Friday, July 6, 2018

(re)Finding My Mojo

I lost my mojo a few months ago. I had a good winter, but once spring came, instead of an extra dose of motivation, my running just didn't feel right. I went through the motions and tried to prepare for the Illinois Half-Marathon at the end of April. I never captured the passion to excel. Training was mediocre. And my race ended up being average. I ran a 1:40. Could have run 1:33. Should have run 1:35. Coulda, shoulda. Didn't.

I recovered from the half-marathon and then raced the Lake Mingo 7.1 mile trail race in June. Thought racing on my preferred trails would bring back my desire. Nope. It did not go well. I started strong (maybe too fast), but slowed significantly mile after mile. I eventually gave up around mile five. Then I took a nasty fall and beat up my knee and hip. Limped across the finish line proud to be finishing with blood and mud on my legs. Still, no real pride in another slow race.

While nursing my injury, I became sick. A nasty intestinal thing kept me from running for more than a week. Tried a couple of runs, but it just didn't feel good. Didn't help to be running in Salt Lake City at altitude on hills. Oh well. It's just running. Why beat myself up over a hobby? Then I began to think deeper. I'm very competitive. I want to run PRs. I want to beat other runners. I want to run farther. Faster. In tougher conditions. At least I used to.

No more. Now I want to run happy. I want to enjoy my running. In the past, I _did_ enjoy pushing myself, even in crappy conditions. Now, not so much. Partly because I'm just not as fit and fast. Now I am determined to avoid "poor" running. I'm avoiding what prevents happiness. I don't like running in the heat and humidity. Fine, now I skip those runs and go to the gym and hit the treadmill. I like running fast(ish). I'd prefer to run 3-5 miles fast than 10 miles slow. So, that is what I'm going to do. Enjoy every minute. Every mile. Run how I want, when I want.

This week has been a renewal. I'm (re)finding my mojo. I actually want to run each morning (even when on vacation). I'm happy while running and happy when done. No pressure. No heart rate monitor. No watch alarms. No expectations. Just run. And enjoy it. I'll see where this leads me in the next few weeks. I'm skipping any hot weather running and racing. It doesn't suit me. No Last Man Standing. No Howl at the Moon.

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