Friday, October 23, 2015

The Well-Read Runner: In Search of Mojo

OMG, a Well-Read Runner post that's not on a Sunday!  These running posts are getting insidious!!

Full confession: I have slacked way off on running lately.  At the beginning of October (like 10 seconds after I signed up for the Four Seasons Challenge, OF COURSE), an unexpected health issue (long story, but basically a heart arrhythmia) came up that required me to stop running for about a week.  At the end of that week, my doctor gave me the okay to continue my running regimen as usual, even though a few more tests are being done on me through the end of this month.  While the doctor's okay should have been enough to make me lace up the shoes again, it wasn' least, not entirely.

I've been running since my doctor approved it, but the runs haven't been much fun.  They've been fraught with worry (will the palpitations start up again?  Will speed work aggravate them?  If I didn't fuel/hydrate the right way before the run, will they come back?).

And let me tell you--not-fun running kind of sucks.  It's real hard to get up at 5am on a Tuesday to knock down 4 miles when you know you're going to spend 90% of the time stressing out.

At this point, the medical testing is nearly completed, I have fewer and fewer reasons to worry, and runs are getting a bit easier, mentally.  But all this has left me feeling rather dispassionate about developing a training plan for the Winter Warrior half on January 9.  A twelve week program would have me start training, but even with the OK from my doctor, I feel like I've fallen out of my running routine and am having trouble getting the motivation to make any sort of training schedule.

That said, I have a general idea of how I'd like to structure each week.  I'm going rogue and not following a strict Hal Higdon/Nike +/whatever schedule this time around, because I've learned a few things about my body with the last two half marathons, and want to adjust accordingly.

Sunday: long run,
Monday: yoga,
Tuesday: run,
Wednesday: BodyPump (just tried this earlier in the month, LOVED it, been looking for some good strength training!!),
Thursday: rest,
Friday: run,
Saturday: rest.

I know, that's only 3 runs a week.  But for this cycle, I really want to add yoga, I really want to add strength training, I really don't have time to double-up workouts in one day, and I really want 2 rest days.  So that's where it leaves me.

However, if I make those 2 weekday runs work for me (maybe speed work one day, hills the other), it should be adequate.  Winter Warrior is on a completely flat course anyway, so I could probably skip hills and perhaps just do a longer weekday run (4-5 miles instead of my usual 3-4)...because the big factor in the WW race is getting used to running in the arctic cold.  So time spent outside on the roads is valuable no matter what.  Right?  This is what I'm telling myself!

I'm hoping that if I keep to that schedule, I will fall back into a happy running routine within a couple of weeks.  We all have peaks and valleys with this crazy sport, don't we??  And apparently, this is one of my valleys.  But I know it's time to climb out...I just need to find the foothold that will get me started.

How do you find your running mojo when it goes missing?


  1. I'm just re-discovering my running mojo, so this is such a timely issue for me too. I'm still experimenting with what works for me - but so far, what has been working is running after I do an activity I'm excited about. This means doign Crossfit first, and then running after (on most days). Since running is my main priority (right now) - I don't go crazy heavy in Crossfit. And since I'm already out and about, I just stay after to run. The fatigue from Crossfit usually wears off in about 10 minutes, and I feel energized and ready to rock a run.

    Oh - and awesoem music. I start playing my workout music as I get ready to leave the house! I've been using FitMusic app ($2.99/mth) and I can't say enough good things. I really don't have the time to download workout music - so paying for this works for me.

    And you've been so motivating me to run - I love reading your reports. End of very lengthy comment :-)

    Tanya Patrice

    1. Thanks for all the suggestions! Your comment about Crossfit vs running is relevant for me, as I was focusing most of this year 100% on running. Little-to-no cross training or strength work...I never felt like I needed/wanted to do it I guess, because if I want to run a race, I just RUN, right?? Then I started to realize that if I ever wanted to get better at running (and stay injury free), that wasn't the case. So even though my current plan doesn't include as much running as I'd normally like, I'm still pretty excited about it because I'm getting some much-needed variety. Plus, this winter half marathon is definitely not going to be about a's going to be about getting over the finish line with all fingers and toes still functioning. Haha...

      I'm happy I've helped to motivate you! I get so much motivation from other runner bloggers as well. I love seeing your running posts too, even though I have been terrible about commenting lately I DO see them! :)

  2. Just keep moving. See how it goes. Even if you have to go slow.

    1. Getting back into the routine is a big part of it for sure. Just getting out there is going to help bring me back!

  3. My dog's name is Mojo, so I have a never ending supply. Ha. I'm currently healing a foot injury and would love to be running instead. We all go through running cycles and I'm sure your Mojo will return. You have a good plan in place. I'm currently pool running and cycling. This injury has taught me to always incorporate something besides running into my regular routine. Good luck in your training.

    1. I am so sad for your injury, but that is a valuable lesson for sure! A big reason why I am starting yoga and body pump is because I know I need to mix it up in order to keep injuries at bay. I was reluctant to cross train for a long time, but I'm starting to see the value.

  4. This is the general purpose! You're acquainting your body with the requests of your race pace, yet you are separating it into fragments. Cotswolds Half Marathon

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