How to Stay Inspired
My first 'Burnout' I started with a 5km, then 10 km, worked up to 50 kms, and a few 50 milers ....usually finishing midpack to top 10. I was super keen initially, but I realized that to REALLY excell at running and 'place' I had to make MAJOR committments. Plus I did not want to continue to give up my entire weekend training for longer distances at the expense of my family/social life, and... just so many OTHER things I want to do in life.
...so why run if I'm not aiming to 'place"?.. get points, maybe even a $2 medal ?
...so why run if I'm not going to conquer new distance limits or get faster?
This lack of direction in addition to a few nagging injuries resulted in a lack of motivation and/or what one would call 'Burnout'.
Now, how did I wrap my head around things to get back into it? This is what worked for me:
1.TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF:
It was always a PUSH. More, longer, better, faster.... You name it. For the first time in years, I have STOPPED pushing. This does NOT mean I have stopped TRYING ! It means I have STARTED ENJOYING even MORE !
2. VOLUNTEER !!!!
Anyone suffering from burnout, should SERIOUSLY volunteer.
You get to stand outside that fishbowl and look in. You truly appreciate how hard it is for the elites, as much as the last place finishers.. AND you have EQUAL respect for them ALL ! I shake my head at how I was once hard on myself for a not so great run, when I've seen people go thru tougher times and still finish, sure, not top place finishers, but top notch runners!
As an added bonus, you get to meet other GREAT people with a similar mindset!
3.ASK YOURSELF : WHY SHOULD I KEEP RUNNING?
a)Just to run:
Just running aimlessly seems so, aimless.... and free....like a kid in
the woods... and isn't that wonderful!
can have either a good day, or a bad day, it doesn't really bother me anymore, cuz, I was just slower that day for whatever reason...maybe I took more time to take pictures, enjoy the scenery and meet other runners ! This is me running with camera in hand at the Gorge Waterfalls run, ended up with a great video at the end ...and one of my more enjoyable runs
c) Use your fitness to enjoy life !
Using the fitness worked on for years to adventure through life and enjoy its splendours!
Running 10 miles barefoot on the beach in Maui ! (tho my calves hated me later)
YEAH , I want to do MORE of THAT !
d) My Friends !
They are the reason I'm still running. It is really the only time I get to visit (AND get a workout in!) On occasion, I might even have time to go for a coffee (or beer afterwards) ... in case I diddn't get enough visiting in over the 4 hour run ! lol !
My friends also INSPIRE me. Some have gone through tougher times than myself, some are newbies
that are not afraid to push their limits, others truly enjoy their races, taking their time to take pictures and FULLY experience what the race has to offer!
4. CHANGE IT UP ! ...Signed up for a few half marathons to scare the crap out of me, ! Maybe even a triathalon.... hitting the bike ( but having a hard time getting to swim). M ust admit, the change of intensity and type of training has been beneficial to muscle balancing, dissolving some old nagging injuries.
4. ACCEPT LIFE !
On review of my past events in prep for this blog , I realize that in the last 2-3 years, I've entered almost
EVERY race with either a life STRESS ( tax audit, family death) or a personal ILLNESS before the run or INJURY during the race. I realize a large percentage of the OTHER ATHLETES , are probably going through the SAME thing!! So we should just accept there there will ALWAYS be something going on, but NOT use it as an excuse !
JUST KEEP MOVING FORWARD !
REALIZE THE BIG PICTURE:
I WANT TO GROW OLDER AND BE ACTIVE TOO ! WHEN I'M RETIRED AND HAVE THE TIME TO PLAY OUTSIDE, I WANT TO BE VERY CAPABLE OF DOING SO !
... and the only way to accomplish this is to take care of yourself and STAY FIT !
Excellent, I'm Psyched... time to go for a RUN !!!!