My calender for August; just the message I needed.

Many of you already know that I've been in a rut for the last month or so.  I haven't been excited about running at all.  It all started after the Rock The Night Away! Trail Half Marathon.  I set myself up to have a bad race just to see how I'd fare and I did okay in the race itself, but I didn't recover from it the way I expected.  I sucked it up after that and still managed to complete my first triathlon on July 8th, but the rut continued after.  I just had little or no motivation most of the time.  The heat has had a lot to do with it; this has been the hottest year in recorded history in Kansas and we are in a horrible drought.  I was also questioning my reasoning behind the goals I was pushing for, but more on that later.  I've always swore I would never let running feel like work, but that's exactly what it was becoming.  Then along came the Psycho Psummer 50k.  It was crazy hot, it was crazy humid and I got a good, old fashion beat-down.  I ended up dropping to the 22.5 mile which still took me 6 1/2 hours to complete.  After that I had no interest in running at all.

From Psycho Psummer (7/14) through the end of July I only ran 3 times for a total of 16.53 miles!  That's in 17 days!  Not really like me.  That gave me a total for the month of July of 59.3 miles, my lowest in a month since June '11 when I on;y ran for part of the month and was recovering from a stress fracture in my foot, and the least in a healthy month since August of '10.  It is one of the lowest months I've had in the almost 3 years I've been running.  I just felt burnt out, uninterested an not driven to my goals as I have been in the past.  That had me looking at why I do the things I do.  I think since I started I've pushed myself very hard to go further and harder.  I never stop to look around and enjoy the journey or to actually improve at a given distance before moving on.  I starting looking at the goal of running a 100 miler back last year and it snowballed on me.  I don't think I've ever taken the time to get back into shape after my stress fracture last year and I don't think I've taken the time to improve at the shorter distances to be mentally and physically ready for 100.

I was thinking about that a lot.  I decided that Rocky Raccoon in February just was too soon for me to be running 100.  I stared adjusting my goals.  I'm now planning on my first 50 mile at Rocky.  Overall fitness and improvement is now my key focus.  I looked at my fall race plan and removed the vast majority including deciding to volunteer at the Hawk instead of running my first 50 mile there.  I've gotten back to watching what I eat and I'm starting strength training again.  I have put on about 25 lbs since before I started training for my first marathon.  Time to get back to where I was and where I want to be.  I also want to improve at the half marathon, marathon and 50k distances.  Not necessarily time, but just feel like I'm stronger and better at running them, if improved times come with that then great.  Tonight (8/6) I'm starting on an 11 week marathon training plan which will be aided by my new-found love of cycling, swimming and getting back to strength training and healthier eating.  For next year I plan to do the 50 mile in Feb in Rocky then focus on some half marathons, triathlons and a 70.3 Half Ironman.  I want to build a truly strong foundation to build back up.

Every day I feel better mentally and today, for the first time in over a month, I am really looking forward to getting off work and going for a run.  I'm ready to get back to what made me so passionate about running in the first place.  The love of how it makes me feel and the love of how it improved my health.  It's a new month (I actually restarted my goals on 8/1) and a fresh mindset.  I know this is the best decision for me and a return to the drive to be successful that I've been missing the last month or so.  Let's all remember to renew our goals and remember why we fight for the things we do.  Never forget, it's supposed to be hard work, but it's also supposed to be fun!


  1. Sounds like wisdom to me, Bryan. Thanks for sharing.


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