy 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lol @ “a blog with a paid domain name I should use more often”. But seriously, I wish running gave abs– as much as I run, I would like that to be the reward since I have pretty much bottomed out on weight loss (or so it seems) ha! Weight loss was never a running goal for me anyway, so I am ok with that 🙂 Enjoy the crossfit– you might be back to your love for running in a bit again.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is exactly what I went through last year after the Pittsburgh Marathon. I wasn’t just burnt out, I hated running. It took me a full year to start to enjoy it again. And I totally know what you mean about feeling guilty because “what about this running-themed blog I paid for?!”

    There are some people who pick up running and stick with it for life because that’s the relationship they develop with it. And then there are some people who pick it up, really enjoy it and thrive for a while, and then realize they’ve gotten what they’re going to get out of it, and move on. Neither one is right or wrong, it just speaks to the cyclical nature of hobbies and relationships in life. Just like most of us don’t stay friends with all of the friends we make in life, we also don’t stay involved forever in every single thing we pick up along the way. It’s just life. Go with the flow!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yep. What Hanna said.

    I fell in love with running and triathlon in 2012. Worked my way to a bucket list event at the end of 2014 and then lost all interest, motivation, passion, enjoyment, whatever. In hindsight, I have gotten what I needed from the sport and I needed better life balence.

    I assumed it was a temporary phase. It wasn’t. It wasn’t until last spring that I finally admitted this truth to myself. I have been cutting back ever since assuming I just needed the right balence. I took a 6 month off-season…it did nothing to help. I have a very light season this year, and I have decided that my season finale on October 1st will be my retirement race. This doesn’t mean I won’t run. I want to stay fit and healthy. But their are many ways of doing that. I will go for a run if that what I want to do that day. I won’t race. I won’t do these complex training seasons and sacrifice other parts of my life. I won’t run because I think I have to.

    Oddly, having a fixed exit strategy has made the training more stable and more enjoyable (lower volume, but much more consistent). My last big event is mid-August…and I can get my head around that timetable…knowing it’s the last time.

    I have moved on. I just didn’t know it. And I need to figure out what’s next. There are far too many great things to experience in life then to get bogged down in just the one passion. It has given me much, but it time to move on.

    Enjoy whatever comes next in your journey…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved reading this. I’ve always been really hot or really cold about running dating back to HS. I love training for a 3 month season and then I’m over it, then it happens again a few months later. Training that way with nothing in between does zero for my progression, which is why I ran in the first place.

      Reading this made me feel better about maybe this isn’t temporary and that’s okay. Or maybe it is. Time will tell, but it’s not worth being upset about.

      Liked by 1 person

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