The beginning of this week didn’t go so well to say the least. A mixture of a bad run on Monday, combined with the on-slot of rain, I was in somewhat of a terrible mood. Sunday through Wednesday I was just tired all day, every day. Waking up early (7am being “early for me and should be easy) to go for a run felt more like a chore than a privilege. Monday morning I was able to drag myself out of bed for a run, but the mere 4mile run felt like a challenge – my hamstring was tight with pain and I felt drained. After having such a wonderful running week the week before and completing a 10mile run with such ease on Saturday, Monday was such a let down. I was in a bad mindset where I did not want to run for fear of “failing” and not being able to complete the mileage. This got me to thinking, how do you bring back that passion for running when you feel like you’ve lost that “lovin’ feeling?”
To get out of my rut, I decided I needed to try a run with “no obligations” and get back to basics; run for enjoyment. For this to happen, I needed to do a few things:
1) No time limits – I needed to run where I wasn’t waking up early or rushing to be somewhere by a certain time. This also includes, no min. or max. on how long I would run.
2) Kickin’ it old school – I enjoy my Garmin and tracking pace/time/distance, but when I’m racing myself or setting goals for every run, I’m not running for the fun of it. In order to run purely for enjoyment, I needed to run without my Garmin (or any tracking device).
3) No Fuel, No Problem – No fuel belt or water bottle. I wanted to run without any “extra baggage.” However, I wanted to be prepared because I didn’t want hunger or thirst to squander my run. So instead of a fuel belt, I put some cash, a credit card and a metro card in the pockets of my running shorts. This way, if I needed any “fuel” I could stop and get it the old fashion way – after all, going back to #1 (no time limits), I would have time to vere off route or take a short break.
I took a PTO on Thursday for mental health, so it was the perfect time for my “back to basics run.” I slept until about 8am, but stayed in bed until 9am watching the Today Show. My boyfriend and I (he works from home) made blueberry pancakes and watched some more Today Show (I really love the Today Show haha). By 10am I was awake and fed so I set out on my run. I ran along the East River and was surprised how many other runners where out there at 10am – doesn’t anyone in the city work!? My legs were well rested from 2 days off and I felt OK. Rockin’ along to “Lite FM Radio” on my ipod I peacefully jaunted along the East River down to the Williamsburg Bridge. On a regular morning I usually turn around at that point due to time constraints, but as I had the whole day ahead of me I figured “what the heck!” and continued on. I made it all the way to the Brooklyn Bridge when I decided I wanted to turn around. The whole time I was telling myself, “If I want to stop and walk, or stretch, it’s OK!” I think just having that fall back that I wasn’t obligated to do anything, helped me continue on. When I got back to my apartment I mapped my run on mapmyrun.com out of curiosity. Turns out I ran about 6.5miles! I felt good and all the sweat session was helping to perk up my overall mood too.
Exercise always helps to get me out of a funk. Thursday night I continued my mission to pick myself up and went to try a Kettle Ball Kickboxing class with Melissa and Laura from fitforclass.com. The class was a free event put on by Athleta. Below is a picture taken after the class, the woman in the red bra was the instructor:
I’ve never exercised with kettle balls at all, so everything about this class was completely new to me. I think this particular class was a little more “tamed” than the regular classes probably are because it was an introduction, but let’s just say there was a LOT of squatting going on and my butt, abs, thighs and back were definitely feeling it. The instructor was a good motivator and kept the class fun, but focused. Kettle balls were pretty easy to work and my lack of kettle ball experience didn’t create any type of learning curve. I’d recommend trying it out if you’re looking to change up your workout routine. Overall I would describe the class as a a good heart pounding way to incorporate strength training into your routine. After the class I felt like I had gotten a real work out; I don’t always get that feeling when I just lift weights on my own.
It was good for me to shake up my routine by trying something new! I felt invigorated after Thursday and ready to tackle the second half of the week with a little more ‘joie de vivre’!
QUESTIONS: How do you pull yourself out of a running or exercise rut?? Does the rain bring anyone else down as much as it does to me!? How do you pick yourself up when you haven’t seen sunshine in a few days??