I’ve lost my running mojo

Despite having such a fantastic 100th parkrun general experience on Saturday, the running itself was fairly rubbish. I know I only have myself to blame for this of course.

I say it every single time but I never follow through: “I’ll take a couple of weeks off of running after my marathon”. Then lo and behold, I don’t. I know I’m stupid. I just love running – especially the mental side of it and the thought of not doing it for a few weeks isn’t particularly appealing to me. And after Boston I was on such a running high I just wanted to keep going. I thought by not pushing any sort of hard pace I’d be OK. Run easy runs, shorter than I did previously, and I’d be fine. But the love that was there was slowly dwindling away as the training and the race caught up with me and I’m now not enjoying it.

It doesn’t help that my hamstring still isn’t 100%, though it’s never worse after running and some runs feel absolutely fine whereas others I can feel the slight niggle. To be honest, I think deadlifting at the gym has aggravated it *sighs*.

So anyway, Saturday’s run felt like such a grind and my hamstring was niggling slightly (probably due to my Friday deadlifts). I’d planned to run a long run on Sunday to reattempt my previous failed 16 miles from the week before. I felt demotivated going to bed, I felt demotivated when I woke up and I was dragging my heels to get myself out the door. And when I finally did, I felt my hamstring as soon as I started and that was all the excuse I needed to throw the towel in. I must have looked like a bit of loon to anyone nearby as it was literally a 30 second run from the front door and then me turning around saying out-loud “no, nope. Not happening”.

I was at my parent’s house so when I stormed back into the house moments after leaving my dad said, “Didn’t go well, then? I thought you might be back sooner than expected…” apparently my lack of running mojo was evident before I left. I wasn’t even that upset. I was relieved. This tells me something that should have been fairly evident to me: I need a rest.

I’ve done too much post-marathon. I should have taken a full week off at least. I was just on that post-marathon “I love running, everything’s awesome!” feeling and was looking ahead for the Cakeathon.

Unfortunately the Cakeathon is hurtling towards me quickly and it’s not a race I want to DNS…That said, it’s not a race I want to travel three hours to (dragging my dad with me) on a Bank Holiday Monday and then not enjoy it. It was such a great race last year I don’t want to mar that memory.

So what’s the plan? Well, I’m not running all week. I’ve made that absolutely certain because I left my trainers at my parent’s house. No temptation there. Then I’ll try parkrun on Saturday. If I feel a) tired/heavy legged, or b) demotivated, or c) my hamstring feels niggly, then I won’t go. It’ll be such a shame obviously but, at the same time, it’s not worth trying to recreate how amazing last year was. It wouldn’t be the same.

Have you ever lost your running/exercise mojo?

How do you motivate yourself?

How far are you willing to travel for a race?

19 thoughts on “I’ve lost my running mojo

  1. I have lost my workout mojo before and the only solution that I have ever found is time off. When my legs feel heavy, tired and sluggish I know that its time to switch things up, which means less “real” exercise and more active fitness like hiking and such. The good thing is that you already KNOW you need some time off – most people can’t even get to that point!
    Kat recently posted…WIAW 5.25.16My Profile

  2. I can relate. I have been there. Sometimes we just need that break. It is ok and I am glad you realized it so you could get a break. Your hamstring might be your bodies way of saying you need a break too.
    I travel all over for races. Sometime I would like to race outside of the US. But for now…I am stuck here. 🙁
    Staci recently posted…The Liebster Award 2016My Profile

  3. Anna, It’s funny you should write this post, as I am going through the exact same thing since the Boston marathon!! I usually take three days off after my marathons but after Boston, I took two full weeks off since I had run two hard back-to-back marathons in 3 months (Houston in mid-Jan and Boston in mid-April) and the wear and tear was a bit too much for just a three day rest. Besides, like you, I have been nursing a case of bad high hamstring issue myself, after my marathon in Jan that I figured with two week rest may be in order. Well, almost six weeks later, the hamstring continues to be bother me, before, during and after, that every run is a struggle and it’s hardly enjoyable. I have taken this week off running as well and I miss the social aspect of running so very dearly. BTW, I went and saw an ortho on Monday and he advised me strongly against deadlifts – both single leg and double legs DLs… While that may not have caused my hamstring injury, it sure isn’t helping it any and it sure is exacerbating it…..So no more DLs for me.
    Well, good luck this weekend for your race! I hope you get your mojo back and are able to run it!

    • Firstly, wow what an achievement with your marathons! But I’m so sorry to hear you’re in a similar boat to me. Thanks for letting me know about the deadlifts. I’ve stopped them since because it really wasn’t helping but you’ve confirmed what I suspected. Apparently though hamstring curls and Nordic curls can help as you need to help strengthen the area (this is from a sports massage therapist I saw so take that as you will!). Luckily mine isn’t hugely bad but it just exacerbates my lack of interest for running 🙁
      Fingers crossed you find your mojo again and your hammy feels better.
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Random LifeMy Profile

  4. I think it will do you good to take some much-needed time off! I think you hit the nail on the head with doing too much post-Boston. You’ll get your mojo back because you love running!
    Answering your question- I’ve traveled as far as London for a race (I live in Washington DC).
    Elizabeh C. recently posted…The Soaking Semper Five KMy Profile

  5. I think it’s totally normal for a runner to lose their mojo – I see it all the time and I’ve been through it before. I tend to do exactly what you’re doing now.. taking a break. I find thats all I need to find it again.

    More often than not, taking a break makes me WANT to get back to running again and I find myself getting back to it sooner than expected.

    Take a week off and then see how you feel next week, if you’re about to get dressed for a run and you really aren’t feeling it then take a break for a little longer. There’s nothing worse than lacing up when you really don’t want to, it’s not enjoyable!

    Hope the break helps you!
    Laura : Fat 2 Fit recently posted…Weekly Recap #6My Profile

    • Wise words. I’ll get the itch I’m almost certain. I can’t not run for long knowing me. I think it’s also a case that though my mind may want to run, my body might not. But rest should definitely help.
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Random LifeMy Profile

  6. Everyone’s put it so well!

    You’ll know when you’re ready to go back. And then give it a couple of days more, just to be sure….

    *hugs*

  7. I always think it’s nice to take a step back after a big event but not feel like you have to step back.
    Apparently it takes three weeks before you start to lose your fitness levels, so if taking a short break helps recharge mentally, then I believe that taking a break is definitely for the best! Fingers crossed your mojo returns in time for Cakeathon this weekend.
    I will be travelling for my Cakeathon event in August too. I haven’t even looked how far yet but I would imagine I will end up spending a similar amount of time to you travelling down. I was just so excited to be able to snag a place that I didn’t look at the finer details until later! 😉
    Mary recently posted…Five things FridayMy Profile

  8. I think a break is always good- I sometimes have a holiday where I don’t take my things with me and then I have to not run. It is good to recharge the batteries and it means I am keen to get out there once I get home. Hope you are out of the funk soon.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Cape Town!My Profile

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