Mojo Is Hard To Find

Confession time. It’s the middle of March and my 2016 mileage is at a whopping total of 166.5 km. Cough.

After training and racing harder in 2015 than ever before, I found myself 100% burnt out come October. I knew I needed to take a break or risk quitting running for good.

I didn’t have any big races through the winter, so I felt alright about only running twice a week from October until New Year’s. I ran the Gingerbread Run 5K with my friend Leeanne in November and the Santa Shuffle 5K with my friend Glenda at the beginning of December. Both runs were fun runs, and were very casual. Despite finishing just over 30 minutes at the Gingerbread Run, the results show me as the first female. That made me chuckle, as my PR is well over five minutes faster than I ran that day. After those runs I thought I had my mojo back, I thought I was ready to start training for real again. I printed calendars and wrote out training plans, and I stuck with it. For a week or two. Then I came crashing down and realized I hadn’t taken enough time off yet. Running was no longer fun, wasn’t something I was enjoying or looking forward to. I run because I love it, and if I don’t love it, I’m not doing it.

We had a very mild winter in Saskatchewan, and I was able to get out and ride my horses a lot more than I usually do in the winter. I have high hopes for my young mare this year, and am working with another one as a training project. There were many days this winter where I only had time to ride or run, and riding won every single time. I don’t regret this decision at all, as the progress in both my mares has been fantastic, and they’re heading into their competitive season more fit than usual as a result.

By the beginning of February I realized that the Easter weekend half marathon I had on my calendar was just eight weeks away and I had better get my rear in gear. I trained hard for two weeks, then sat back and looked at things realistically. It’s pretty hard to safely go from 5K to 21.1K in eight weeks. The schedule I had to follow also demanded a 20km long run while I was on holidays in Las Vegas. I love running in Vegas, but I knew that run wouldn’t happen. There was no way around it though, if I didn’t run long that weekend there was nowhere in my schedule to make it up. After an agonizing 14km long run several weeks prior, I sighed and gave up the notion of running the Good Friday half.

Right now, I’m six weeks away from a 10K and ten away from the Saskatchewan Marathon, our biggest race of the year, where I’m registered for the half. I have admitted to myself that these will both be slow races for me this year, that there’s no way I can get to the point where I’d like to be in such a short amount of time. My fitness has suffered, but my love for running is returning. I’ve accepted the upcoming slow times, but I’m not sure how I’ll truly feel about seeing them on race day, about seeing runners pass me who shouldn’t be.

After taking yet another week off for a chest cold, I ran 7 km today. The run felt fantastic, and I didn’t cough up a lung until I stopped. Now it’s time to print out another calendar and pen another training plan and see if I can salvage my spring racing season!

Twitter: @RunMommyRun3

Instagram: @RunMommyRun33

Have you every over-trained to the point of complete burn out? How have you come back from a running lay-off? Did you have a false start or go right back to it?


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