Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mileage, Motivation and my next race

It feels like it's been quite a while since I have written, but, truth be told, on the running front, there's not much to report. On the personal side of things, however, life has been all sorts of excellent.

As of this past Monday, I'm now a full-fledged member of both the New Hampshire and Massachusetts bars. After 3 long years in law school, I passed two bar exams and am finally and officially a lawyer. My job as a Public Defender is challenging and interesting, and I'm loving every minute of it. The job is everything I had hoped it would be, and it means so much more to have given so much up to get to where I am.

So, on the personal/professional side, I really have no complaints. I'm extremely happy with that part of my life and wouldn't change it for the world. The running side, however, is much more of a struggle.

Recently, I started to have back problems after I ran. In the past, that was always because I needed  new shoes. I went into the running store and they told me that I last got shoes in May. I thought that I had to have hit my 300 miles that I get on my shoes, especially because it's been so long. When I finally checked my mileage through Garmin, I was only at 158 miles. Since May! When I was on my virtual run from Philly to Los Angeles, I was going through running shoes like they were going out of style (though, frankly, they probably never were in style). Now I'm only 158 miles into shoes I bought in May. Oh, something has to change.

My mileage has been quite low. I still run 3 to 4 times a week (more often, it's 3, rather than 4 times), and I'm only running for 3-4 miles at a time (more often, it's closer to 3 miles). So, my mileage has been low and I haven't been going on longer runs. It's not that I think I can't do it. I just have no motivation to keep going. I'm bored to death with running.

I'm also getting into the coldest part of the year in New England, which means that it will be colder, snowier, icier and generally more treacherous to run in the winter. I did it remarkably well during law school, but my schedule is my rigid now, and my motivation is much lower.

So, I have a couple of options that I'm trying to figure out in my head. I could join a gym, but I absolutely detest gyms. I hate treadmills, and I don't like the time that a gym adds to my workout. It's always easier to just walk out of my house and go for a run. But, I think I could use some weight training to go with the cardio work that I'm doing now. I'm also trying to avoid paying $30+ a month for a gym. But I'm starting to waver.

I'm also thinking that I need to put a new goal out there so that I can start training. A co-worker is thinking about doing the Boston Prep 16-miler at the end of January. Since she lives close, I could do some training runs with her. I'm seriously considering it, because it would give me some motivation to get better mileage in as I prep for the race.

After I finally got to LA, my mileage dropped through the floor. I had been doing 20+ miles a week and that has fallen off. What's also fallen off is the number of calories I'm burning each week (down from 3,000 to about 1,000), which means that my waistline isn't quite as slim. Yet another problem.

So, long story long, I need some motivation to get myself out the door and to start burning more calories. Much, much easier said than done.


karen ball said...

I sympathise, having lost my running mojo too recently. Fear seems to be my greatest motivator, but I've proved to myself that I can do the half marathon distance. I don't want to do a full marathon, so where am I finding my fear now? I suspect I may need to enter a hilly half marathon... Keep going! (I, too, hate and resist gymns.)

Petraruns said...

All you can do - in my humble experience - is get back onto that wagon. Initially it will feel awful and slow and you will feel fat (you might not be - but that is how I feel when I get back on) but eventually the habit starts to stick again. And yes - a goal is needed. The 16 miler is a good target, setting a PR (10K? half mary?) in the next year another?

I have always HATED gyms but all of a sudden, for no good reason, I am liking it. Yes it costs money. But it's also warm and dry when it's snowy outside and it's GREAT for speedwork on the treadmill and well - you could swim or bike as well?

Whatever you do - you need to make a change to shake things up. Shake something loose in yourself. Just read your next post - find a new tune and associate it with a fresh start.