Finding My Motivation

I’ve been struggling lately with keeping a regular workout routine. It pretty much started when I crossed the finish line at the Marine Corps Marathon. Initially, I needed some time off to rest and recover both physically and mentally.

Marine corps Marathon

After that, I had a string of bad luck. There was a rolled ankle on my first run back that caused pain in my foot for a few weeks. Then a sinus infection that settled itself in my chest throughout most of December. And lastly my first cavity, which led to an emergency root canal. But all of that is over now and I’m still not back to a regular workout routine.

Jefferson National Forest Wolf Creek Day Use Area Trail Running

Why don’t I seize the opportunity??

My issue isn’t running on the weekends, that’s been going fine. It’s getting a run or workout in during the week where I’m struggling. Often by the time I get home from work I’m just done. I’m not sure why that is. When I was training for Marine Corps I came home knowing my work wasn’t over yet for the day and I never questioned getting my run in. It’s not like I don’t have plenty of races coming up. Shouldn’t that be motivation enough? Not to mention the extra few pounds I packed on around the holidays. But yet I still find myself lacking a desire to do something active during the week.

Pandapas Pond

Yet I keep denying myself.

Normally motivational posters work pretty well for me when I’m stuck in a rut. But they’re not cutting it for me lately. In looking back at past running logs, I found that I always experience a lull in my workouts this time of year. I guess it’s a combination of the post-holiday blues, the lack of sunlight, and the stress of returning to a normal work/daily schedule. Or maybe it’s just laziness?

In an effort to get my butt in gear, I did something unusual for me. Since Pinterest running posters and races on the schedule aren’t doing it, I went the material route instead. Don’t judge me for this, but I picked out a new running top I don’t even need as an incentive to get back on a regular running schedule.

Brooks Essential LS 1/2 zip top

My goal is to get back to running/working out 4-5 times per week. I think when I successfully do this two or three weeks in a row I’ll have earned my new top. I also ran across this book which looked really interesting, so I started reading it.

DSCN3372

No one jump to any conclusions here. It just looked like an interesting read, and I think some of the stuff in the book will be helpful with my trail series this spring.

I think it’s going to help as the days continue to get longer and the sun sets a bit later in the evening, too. It’s always nice to have a bit of daylight left even after your run or workout is done. Just getting back into a regular running routine will help my motivation, too. Call it a self fulfilling prophecy, but I feel better when I’m running regularly. And when I feel better it makes me want to get out there even more.

How do you get yourself out of a rut?
Do you experience a lull in exercise during the holidays?
What do you think: Should I make my goal 2, 3, or 4 weeks of regular activity before I earn my reward?

13 Comments

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  1. Trying to get out of the rut and back to a regular workout myself. I set after the Superbowl as my goal. Got home last night and crashed on the couch. Maybe tonight.

    LUD.

    1. Good luck! I think after 2-3 weeks it becomes habit again.

  2. What about running in the morning? I get it done before work and feel better all day, plus I get to come home and relax rather than work out.

    Sometimes just a change in routine helps motivate me. I wasn’t looking forward to my 4 mile treadmill run this morning, so instead I did 3 miles with intervals thrown in. It went by fast and I felt better about actually doing it rather than skipping!

    3 weeks is a good goal…by then it’s habit again. Good luck!
    Alison recently posted…Happy February!My Profile

    1. There’s definitely advantages to running in the morning – you get your workout in before anything can get in the way. Plus I always feel better for the rest of the day after a morning workout. But as far as running goes, it would have to be on the treadmill for me. I don’t like to run outside in the dark by myself and I don’t have anyone to run with.

      Three weeks sounds good! That means I’m nearly 2/3 of the way there 🙂

  3. I am jumping to conclusions. And I love it! That is all.
    Amy recently posted…Things I am Thinking AboutMy Profile

    1. Haha jump to conclusions all you want, but I’m not making any promises 🙂 Someday, though.

  4. It’s hibernating season, don’t ya know? 🙂 Seriously, do yo have any friends nearby that you could meet up with during the week? That makes a huge difference for me.
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…From Football To FeetMy Profile

    1. It sure is! This sounds ridiculous, but Kim is my only workout buddy and our schedules don’t mesh during the week. I did try a running group in Blacksburg once, though the running store, but I got dropped literally immediately after the run started. There was no one close to my slower speed and it’s certainly not fair to expect anyone to hang back with me week after week. Yes, I could get faster, but this group’s warm up mile was around 7:30 pace!

      1. A warm-up pace of 7:30? Oh my!
        Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…Fitness SnapshotsMy Profile

  5. I can definitely sympathize. I’m in a bit of a rut myself. I’m still exercising 5 days a week, but my heart is not in it. I’d say I gave about 60% in cycle class yesterday. If that. My knee started hurting. I just can’t deal with my body not cooperating like this. It’s ridiculous.

    I think buying yourself a new shirt if you reach your goal is a great idea! No judgment here 🙂 Whatever works.

    I don’t know how anybody works out AFTER work. All I want to do after work is go HOME. I’m such a homebody.

    Good luck!
    JoAnne recently posted…And the diagnosis is: CertifiableMy Profile

    1. Good for you still getting it in even though your heart is not in it! I’m sure like Jan said, you stick it out long enough and eventually you’ll be back in it.

  6. I’ve been in and out of ruts several times over the last few years. I think it’s all just part of it. I just try to run enough to maintain and then pick it up when I’m feeling it again. However, if you are training for races, that doesn’t really work. I’m sure you are just still burnt out after the rigor of that Hansen plan. I’m sure some warm weather this spring will perk you up again!
    jan recently posted…6 MilesMy Profile

    1. It makes sense – I can’t love it all of the time 🙂 I’m just going to try and keep sticking it out. Of course, now I’m sick again which doesn’t help anything. Ugh. Hurry spring!

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