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Unslumping yourself is not easily done

From Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

Oh, slump, slumpy, slumpiness.

I’ve been in a bit of a running slump lately. After ZOOMA, I vowed to keep up my new running lifestyle, but let me tell you. When you don’t have a terrifying upcoming race to drag you out of your cozy bed in the morning so you can run before the pavement gets hot enough to melt the soles off your shoes, it’s just easier to stay horizontal and enjoy the fact that your kids are sleeping later and playing together nicely for a good half hour or more before begging you for breakfast.

My shoes, they haz a sad.

Running in the summer is terrible. My pace is much slower than even when I first started training last fall, and I’d give anything for a blast of cool, 60 degree air to keep me going. The heat just sucks the life right out of you. In fact, I think it’s sucking the life right out of this post.

And if you think I’m just being dramatic, I’m not. We pretty much don’t do anything outside that doesn’t involve water. My kids don’t even want to go into the yard, and kids shouldn’t care about that kind of  thing. Go! Play! Find bugs! Do whatever it is you do!

I’ve done a few weekend runs, but nothing spectacular, and the last half is usually a run/walk deal. In the hopes of running indoors, I hit the gym at the Y last week and ran on the treadmill for the longest 15 minutes of my life. Treadmill running is not for the faint of heart, AKA it sucks squirrel nuts.

And then there’s the fitness. It’s hitting me hard. I didn’t lose any significant weight during training, but my body did change and I dropped a size. I felt fantastic! Now I feel blah and blech and my shorts are a little tighter and I hate it.

So I’m slumpy. And I’m bummed. I’m not quite sure how to get out of it. Christian thinks I should train for a fake half marathon – just follow the training plan I used for ZOOMA. It’s a great idea, but again, it’s wicked hot here. Also I’m sleepy in the mornings. I know that without an upcoming race I won’t motivate myself. So I then kick myself in the gut for not being able to self motivate. Damn you, self!

So sign up for a race! you say. Well unfortunately there aren’t many races in the summer when you live in an oven. But I am planning on some in the near future. I have my eye on the 10 mile portion of Run for the Water in October, and once it cools off a little, I plan on starting to train for the 3M Half Marathon. My friend Lori (you remember the one who loves being mentioned on my blog? Lori Lori Lori!) has run it twice and says it’s great – and mostly downhill. Holla!

Wow this was a negative post! But it mirrors my attitude and general malaise towards running, so there you go. How do you stay motivated in the off season?

 

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Leigh Ann Torres
Writer, artist, wife, cook, maid, bookkeeper, mom to twins plus one...all around genie in a bottle, except you only get one wish, and it has to be reasonable.
20 Comments
  1. Okay, this is going to sound like an excuse. But the reason I can’t get into running, is because of the weather I live in. And the fact that I’m nowhere near a running path that isn’t full of traffic, motorcycles and pollution. I also hate running on the treadmill. So.

    I do have my gorgeous new lululemon yoga mat though. So I need to just get on the mat. I’ve been feeling really, really blah lately with my body. Just hate it.

    I know you can get out of this. Signing up for races is awesome!

    • y, if that can be my excuse for not running in the summer, then that can be yours fro not running..ever! I’ve tried yoga a few times and liked the workout. Much harder than it looks!

  2. I am okay with the treadmill. I have to be if I want to keep running. Living in a sauna and running just doesn’t mix well for me! ;). But yes, I always do better while training for something, for sure. Just enjoy your down time for now…

    • If I could learn to balance the non running with something else, that would be ideal. I’m not enjoying the tightness of mah pants.

  3. You’re right. Treadmill running does suck, but it is still better than trying to run in an oven while wearing a wet blanket and trying to breath pudding. I stay motivated by signing up for a race, even if it is months away. Gotta keep moving if I want to get back in those skinny jeans by fall.

    • Good point. I’m only running a couple of miles, and that’s somewhat doable on the treadmill. It gives me a good opportunity to focus on hte strength training, which I mostly ignored when I was training for the half.

  4. Right there with you. I hate Summer running but I am sucking it up and doing shorter, slower runs and just keeping my legs used to running so that when I do kick it into gear in the Fall, my legs won’t freak out on me. I have taken to ignoring my pace or time and focus instead on not passing out or overheating. I stop and walk if I get too hot, which doesn’t take long but do keep moving. I refuse to let all my hard work go down the train. Short runs, baby- it’s where it’s at. And by short, I mean ANYTHING under 3 miles. Hell, I did a one mile run in 11:09 this morning at 85 degrees and consider that a HUGE success. ANd then I stopped running and did a strength workout cuz OMG- the f#$%ing heat.

    • That’s awesome Lisa! I have NO goals this summer but to keep my legs in shape like you said. And maybe stop eating like I’m burning 1000 calories in a long run. I’m definitely embracing the run/walk. There’s no other way! And I’m glad to get an opportunity to work on my strength again. I really didn’t do much of that training for Zooma. Let me know if you want to meet at the Town Lake Y sometime!

  5. I’ve been in a running slump for a full year. I was SO excited to start running after my second was born, but I just sucked and barely did anything. Now that the baby is a year, I’m trying to kick my butt, but it is so much easier to stay in. I’m still managing to go once a week at least, but I really should be going at least three or four times. I just need to love it again, you know?

    Good luck. I hope you find that motivation again soon. When you have it, it is great!

    • Laura, my youngest was 2.5 before I finally got my butt in gear, and it was mainly because my husband had signed me up for Tough Mudder. I NEED a clear goal to get me going, obviously!

  6. I hear you, and I’m afraid it’s going to be me come October. I actually kind of love my treadmill, though, if only because otherwise, I would not be able to run more than once a week. What if you took up swimming laps while the girls are swimming or something? That would keep you cool and in good shape.

    • Greta, my girls aren’t independent swimmers yet. I am so looking forward to that day!

  7. You are so funny and I swear if I lived in a warmer climate I probably wouldn’t run either! And I HATE my treadmill.

    • It sucks! Just need to find other ways to make up for the lack of running. Eating is not turning out to be a good choice.

  8. Eff running if it’s hotter than hot.

    Walk. Swim. Bike. Get yourself an old-school stair step and a Buns of Steel VHS tape, and have at it. Anything BUT running. I say, if you’re burned out, don’t do it. Fall will be here before you know it. I *did* just see a back-to-school ad the other day. {WTHeck?}

  9. You would thrive here. It has been so cold and rainy there is no excuse not to run. Of course I’ve managed to find excuses not to run.

    • Oooh and to run through roads in the French countryside? Okay, I’m moving to France for training season. ;)

  10. I’ve been slumping hard since the having of the baby a year ago. I’ve done a couple races that I halfheartedly “trained” for, if I can say trained and mean “ran like 3 times in a month at a doable pace with no agenda”

    And I was hardcore when I was pregnant, too! Did a 10k at 38 weeks! Ran 3 miles the morning I went into labor! Thennnnnnn I had the baby and I was just “ehh, eff this motivation noise. Pass the wine.”

    But now it’s time. I’m shopping half-marys for the fall. Going to register and commit this time, dammit.

    • “Eff this motivation noise.” Ha! That made me laugh out loud. You WERE hard core! And you’ll get there again. This baby crap messes you up. My youngest is 3 ad I just got back into it!