I assume you’ve heard of writers block, where you just can’t bring yourself to keep writing? I have runners block. I just can’t bring myself to go running. One easy fix would be to just not run, but I actually like running once I get out there. I struggle with the buildup, the process, the actually getting out and doing it. I literally come up with the most ridiculous excuses to avoid a good run (and I don’t think I’m alone in the habit). Here is how I kicked “runners block”…
Offender #1: “It’s too cold/hot/humid… I don’t like the weather”: This is North Carolina. There is bound to be interesting weather. The number of “perfect” running days are limited. I just accepted it. I’m never going to be a rainy runner- not my thing- but too hot and too cold I can get used to. As long as I wear weather appropriate clothes (layered in the winter and light and breathable in the summer) I can run comfortably. Also, with the mercury going up now, hydration is especially important. And if it gets really hot, I can always just run on the treadmill.
Offender #2: “I’m tired/busy”: This is kind of a double barreled excuse. A) I’m tired, and B) I’m busy. Let’s break this down, starting with I’m tired… I think Elle Woods (name that movie!*) said it best “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” It would really be to my advantage if I would just go. I’d have more energy and just feel all around better (and I happen to know this for a fact from the days I do go). This directly plays into “I’m busy.” I’d get more done if I wasn’t tired. Plus, what would I really be doing with the 20 minutes that the run would take? I’d likely be on Facebook rather than doing anything productive.
Offender #3: “I need to go fast or not at all.”: A little background – I used to be a runner, a sprinter to be specific. I have no ability to pace myself. As a sprinter, this was fine ;however, trying to make the transition to long-distance was a challenge. Without a running partner, I would take off for a “casual” 3 miler and have myself completely beat within the first mile, forcing me to stop and walk. The first few times that this happened, I felt pretty defeated. How could I be this out of shape? This is just embarrassing- who walks when they run!? However, with the help of some dedicated running partners (thanks friends!). I’ve slowly learned the lesson, slow and steady wins the race, and it’s okay to stop and walk when you’re feeling overexerted.
Offender #4: “Routine/Boredom”: It’s natural to get bored of movies, of books, of music, but somehow I never thought about my running routine, which in hindsight seems like it should have been pretty obvious. Running the same 2-4 mile loop repeatedly is boring. Luckily, I had my running partners (thanks again, friends) who lived in different communities, so we were able to switch it up. I’m also psyched to try some of the loops suggested by Cardinal Track Club. I’ve really found switching it up helps me to stay interested and run longer.
That’s my story. What about you?