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I've Lost That Loving Feeling...? (Read 1573 times)

    Okay, so I'm no expert runner. Heck, I'd barely even call myself a novice. I've run two half-marathons and two full. I'm currently in training for what will be my third marathon (Portland, 10/7/12). And here's my dilemma.

     

    I registered for Portland in the winter of 2011, when I was 5 or 6 months into living in Manhattan as a new resident and was feeling pretty depressed about not being happy there (for many reasons) and needed an attitude booster for myself, something to look forward to and work towards so to speak. At that time, I had no idea how things were going to work out for me 6 months later, but I'll keep a long story short and say that I had a lot of things happen from June forward, when I should have begun training (got married, moved from NYC to Boston, bought a house and restarted an old job, in that order) that delayed my training. Once I was almost-kinda-sorta settled into the new house and barely making new routines for myself, I made a decision to go for it anyways, and cram in my marathon training in about a 12 week period. I'm sure there's a lot of slack for that, but that's not what I'm writing about here and so far, so good. Until yesterday.

     

    What brought me here was a feeling that overcame me on my long run yesterday. I was out for what would be my last long run before the marathon, 20 miles. I maxed out at 18 and 21 for my two previous marathons, and both were comparable in difficulty in the end, so I was more than comfortable hitting 20 and then tapering from there for this one.

     

    So, about 14 miles into my long run yesterday I had what I can only describe as a "Forest Gump moment". I just didn't want to run anymore. My morale bottomed out. I literally did not feel like running. It wasn't a physical thing, as in, "I can't run any further", it was totally mental. It was "I don't feel like running anymore, right now, this far.". And then, because you know how the wheels turn on a run, it became, "I don't want to run this marathon". I. Just. Don't. Want. To. 

     

    The realization that I basically forced myself into training for a race that I had planned out 9 months earlier, not knowing the circumstances I'd be in, and that, given the circumstances, I did not have a quality or enjoyable training period - it was forced and rushed - that at this point I am doing it because I "have to" not because I "want to" was pretty upsetting. I felt like crap and on the verge of tears for the rest of my run. I broke down into tears to my husband when I got home. "I don't think I can do it. I just don't want to...my heart's not in it" I sobbed to him. This could have very well been partly hormonal, I am female and it might have been a certain time of the month, after all. Sorry, I just totally over-shared.

     

    I decided to myself on that run that I was not going to do the marathon, in fact I wasn't even going to finish this long run. SCREW IT! And then I realized I was still eight miles from home, and so I ran another 4 and got to 18 and then took the subway the rest of the way home.

     

    So, my question to you all, is WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING HERE? I've never felt like this before! I've never not been excited for a run. I've never NOT finished a long run! Am I depressed? I don't think so, because I haven't lost interest in anything else, and I feel extememly happy every day. My sleep and appetite are normal.

     

    Have I simply lost the "runner's high?" Is that possible? I know people leave running for whatever reasons and then return later in life. I never thought that would be me.

     

    I feel like I am just done with long distance right now. If I had to sum it up in words, it would be "I am just over it". I'm over it. It doesn't excite me anymore! What happened!?

     

    I know I want to keep running, and I think I'd be really happy at the half-marathon level right now. But I just don't feel like running for 4 hours anymore when I don't feel "great" emotionally and mentally at the end of it like I used to. There's no payout. It's just weird.

     

    I've convinced myself that I WILL in fact run Portland; I mean, I've paid my dues and booked my flight and dragged my husband and mom along to support me. I'm really hoping the excitement of it all alone helps me get through to the end and enjoy it, and maybe even rekindle my fire? Although the feeling after my previous two marathons was always "I don't know when I'm going to ever do this again!"

     

    Anyone had this happen to them? Did something prompt it? How far into your running 'career' did it happen? How did you deal with it? How long did it last? Advice? Experience? Thoughts? I'm looking for anything right now. Thanks guys!

    2012: Just run.

      As a psychologist and runner, the mental of an endurance athlete is not something I want to even attempt to understand.  However, since this was only yesterday, you are going on an abbreviated training plan, and there are numerous other stessors in your life... have you ruled out the most simple explanation that you merely bonked?   Basically, low sugar levels - altered neurotransmitter levels - emotional changes...

      You may have already decided that's not it, but if you've never experienced the 'joy' of bonking, it will have you questioning the reason you even got out of bed that morning.  Why running is such a stupid idea, etc., etc. 

      Like I said, that's going by the rule of simplest explanation first.   Does sound like you have had a pretty busy life though... good luck!

      § SIGNATURE§


      Needs more cowbell!

        I had something like this happen while training for my 3rd and final marathon.  By about a month out from the race I was done.  I ran my HM PR and had a great race on <100% effort...and loathed the idea of having yet another 20 miler to tackle.  I ran the marathon, but my heart wasn't in it at all.  I'm sure part of it had to do with my prior 2 marathons just not holding much joy for me.  The first one was a rough training cycle--just a week or two before starting training I had my right knee act up shortly after running a 25k race and it bothered me for about the first half of training.  I had a much better experience training for the 2nd race, but my finishing time was only minutes faster.  I simply didn't give a shit by the time race #3 came along.  After that I decided there was no sense in my continuing to beat myself up (physically and mentally) for a distance that I didn't really enjoy.  I'd never had that experience training for and running everything from 5-25k, so those are the distances I will limit myself to in the future.

         

        Perhaps consider switching gears a bit.  It wasn't long after my last marathon that I came to start cycling.  I've found that I am MUCH better suited to that endeavor (big quads and booty, yeah!).  I still love to run, but no longer put much pressure on myself with running.  I just run to run and to cross-train for my bike goals.  I can't remember the last time I really raced a race (this year has even been a light year in terms of bike races, since I've been focusing on trying my legs at mountain-biking).  My last 2 HMs have been fun runs with friends--and PWs! Big grin  I coached GOTR at a local school and next Spring will be coaching the girls at my DS's school.  I am also coaching my 11 year old DS to his first 5k.  I really enjoy sharing running with others, rather than pouring all of my efforts only into my running goals.

        Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

        '14 Goals:

        • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


        A Saucy Wench

          It sounds like just a bad day to me. 

          I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets

           

          "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7


          Needs more cowbell!

            It sounds like just a bad day to me. 

             

            Or maybe a tweak, given that the race is ~3 weeks out...?

            Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

            '14 Goals:

            • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

            • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


            Fast is better than long

              In my three marathon seasons, I have always hit a duldrums at about 1 month out. Hate training, Hate waking up, Hate feling beat down just hate it. I have now grown to understand that's my normal. I think you'll see this or something similar from many here.

              2014 Goals: 2500 miles / sub 2 800m / 4:30 mile / sub 16:30 5K


              Give a man a fire and he'll be warm the rest of the night;
              Set a man afire and he'll be warm the rest of his life.

              What in the Jehu?

                Took a look at your training log. That 18-miler came out of nowhere. The total volume came out of nowhere. You have not built up gradually. You've ramped up your mileage way too quickly. No wonder you feel like quitting. Your thoughts about this marathon might be your unconscious telling you that you are not ready. Not for this volume at this time, anyway.

                  I am not sure if you are logging all your runs, but If I was attempting one long run with just one other 4-5 mile run in the week, I'd be feeling just the way you do now.  

                    I am not sure if you are logging all your runs, but If I was attempting one long run with just one other 4-5 mile run in the week, I'd be feeling just the way you do now.  

                     

                    Also with a monthly high mileage of 68 miles in your entire log. That should be your weekly total for a marathon and a 20 mile long run.

                     

                    The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

                     

                    2014 Goals:

                     

                    Stay healthy

                    Enjoy life

                     


                    just a simple cat

                      Yeah, just let this marathon go, and start running easy and for fun again.

                       

                      "I'm really hoping the excitement of it all alone helps me get through to the end and enjoy it, and maybe even rekindle my fire?"

                       

                      I think this is very unlikely to happen when running a marathon on virtually no training.  You really have to respect the distance, and be prepared.

                       

                       

                      DoppleBock


                        I normally hit periods of I don't care about running every year - It happens.  The 1st thing is to fight through it the best you can for 6 weeks or so.  Most of the time I re-find my mojo within this period.  There are times after this period I still do not feel mojo and I drastically cut mileage for awhile, while I have fun doing other things - I have always come back ... at least for the last 9.5 years straight.

                         

                        It may be a bit different for me, when I do not run, I gain weight ~ So even if I am trudging through mile after mile, not enjoying it ... I know I need to so I do not weigh 300# again.  usually when I take a bit of down time I gain weight pretty quick - Forcing me back to running.

                         

                        But there are many great ways to maintain fitness ~ Just do not give up on running for a short burst of no mojo.

                        http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                        2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                         

                          Your running should be relieving stress, not adding to it.  Give yourself permission to not run Portland, or to not race it, or to break off at the half.  It's a little awkward now that you're entered and the flight is booked, but you'll just need to have a heart-to-heart with DH and DM.  They're here to support you, right?

                           

                          Once you take the pressure off yourself and relax, you might enjoy the run like you did the MCM.  No speed record this time, but that's okay.

                          Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

                          DoppleBock


                            I would have to agree - Unless you do not log all of your miles ~ I am not sure you ever had that loving feeling for running?  I think the minimum I would see for someone who is "running" and "training" for a marathon - would be 4 runs a week ~ 25-30 miles a week.

                             

                            Like I said maybe you are not logging all your runs.

                             

                            Running once per week is not really training - But punishment

                            http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                            2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                             

                              Okay, so I'm no expert runner. Heck, I'd barely even call myself a novice. I've run two half-marathons and two full. I'm currently in training for what will be my third marathon (Portland, 10/7/12). And here's my dilemma.

                               

                              I registered for Portland in the winter of 2011, when I was 5 or 6 months into living in Manhattan as a new resident and was feeling pretty depressed about not being happy there (for many reasons) and needed an attitude booster for myself, something to look forward to and work towards so to speak. At that time, I had no idea how things were going to work out for me 6 months later, but I'll keep a long story short and say that I had a lot of things happen from June forward, when I should have begun training (got married, moved from NYC to Boston, bought a house and restarted an old job, in that order) that delayed my training. Once I was almost-kinda-sorta settled into the new house and barely making new routines for myself, I made a decision to go for it anyways, and cram in my marathon training in about a 12 week period. I'm sure there's a lot of slack for that, but that's not what I'm writing about here and so far, so good. Until yesterday.

                               

                              What brought me here was a feeling that overcame me on my long run yesterday. I was out for what would be my last long run before the marathon, 20 miles. I maxed out at 18 and 21 for my two previous marathons, and both were comparable in difficulty in the end, so I was more than comfortable hitting 20 and then tapering from there for this one.

                               

                              So, about 14 miles into my long run yesterday I had what I can only describe as a "Forest Gump moment". I just didn't want to run anymore. My morale bottomed out. I literally did not feel like running. It wasn't a physical thing, as in, "I can't run any further", it was totally mental. It was "I don't feel like running anymore, right now, this far.". And then, because you know how the wheels turn on a run, it became, "I don't want to run this marathon". I. Just. Don't. Want. To. 

                               

                              The realization that I basically forced myself into training for a race that I had planned out 9 months earlier, not knowing the circumstances I'd be in, and that, given the circumstances, I did not have a quality or enjoyable training period - it was forced and rushed - that at this point I am doing it because I "have to" not because I "want to" was pretty upsetting. I felt like crap and on the verge of tears for the rest of my run. I broke down into tears to my husband when I got home. "I don't think I can do it. I just don't want to...my heart's not in it" I sobbed to him. This could have very well been partly hormonal, I am female and it might have been a certain time of the month, after all. Sorry, I just totally over-shared.

                               

                              I decided to myself on that run that I was not going to do the marathon, in fact I wasn't even going to finish this long run. SCREW IT! And then I realized I was still eight miles from home, and so I ran another 4 and got to 18 and then took the subway the rest of the way home.

                               

                              So, my question to you all, is WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING HERE? I've never felt like this before! I've never not been excited for a run. I've never NOT finished a long run! Am I depressed? I don't think so, because I haven't lost interest in anything else, and I feel extememly happy every day. My sleep and appetite are normal.

                               

                              Have I simply lost the "runner's high?" Is that possible? I know people leave running for whatever reasons and then return later in life. I never thought that would be me.

                               

                              I feel like I am just done with long distance right now. If I had to sum it up in words, it would be "I am just over it". I'm over it. It doesn't excite me anymore! What happened!?

                               

                              I know I want to keep running, and I think I'd be really happy at the half-marathon level right now. But I just don't feel like running for 4 hours anymore when I don't feel "great" emotionally and mentally at the end of it like I used to. There's no payout. It's just weird.

                               

                              I've convinced myself that I WILL in fact run Portland; I mean, I've paid my dues and booked my flight and dragged my husband and mom along to support me. I'm really hoping the excitement of it all alone helps me get through to the end and enjoy it, and maybe even rekindle my fire? Although the feeling after my previous two marathons was always "I don't know when I'm going to ever do this again!"

                               

                              Anyone had this happen to them? Did something prompt it? How far into your running 'career' did it happen? How did you deal with it? How long did it last? Advice? Experience? Thoughts? I'm looking for anything right now. Thanks guys!

                              Don't force yourself.  If You. Just. Don't. Feel. Like. It., you should not run.  Go get a Japanese anime called "Kiki's Delivery Service" and watch it.  It's a cute, cute movie--one of my all-time favorites.  It's about a 13-year-old witch who moved away from family to be independent.  She started a delivery service utilizing her "flying" power.  One day, she lost that power.  Then her friend, an artist, visited her.  So they talked about it and this artist friend told her that it's best not to struggle, just stop trying all together.  "Then what happens?"  She said; "...And some day, the urge would come back..."  In the situation like you're in, trying would only make it worse.  Don't.  So you waste, what, $120 or whatever...who cares?  Lay down on the beach (by Hudson River?), walk around Central Park, enjoy the fall colors...  If running is in you, the urge will come back and you'll slip running shoes on and go out again; rain or shine, snow or wind blowing...  If not, well, do what you want doing!

                               

                              That said, understand that the mental barrier you're facing is actually caused by physical stress.  You can actually measure "stress".  Often high school runners would face "staleness" when they push themselves too much and often it is caused by lowering of pH level for a prolonged period of time that affects your Central Nervous System that affects your mood.  In your case,  just reading through your dilemma, it sounds like a typical "now-I-run-so-I'd-have-to-run-a-marathon-and-for-that-I'd-have-to-run-XXX-number-of-20-milers-no-matter-how-long-it-may-take" syndrome.  I don't know how many of those you had done but, as far as I'm concerned, but spending over 4-hours on your feet week in, week out is just not the right approach.  More and more, I'm convinced it's ALL WRONG.  I have had so many examples that people cut back and performed better.  By doing what you had done is just to give yourself personal satisfaction that you-had-done-it and, by the time you get to the start line, or in your case, it came even before that, you're totally stuffed.  Not the way to prepare for a 26-miler, I'm telling ya!!

                               

                              As someone else had eluded, you should be more consistent if you want to prepare for a marathon; it's not a super long run here and there that'll get you there; but consistent running of 4 or 5 or 6 days a week, maybe shorter each time but giving your body a chance to recover and build.  What you had been doing, from the sound of it, is a shock treatment; shock your system with 18 or 20-miler and hardly giving your body a chance to adjust and get stronger (skipping running days between those long runs won't cut it).  Probably what was happening was that you would shock your system; and, by the time next long run comes around after taking so many days off, your fitness level was already back to the starting point; consequently, you were just repeating the shock and back to starting point over and over and over...

                               

                              Kick back and not worry about running for awhile until the urge would come back; then sit down and map out where you want to go with your running; use your head and create a decent plan that will get you there.  It's a lot more fun if you gain success with it along the way!

                               

                              Good luck and have fun!! ;o)


                              Needs more cowbell!

                                April, what if you went to Portland and volunteered at the race, if you decide that you don't want to run it?  That way you don't waste your tickets and hotel reservation.  Make a vacation out of it.

                                Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                                '14 Goals:

                                • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                                • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

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