Tuesday, June 14, 2011

When Motivation Goes Away

Motivation is a funny thing...  Sometimes I have so much of it I feel like I'm bursting at the seems.  Other times, I can't get motivated to tie my own shoes.  Most of the time, I find myself somewhere in the middle, trending towards feeling sufficiently motivated to do the things I need to do.  I like this.  I am happy at this point.  For the last week and a half or so, though, where my running and fitness are concerned, I have found myself with very little motivation to do anything.  I have been staying up late and sleeping in (well, I should say "sleeping in" because for me, that means anything later than 7 a.m.), going out with friends for dinner and drinks, generally soaking up the couple of weeks that I have in Columbia and through all this, my desire to lace up the running shoes has been zip.

In my experience, some things affect motivation more than others.  For example, heat and especially humidity can majorly cramp one's style.  Also, sometimes not having a specific race to train for can leave a person feeling less motivated.  I believe that I have encountered the perfect storm of motivation-sucking conditions these last several days.  First of all, (let's not lie) the CICADAS!!!  (yes - I am a wimp)  Seriously, the thought of going out for a "peaceful" run, all the while being divebombed by screaming, screeching, nasty cicadas has been a bit unappealing.  The few times I have gone out for a run, I have gone earlier in the day or in the evening when they're not so bad.  This helps some.  Second, that whole staying up late, sleeping in, going out with friends thing...  Enough said there.  Third, I have been earning my "cred" as an anthropologist early, immunizing myself against all sorts of things, preparing for my trip to Bangladesh in the fall.  Yesterday, I had three shots in my shoulders and have been in some pain since then.  Today, I took my first dose of an oral typhoid vaccine, which resulted in a couple hours of major nausea.  (I was not a pretty sight today...)  And, I could literally go on and on with what are basically beginning to sound like excuses.

Truth be told, after a grueling semester, training for and running a half marathon, and the recent breakup, I am emotionally and mentally spent.  Spending my time right now getting some R&R, hanging out with good friends, and generally doing nothing (I am working 5 hours a day right now, but it's pretty laid back) has been really nice.  My normal life consists of schedules for work, sleep, food, exercise, and fun (should I say "fun" if I have to schedule it? haha), and involves doing a lot of what I "should" do or what I need to do.  And it feels pretty good to take some time off of all of that for a couple of weeks.

The thing is, though, I know this won't last long.  Once I get back to Lincoln and back into more of a normal (normal for summer) routine, I fully expect to be right back at it, running, cross-training, lifting weights, and yoga-ing it up.  Because I REALLY ENJOY doing all of that!  And I know that taking a little bit of well-deserved and much-needed time off will actually make me feel more motivated to get back to the workouts that I love and will allow me to enjoy them even more.

For now, I'm going to pay attention to what my mind and body are telling me and just relax.  I'm going to soak it up and I'm not going to feel guilty about it.


  1. Give yourself some slack, Katie! I would be more concerned if you were sitting at home alone at night, drinking too much and listening to Cowboy Junkies' "The Trinity Session" all night long (been there, done that:) With cicadas and Missouri humidity (I swear it's stickier down there), I think I'd be staying in a little more too. Take some time to recuperate from your hectic schedule, etc., then come back and run with the Peeps in a couple of weeks:)

  2. A little break is good for the soul. Enjoy this time off ~ you will be running with the peeps soon ~ they will get you back on track!!