Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Breaking Out of a Running Funk

After I had my second child, I was more than eager to get back into running. My postpartum recovery this time around was slow and painful and so were the first few months back into running. Oooh, aah, OUCH! The pressure on my lower woman parts was making my return to running very challenging. On top of that, I was learning how to run with such a fuller chest. But in about three months, I was able to run between 15-20 miles/week at an average pace of 11:00 min/mile. Not bad, right?! I started losing weight until I hit a runner's rut 6 months later. The last few pounds and inches were going nowhere.

What is a runner's funk? It's my way of saying "no motivation to run." First, I would just snooze the alarm when it beeped at 4:30 AM. I figured I'd just call my sister to watch my girls at lunchtime so I could get in a run. Or I would run when my husband returned home from work. Then weeks later, I didn't bother setting the alarm. I just didn't run. I didn't work out, period. I would just sleep in until my girls awoke. Sure, I felt guilty but I just didn't have the motivation to run. Just the thought of doing it made me tired. I was frustrated because I wasn't losing any more weight.

In hindsight, I should have read my own list of ways to break out of a running funk. But you see, I'm not a forward thinker, nor am I that bright. I know many lists on this topic are out there for us to read but this is what works for me.

1.) Run intervals on a treadmill like a mad woman. I guess this is two tips in one. First, varying your runs on a treadmill, which is where I typically run (hence the blog name), is key. This tip came from my former bodybuilding competitor husband. This helped me shave seconds off of my running pace and it decreased my run time on the treadmill. (C'mon, I was running out of magazines to read and movies to watch on the DVD player.)
Also, running while angry at someone or something can hurry your run along. I remember getting upset with my husband quite often, so having that time alone on the treadmill was a way to vent my frustration.
 2.) Find a new workout. Yes, running was becoming a bore. I remember dreading my runs on the treadmill, and running outside was not an option for me here. I mentioned this in my Lost and Found post. But I later discovered Turbofire and found my new workout soulmate. It changed the way I think about working out (that it can be fun), changed my body (I went from a size 8 to a size 2 in 3 months), and improved my eating habits (cut the soda, sweets, and french fries). Althought Turbofire is my new love, in a close second behind running, I also tried Zumba and kickboxing for a few months.

3.) Sign up for a virtual race or challenge. In the blog world, there are a number of virtual races you can compete in and share your successes. You can also win prizes. (None won yet.) There's the Cupcake Classic and Joggermom Marathon, to name a few.

For me, running is not just the ONLY way I can maintain my weight and gain fitness. There are other just as challenging workouts. Step out of your comfort zone. Trust me...shaking my booty to "Tootsie Roll" was hard to do at first but I learned to let loose. I learned that I could also love kickboxing because my instructor challenged us with walking lunges and jump squats.

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