Breakthrough! Longest run since Disney Thursday – a mere 8 miles – but I forced myself to trudge through it, and frankly, it really wasn’t that bad.

Now, most people never run 8 miles straight in their entire lives, but those of you who are endurance athletes understand. Eight miles isn’t really much when you’ve got your sights on 10, 13.1 or 26.2…or farther.

As I’m heading into another bout of marathon training, it’s important to get these longer miles under my belt. I’ve got time – 16 weeks – but it’s time to start building. Physically, I’m fine.

Mentally, I’m not sure I’m there. And when you’re weak mentally, you’re toast.

Our energies and enthusiasms ebb and flow, no matter how much you love an activity. I find this true for everything – from swimming to yoga to lifting. I’m in a running downswing right now – and much more excited about classes: yoga, cycling, strength, fusion.

Stoic adherence to a plan can be counterproductive when you’re attitude’s on the fritz. We award and celebratcropped-carrey-interp-1.jpge suffering and unflappable commitment in our culture, but this isn’t your only option. You aren’t fated to just suck it up and make it through.

 

 

 

 

How do you get yourself out of a rut and re-enthused about something you know, deep down, you love, but — for the moment – for which you’ve lost the passion?  Here’s some ideas:

  • Don’t fight it. If you’re burned out, you’re burned out. Perhaps distancing yourself from the activity is just what you need. After all, distance makes the heart grow fonder. Take a week, two weeks or a few months off.
  • Make it new again. Approach the activity in a different way. For example, with running, find a new running group, take trail runs inside or treadmill runs outside. Focus on short, sweet miles rather than distance. Sign up for an adventure: a relay or a triathlon, which still has running but that’s not all.
  • Exude gratitude. It’s the yogi in me talking. Be grateful for what your body can do and promise yourself not to waste it. This doesn’t mean suffering, it means freeing yourself from expectations. Instead of attempting to be the best, to set a personal record or go all-out every time, settle. Acceptance goes a long way in creating a calmer mind and openness to an activity that’s become too stressful.
  • Give yourself permission. Ditch the timers and pace goals. Have fun in workouts again. There’s a time to challenge yourself, but also a time to let loose. Remind yourself why you started — because you like (insert activity here), not because you have to.

 

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