Running Highs to Low Low Lows

The weeks all before last I’ve been on a running high. I’ve non stopped completed most all my planned workouts from my coach and then some. I’ve logged miles on the treadmill and run in snow and ice and to have even managed all that made me feel extremely accomplished. It’s true what they say about that runners high and those endorphins for me feel so good and make me so happy I look forward to the next workout. I spend my workday thinking about the next run, planing my route, and even plan what I’m going to wear.   You could say running is the highlight of my day.

Last week something happened I was on a total running low. Sounds strange seeing as how I spent the day at a Nike photo shoot that was all about what I love to do…run. Normal behavior would suggest that would only be more motivation on top of all the other reasons why I love to run to get out the door and run. It was completely the opposite dreading the run after work and not all to motivated to do it. I made the excuses to not run, not get out the door, and be a sad couch potato.

Talk about low I let the stresses of the late work days, life, my commute, and a little bit of the weather keep me from lacing up my shoes. I partly mostly blame the wacky weather because I personally weigh the risks of getting out the door. I ask myself – Is it worth falling on ice? Sickness? Or developing a running injury/muscle pull? Sure call me a worry wort but its not like I have a race right around the corner so for me the risk is too high to push myself running in poor conditions.  I also considered the treadmill even though I despise the device it wasn’t the reason why I didn’t step foot on it. I simply worked way too late last week to stay at my work gym in DC as getting home at 9PM is awful.

I got way too comfortable doing nothing that all those happy running high endorphins I was lacking made me want to be even more lazy.  It’s absolutely unfair how that works as it’s a terrible pattern to get stuck in.   Now I can totally relate to getting stuck in a workout rut.  I even slept passed my alarm, skipped a free yoga season, and then skipped my run on Saturday. At the very least I told myself last week be active on Saturday and I just couldn’t snap out of the running low funk. Maybe I needed this “running low” past week off from running?

Saturday Morning this is what it looked like outside!

Saturday Morning this is what it looked like outside!

I’m not proud of taking the week off, I didn’t plan for it, and to be honest I’m mad that I let myself do it. I think I’ve figured out why I let it happen and its called stress which for me is hard to adjust to.  I’m usually a pretty predictable stress ball but an unusual week of things kept coming up and my only coping mechanism, because I was so exhausted was do nothing.  I think I learned more than anything this past week is to power through the stress by taking a deep breath and finding something else that is active to engage in because the non-active method makes things worse. The balancing act of healthy mind=healthy body.

I really liked this so I "snap shot it" from instagram.

I really liked this so I “snap shot it” from instagram.

so no more running lows over here!

Here is the absolute kicker just as I’m ready to get out there and hit the pavement again we get this kind of weather today…

And then you would think a week off inside doing nothing means I’m rested and in good health. Unfortunately not…I’ve developed an annoying cough/throat/nose/sinus everything in the cold book sickness. It’s like history repeats itself because everytime I stop and relax I get sick…why is that?

This upcoming week is going to have to be adjusted running wise not only because I skipped last week but because now I can’t breathe without coughing. For all those who stuck with running last week through the snow, ice, and freezing temperatures your my motivation this week- no excuses wish me luck!

Did you just up and stop running for a week , why? Do you have running highs? What about lows? How is winter running treating you?

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About Holly

Just a twenty something DC professional dedicated to my personal running goals and blogging about fitness, food, and fashion goodies! Follow me as I continue to discover the right balance in this crazy busy world. Cheers!
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16 Responses to Running Highs to Low Low Lows

  1. Mark Newman says:

    Hey, Hol! So here’s what I’ve learned in 7+ years of doing this running thing. Let the lulls be lulls and take the time to smell other flowers and enjoy life and don’t stress over it too much. It actually makes it feel more exciting when the big weeks come along leading up to big races. After I ran the 2008 NYC Marathon and then the Knickerbocker 60K 2 weeks later, I was supercharged and then I had a hard time dealing with “what’s my purpose in doing this?” and how do I motivate myself to keep running hard, etc. Then in June of 2009 I wound up running the entire NJ Marathon in the rain and carrying a box with an engagement ring the final mile for Lisa at the finish line. The big moments come along and they are awesome, and they are bigger when we don’t stress too much over the quieter, “why am I doing this” times of question and uncertainty. That’s usually a good cue to improve in some other areas, work on a book, adopt a dog, go on a great trip, etc. It might not be great wisdom but this much I have learned in the course of my running. When you least expect it, a major sponsor comes along to invite you to a magical race, or you meet someone, or…oh you’ll know it. Be grateful for laid-back because it makes top-of-the-world better. :)

    Mark aka @marathoner

    • Holly says:

      This response Mark is exactly what I needed to hear. I think I’m still new to running full time and defining what that really means. You really gave me a new perspective on taking time off so thank you for that! I love that you proposed at a race that’s so amazing! Lucky gal!

  2. I’ve so been there. I lost almost ALL motivation to run pretty much just as Thanksgiving hit. That sucked because I was doing the Runner’s World Holiday RunStreak, but my heat wasn’t in it. I’ve been feeling better, but I do think I just had a case of the “blahs.” Plus, I do NOT run well on ice/snow. I know I’ve done this as a tweet before, but seriously — I’ve gotten lost in Christmas tree lots, how the hell would I do a snowy trail?? So, yes, the blahs are a real thing to be respected.

    But — two things. First, you do come out of them. I am already happier nowadays as I get back to running (and with a Maui trip in the future, that helps), and I see the fire slowly re-lighting in me.

    Second – Holly, you are — by far — one of the 5 names I could rattle off right now that would shake off an illness/sickness and be back in top form before you know it. You’ll be blowing people off the running paths sooner than you think! Respect the illness, rest your body as needed, and know you won’t lose a step. You darn youths. ;) :P

    • Holly says:

      Thank you so much for this response. It really meant a lot reading it from you! I think we were both in similar situations after two marathons this past fall. Time off certainly felt good after that. Your right that maybe it’s ok to just take a step back when you feel like it. Your responses always make me laugh you really should write professionally for runners world or something!

  3. Mark Newman says:

    Also, I completely quit running for a month after this past Thanksgiving. I paid for it a little bit by losing so much base, but man I had a blast. :)


  4. I definitely have running lows and it’s usually good to listen to your body and take a break. Do something else or nothing at all but usually taking a few days or a week will make you miss it! The weather here is awful but I went out in the rain on Monday b/c I just can’t stand the treadmill any longer!!! Good luck getting your groove back and I hope your sickness passes quickly!

    • Holly says:

      Thanks for your response Allie! I can’t imagine you ever taking a break so to hear you say it’s ok that makes me feel good. Turns out I was really really sick so I definitely should listen to my body in the future. Thanks for making me feel good about time off!

  5. Meaghan says:

    I totally understand. When I have off times, I feel like I don’t deserve to call myself a runner despite the years of running I’ve done! I know deep down that a break is just a break and not a big deal…try to use the extra time doing another kind of exercise you feel better about. When I’m in a running rut, I do more spin and it gets me back into the swing of things!

    • Holly says:

      Thanks so much for the response and I love your tip on trying something different. Everyone talks so much about spin and I’m beginning to think I must be missing out on something so I’m going to have to try. Hopefully we can both get out of our rut!

  6. piratebobcat says:

    I have basically taken 2 weeks off since the Dopey. I did go out for a 5 miler on Saturday because we had great weather, but as soon as I finished, I got a fever and a cold, and so I think my body was telling me to rest a little longer. But today I’ve finally got that stir crazy feeling back, so I packed my running gear!!! I have been thoroughly enjoying the break though! I hope you do and that you get to feeling better!!!!!

    • Holly says:

      Thank you so much for the response. If I were you I would definitely take the time off. You deserve it! I think your right about the stir craZy feeling
      Maybe I needed to take time off to get back in the groove.

  7. I was in a running lull for about six weeks after the marathon. I waited and waited and waited until I finally felt inspired to run, then of course when I was ready I got a cold and an ear infection. I think we have to go through the highs and lows. Sometimes they are after a big race and other times they just hit us in the middle of training. Oh, life. Take the rest, and you’ll come back stronger. Your body will definitely tell you if it’s too soon. And I think the mental break is really necessary too, but that’s just me. I totally know the runner’s guilt of not following a plan. This year is going to be awesome for you, can’t wait to follow and hopefully run with you once or twice!

    • Holly says:

      I think your right Malloy! Maybe it should be the new normal to take a break and take time off. I feel like races always help fuel the motivation and I have a feeling it’s going to start working as the dates near. I’m looking forward to this year too hoping we can et a race or to in together.

  8. I’ve been in a lull too!! I just can’t get my mind in the right place – this weather is the worst. I’m in Philadelphia. I hope we both get out of the funk soon!

    • Holly says:

      Glad I’m not the only one. The weather is the worst isn’t it? Then spring gets here and I’m wishing I had put in the miles because I love being outside in the weather running. Hopefully we can both get out of the funk soon!

  9. Pingback: Tales of a Sick Girl | Race it, Live it, Love it

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