After my last half marathon in September I was burnt out. It was hot, humid, and my time was 30 minutes longer than my very first half marathon. I had forced myself to train even when I hated it, and my results really sucked. After all of this I fell out of love with running. Seriously, just the thought of running made me miserable.
So I quit.
Instead I went to the gym and mainly lifted weights or used a stationary bike. But, slowly, time passed and I found myself on the dreadmill. It started with intervals to encourage fat-burn and eventually these intervals developed into long, steady runs about the length of whatever show I had downloaded to my phone.
In late 2016 I had declared 2017 to be the year of no races but barely six weeks later I found myself registered for a 10K and a 5K (I added a second 10K registration a little later), and was debating a half marathon for the fall.
Taking time off had allowed me to not only like or love running again, but I had truly missed it.
There are many things I’m doing differently this year while training for races, but one of the biggest things is that I’m focusing on changing my language. Instead of saying that I have to go on a training run, I focus on saying that I get to go on a run. Surprisingly, this subtle change in tone really reminds me that running is not my job and I shouldn’t force myself to run if I really don’t want to. But telling myself I have the opportunity to go for a 5-, 10-, or 15-kilometer run, or I that get to test myself through speed training, helps me remember that this is something that I love to do and I’m lucky to be able to dedicate the time to something I’m passionate about.