Sunday, June 9, 2013

Life After 26.2: Runner Burnout

It’s been exactly 2 weeks since the Buffalo Marathon and I am currently experiencing a severe case of runner burnout. When I say a severe case of runner burnout, I mean bad enough to want to drop out of all of the races that I have already registered for this summer. At this point, my lack of motivation is mostly mental. I was surprised at how quickly my body actually bounced back from the marathon and all soreness was gone by the end of the first week. Since the marathon, I have lost the spark to run that I have had all spring. I just do not want to run at all anymore, but I am hoping that I can get back that motivation to run again soon. I feel like I have lost everything that I have worked so hard for over the past few months. I have run 3 times since the marathon and all 3 of those runs have been a struggle. I ran a very slow 2 miles a few days after the marathon and then took a few more days off. I was able to get a 4 mile run and a 2 mile run in this past week. When I went out for the 2 miler, I was actually hoping to do 3 or 4, but my body just felt like it could not do more than 2. I was easily able to run 10 miles just a month ago and now it is a struggle to just run 2 miles.

When you train for a marathon, no one ever tells you how much of a struggle the days following the marathon will be. I knew that there would be a lot of soreness following the marathon, but that is expected with any big race. I was happy that I was only sore for a few days and that I finished this marathon without any injury. While my body was extremely sore for a few days after the marathon, I actually had trouble sleeping the first few days after the marathon. The runner’s high lasted for several days and I think that is why my body was not willing to go to bed before 1am for several days. The insomnia did not last very long and by the middle of that week I was just exhausted. When you’re exhausted, running is the last thing that you want to do so I listened to my body and took some time off. I was glad to have another excuse not to run. I have had no desire to run since the marathon and had to force myself to go running the 3 times that I did run. I never thought that running a marathon would give me such a mental runner burnout. I just do not have the same passion for running right now that I used to. I have had a few people tell me that my journey to 26.2 was what inspired them to begin running. I almost feel a little bit guilty writing this post because this is the furthest thing from inspiring people to run. Now is the time that I could use a little bit of motivation myself to begin running again.

I think that there are several factors contributing to my lack of motivation to run now. It is the end of the school year so work is extremely busy. In fact, life is just extremely busy right now. My body is just tired from the marathon and all of the traveling and has not really had a chance to catch up on sleep yet. I have been doing quite a bit of traveling recently between long weekends, different races and my brother’s upcoming wedding. I have spent a lot of time in my car over the past couple months. My running sneakers do not really feel the need to spend time on the pavement since my car tires have done so much of that. Luckily, things are beginning to slow down and summer is quickly approaching. Running experts say that it takes about a month to recover from a marathon so I am hoping to really get back into it once school ends and summer vacation begins. I have a few races that I am already registered for this summer so hopefully my body will be back in top shape by then. My next race is the Corporate Challenge this Thursday and hopefully the rest of my coworkers will not embarrass me too badly when I come in last place!