I’m just under eight weeks out from my 2nd Boston Marathon and have had a strong couple of months of training. On paper, everything looks great – I’m nailing workouts, getting my long runs in and consistently running high weekly mileage (for me). But, that’s only part of the truth.
The truth is, there are some days where I wake up not wanting to run. I would say 4-5 of the 6 days a week I run, I’m pretty quick to pop up when the alarm goes off. There is virtually no hesitation on those mornings. But it’s a fight to get me out the door on the other days. I want to go back to sleep or just sit on the floor with my children while I drink my coffee in my comfy pjs rather than deal with the below freezing temperatures outside or get on the treadmill again.
The truth is, it’s okay (and normal) to not want to run every single day. When you are following a training plan, there will be days where you may not want to get up and run. I used to berate myself every time I didn’t want to. Convinced myself I wasn’t serious about training or that I wasn’t a real runner. I would end up not running and feeling like crap the rest of the day. It’s silly because I was training hard.
I’m trying to becoming more accepting of these days when they happen. It makes them easier to tackle that way. Instead of focusing on why I don’t want to run, I focus my attention on how I can convince myself to get out the door.
Having some external motivation helps. So, sometimes I bribe myself. It could be the promise of a Starbucks frappaccino, a glass (or bottle) of wine or even a nice, warm bath post-run. I remind myself of the beautiful sunrise or sunset I could see— or those post-run endorphins I’ll miss out on.
And other times, internal motivation does the trick. I don’t think there’s anything worse than showing up to the start line with regret. Regret that you could’ve trained harder or shouldn’t have skipped that workout. I’ve been in that position before and it stinks. I want to race with no regret. I want to know that I did everything in my power to show up to the start line ready to race my heart out. You can’t always control how your run or race will go. But you can control whether you skip a run.
Remind myself that once I am out running, life is good. Regardless of how I am feeling or what is going on in my home or my personal life before the run, I know that 99% of the time, I will be happy that I ran by mile 2. There’s been very few runs I have regretted going on but a whole lot of runs I wish I had gone on. Getting out the door is often the biggest challenge.
Social media accountability. It’s one of the love/hate relationships with social media. I’ve kind of put myself out there with sharing my workouts on Instagram or my weekly training on my blog. I try to be pretty transparent in regards to how I am training for each race. And while I love the communication that I have with friends on Instagram and Twitter, there is always that nagging thought that everyone will know I skipped a run. It can be that extra push I need.
But I’ve also become okay with occasionally giving in and skipping a run if I really need or want to. At the end of the day, one run is not going to make or break my performance in Boston. Sometimes the extra rest is what my body or mind need. I am not a professional runner – this is not my job or my source of income. It’s a hobby and something I love to do. So, if there is a day or two where I really can’t convince myself to get moving, I don’t. I sleep in or stay in my pjs with my coffee or stay up late and have another glass of wine.