How do you deal with a lack of motivation in running?

OK, guys. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking these past few weeks of inactivity on here about what I could write about when I made my reappearance. I had big ideas about inspirational topics and running tips. But that felt wrong. Ingenuine.

Back when I started my Instagram account 2.5 years ago I made a promise to myself, and later to the IG world at large, that I would remain transparent. I’d take you through the highs of training, as well as the lows. With that being said, it felt imperative that I share on here the struggle I’ve had with running these past 2 months.

Coming off my BQ marathon this past April I thought I’d take 2 solid weeks off and then be ready to chase some big goals in the shorter distances this summer and fall. For a month or two, I did. I ran a few 5ks and raced a street mile and set new post-baby PRs in both distances. I felt like I was finally hitting my stride (pun totally intended) in training. I felt amazing. Until I didn’t.

I had my sights set on a big PR at the Columbus Half Marathon this October. My stretch goal was to sneak in under 1:30. I firmly believe my fitness at that time could be improved enough to get there. It felt very tough, but also doable.

Mid-July is when that changed. I started feeling sluggish on every. single. run. I couldn’t hit pace in workouts. I couldn’t finish more than 6 miles in my long run. I felt out of breath, my HR would skyrocket, and my legs felt dead. After having my ferritin tested, I found out it was at a 27. Not the worst I’ve seen in distance runners. But it’s also not great. I’m confident in saying that steep decline in performance was attributed to my iron levels dropping.

I started supplementing immediately and made a few diet changes to incorporate more iron-rich foods. I also drastically cut back my mileage for a few weeks. And somewhere along the way, my motivation to keep running at the same intensity dropped off a cliff. All the drive and intensity I had the past 12 months was gone.

But you know the worst part of it? I felt guilty about it. And I felt embarrassed that my mileage was so low for no “real” reason. My runs have since started to feel so much better. I know my iron levels are on the up and up. But my motivation to run consistently and to put in some serious hard work is not. With school starting for my kiddos and work intensity ramping up, it feels even harder to get myself out there.

So how do you shift your mindset when you’re struggling with a lack of motivation? I wish I had a magical answer or quote to leave you with, but I don’t. I’m hoping that one of these days my motivation will reappear and I’ll be more driven to chase these goals than I currently am.

For now, I continue to lace up as often as possible and just focus on getting myself out the door. I know that with consistency and patience, the tides will eventually turn. And when they do, I’ll be ready to crush those big goals I have.

Here’s to keeping it real.

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