I shared something about this on Instagram a couple of weeks ago, but recently quite a few people have told me that they feel like they’ve lost their running mojo and that it’s really stressing them out. Maybe it’s the weather warming up (think of all those non-running distractions!), maybe it’s because spring race season is over, but there seems to be a bit of a drought when it comes to run love right now, at least amongst my friends. So what do you do?
A couple of years ago, when I was slogging my way through a masters, working my butt off full time and, generally, not feeling too great, I was not feeling the run love. And it really sucked. I felt awful. Guilty because I thought I should be running, stressed because I wanted to feel the love but wasn’t, and tired because I was doing all of the stuff all of the time. My whole life revolves around running, I write about running, I research running and I wasn’t running. It messed with my head in a big way. In the end it was a pep talk from coach Tom Craggs, one of my favourite people in the running world, that shook me out of it. He told me that I could run any time, but there wouldn’t always be the opportunity to do other things. It was exactly what I needed to take a step back, stop worrying about the thing that was meant to make me happy and relax. And you know what? The love came back naturally!
So, here’s my pep talk to you (if you’re feeling like you’ve lost the run love). You don’t have to run. Running is supposed to be fun. It’s meant to make you feel good. If running isn’t fun and isn’t making you feel good then stop doing it, and never feel bad about that. Move your body in other ways. Be creative. Read books. Go for a walk. Spend time with the people you love. Tell the gremlin in your mind you should be pushing through to stuff it, and you know what, the love will come back. One day you’ll wake up and really fancy a run. That run will feel different. It won’t be about your Strava stats. It won’t be about posting on Instagram to show you’ve done it. It won’t be because 5 miles were on your plan. It will be because you want to run, and that’ll feel epic.
Go with the down times like you go with the good times and life will work out for the best.
* image: Anna Rachel Photography