Monday, March 5, 2012

Invisible Monsters

The past 10 days or so have been very interesting for me. I've experienced something I haven't had to deal with since January 2009 (when I seriously started running), a genuine lack of a desire to run. What has frustrated me most is why this has occurred. A week ago Saturday I had a weird physical anomaly happen during my run where I felt extremely calorie deficient within about 2 miles, even though I had fueled well prior to my run. I didn't think much of it until it happened again the Monday and Tuesday following. My decision to take the rest of the week off came shortly after when my motivation and energy were so low that the simple thought of running put me in a bad mood. And then it snowed for the next three days and that just made it easier not to go.

What really bothered me was the persistent doubt that was looming in my head about my abilities. My vision and goals weren't at risk and I never questioned them, but I didn't feel worthy, if that's the right way to put it, of the success I've had, the position I was in, and the people who have put their trust in me. That's the best way I can explain it. I know it doesn't sound legitimate, but it is honest. This feeling carried through the weekend and I was extremely concerned that it would filter into this morning. However, I woke up not only feeling strong, but confident. Phew.

I specifically wrote the above section prior to my run today so that the skepticism would still be in my writing. When I got out of my car and hit the trail I was still concerned and while I felt good and was maintaining a solid pace at an even effort I kept waiting for my mental strength to fail and I would find that doubt would win out over my run. But that never happened and I ran a solid 10 miles with 800 ft of climbing in one of my fastest times on that course. I feel happier and more confident as I write this.

I've shared my experience with several people and many have commented that it may be a result of over-training.  I don't think I'll argue that as I have been pushing myself pretty hard lately. I also think the weather has had a bit to do with it. We just haven't had a proper winter here in Salt Lake and because of that I just never got converted to running in the cold and snow. So when it did dump it just bummed me out because I am just done with it and want it to be warm. On that note, I ran today in shorts and a t-shirt . . . with snow on the trail. That is so crazy. Anyway, I'm feeling good now and looking forward to a productive week.

And on that note, the AltraManiacs are at it again. This time they are throwing out a solid race tip. If you are planning on running a race soon you'll definitely want to watch this video. If you aren't running a race soon, watch it anyway because it's funny. Then Like it and share it with your friends.


Lily said...

I'm so glad you made it out of your funk. Pretty quickly too. I know this routine all too well. It's happened to me so many times. Chin up and keep on running'! :)

Enoch Davies said...

Well done!

Jake said...

Way to snap out of it and bounce back with a good run. A lot of runners go through periods like this that last MUCH longer. Sounds like you have a good perspective and realize that a couple days of feeling junky doesn't undo all the work you've put in for years and years.

I agree with you about the lack of proper winter making it harder to get motivated. Last year I felt like running through the cold/snow/ice/slush/wind was just something I did almost everyday. This year its only happened like 3 times, and those days have felt like they really sucked!!!

Brian Beckstead said...


Get your iron checked out, as I bet you are iron deficient. Happens to me sometimes and sounds like your symptoms...

Its going to be a solid year of running so save some for the summer/fall!

jun said...

Brian, that is a really good point. What I really should be doing, and have been thinking about for a long time but haven't followed through with, is start taking some daily vitamins that are high in iron. Fish oil pills or Udo's would be really good for me, I think. Thanks for the advice.