Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Talk about the passion


As I wind down my final preparation for the Chicago Marathon, DebRuns picks a word that sums up my feelings about running: Passion. A lot of people associate the word passion with love. What's it like to have a passion for an activity?

I talk a lot about running, both here on the blog and in real life. 

When I was a child, I ran but it was never for fitness. It was part of play or just to get somewhere in a hurry. I lived in the country and my sisters and I ran through the fields that lie between our home and our cousins' homes. We ran through the woods behind my grandparents' farm.

But running to run? Oh no. I didn't "like" to run. And when I was in high school, running wasn't yet "a thing".

Fast forward to life as an adult. Overwhelmed with responsibility and ill-equipped to cope with the stress of being a "grownup",  I rediscovered running to help me focus and burn off some of that negative energy. I began to love running. Running helped me quiet those voices in my head that told me I wasn't enough. I was able to tackle those previously difficult life tasks that in the past would have made me anxious. 

I made sure to schedule running in my life at least every other day. Some called it an obsession. I disagreed. The more I found solace in the run, the more my passion for running continued to grow.

I also found that I had some skills as a runner. While I wasn't super fast, I could hold my own as a middle of the pack runner. Rediscovering my passion for running gave me a huge sense of pride. Now at an age where I should be slowing down, I still like to chase down a goal. Less competition in my age group and some finish line success has reignited that passion for running fast. For this upcoming marathon, I set a huge goal for myself.

I'll freely admit that this marathon training cycle has really tested my passion for running. Training has been hard. I'm tired and feeling a little burnt out. I don't like feeling this way. At this point in my training, running feels more like a chore. So I've scaled back my marathon goal a bit. While I'd love to finish sub-4 and achieve a BQ, I'm ok now with just having fun and finishing strong. 

Although everyone tells me it's normal to feel this way at this point in training, I know that my motivation has to come from inside me. I'm hoping that the adrenaline will flow at the starting line and ignite that passion within me. 


Have you ever felt burnt out before a big event? What do you do to get yourself motivated when you're just not feeling it? 

The title for this post comes from one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands of all time, R.E.M. 

"Not everyone can carry the weight of the world...."


Check out the Wednesday Word link up at DebRuns!

74 comments :

  1. It is so silly and verging on so trite but I really really do harness the power of faking it until I make it xoxo

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    1. I'm trying to find the energy to do even that!

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  2. I am sure you will find your passion at the starting line - if not there should be plenty of extra to go around! ;-) I know so many runners who hate running by the end of marathon training but usually that feeling doesn't last. ;-)

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    1. That's what people are telling me. I didn't feel this way last year--I was so excited! I'm hoping that the cooler weather and the taper will help me get my mind back in the right place.

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  3. There are definitely some days that I'm not feeling motivated to run, but I think that having an overall passion for it is the driving factor that gets me out of bed before 5 am to run. Plus, it's just habit at this point, and I'd feel a little lost without it! Probably get more sleep though...

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    1. I agree with you, which is why I keep pushing through these tough runs. I won't give up on my goals.

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  4. i think that your passion will come back - it's normal to feel how you feel right now. even if you didn't feel this way last year - you just slogged through a brutal summer of training and have had a lot going on. accept how you feel because that's okay and know that you've done the work. the race day environment will do the rest. i believe in you!!!!!!

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    1. Awww, Courtney, thank you! I like to believe that once I'm a little more rested and the day draws near, I'll feel excited!

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  5. I am right there with ya, girl. Feeling really burnt out from marathon training and TOTALLY doubting that I will achieve my original goal...now I just want to finish. Hopefully I will regain my passion after a bit of a break post-marathon.

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    1. Glad to know that I'm not the only one. I'm looking forward to a little break too.

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  6. I have sometimes I think about the fact that it is almost over and I can just relax with no training for awhile.

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    1. That's where I'm at, for sure. Isn't it funny how every race feels different?

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  7. I have felt that way if I have overtrained. But when I have at the race, that feeling disappears.

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  8. I have felt that way myself several times and thats why i usually take some time off of running after a marathon. I do a little swimming or biking instead. The mojo usually comes back after a couple of weeks.

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    1. Yep, I've been here before too. You just never know when it's going to happen.

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  9. Some that Jillian said this past weekend that I've heard before and whole heartedly agree with (honestly, I might talk about this tomorrow on the blog!) is that inspiration comes from the outside, motivation comes from within. I think passion, or at the very least, determination, might come at the intersection of those two factors.

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    1. I would agree with that! Looking forward to hearing more about that.

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  10. I have been looking for my passion for about a year. I just keep having injury after injury. I am determined to get a BQ so that is my motivation. Thanks
    bakingrunner.blogspot.com

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    1. My training for this marathon has been really intense. It's kept me injury free (relatively speaking) but wow, I'm tired! Thank goodness for the taper!

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  11. Love me some REM B-sides. Anyway, I think most Chicago Marathoners feeling burnt out right now, and if someone isn't, they probably didn't train enough! I'm attributing my burntoutness to "accumulative fatigue" that is I have been training and training for 18 weeks with minimal recovery in-between runs and it has worn me out. Like you said, that's a normal way to feel, since that's the way to properly train ourselves to handle the task of running 26.2. The taper is going to get us refreshed and then when we get that shot of adrenaline at the start line we will run effortlessly for 22 miles and then with passion for the last 4.2! :)

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    1. Well, the fatigue has certainly accumulated in these legs! I'm hoping to feel better by the weekend...

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  12. You aren't alone....I think as taper season hits, most distance runners feel burnt out. I think it's why I always welcomed the taper vs. calling it "taper madness" because it gave me a chance to recharge.

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    1. I see no madness here...just a need to rest some very tired legs!

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  13. I love what you wrote about finding solace in running. THAT is what passion is about..yes, our passions can light a fire within, but eventually they should bring us peace. Great post!

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    1. Thanks! I'm hoping you feel that way now that you are coming back to running!

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  14. As I sit here still nursing my foot (argh - #bitterness!), the thought of having the ability to run taken away is pretty darned motivating.

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  15. If anyone has a passion for running it is you! I feel deflated after a big event usually but beforehand I am just nervous for weeks.

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    1. I'm going from being nervous to being tired...it is a little crazy, I have to admit...

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  16. Even running halfs, even not working, yes, by the end of a training cycle I am tired. And getting ready for the race, which I know will be exciting and fun, sometimes seems overwhelming. My husband walks around grumbling we should never go anywhere because obviously it's too hard.

    And I always tell him it will be worth it, and it always is (even the disappointing races, even the ones with injuries). Nothing is ever all bad.

    So yes, I think what you're experiencing is absolutely normal. And maybe by easing back on your goals now you'll meet them. In fact, I was thinking much along the same lines for myself just today. I've been trying to figure out about what paces I want to hit during portions of the race, and then I got to thinking about why I signed up for this particular race in the first place.

    Maybe I'll reach my time goal; maybe I won't. But I signed up to enjoy fall in VT, to revisit VT (it's been about 20 years), and frankly, just to get away. Because I haven't been away from home & its responsibilities in 4 months & it feels like a lot longer!

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    1. I really appreciate this thoughtful response! Everyone tells me this is normal, but I didn't feel like this a year ago--I was just so darned excited! This training cycle was really hard, tho.

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  17. I've felt this way leading into a few races in my life, most notably last year's Half Ironman but by the time I got there and got my head in the game, I was excited and ready to roll! You've busted your butt this training cycle so I'm not surprised you're feeling it. Enjoy your taper - I have no doubt that passion will show up on race morning!

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    1. Yep, I think I'll get my head in the game by next week too--and you are right, this training cycle was tough! Once the fatigue leaves my legs,I'll feel much more positive. Thank you... <3

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  18. I felt this way a couple weeks ago as I was just starting the taper - tired, a little burnt out, and just ready to shift my focus. I love running, but training for a marathon is quite a lot of running! I think it's happens more for us running blogs because not only do we run, but we brainstorm, write, and share articles about running - we don't disconnect from it once our run is done.
    Hopefully your taper recharges you! I know the taper has felt so good and rejuvenating for me, and we had similar plans in terms of all that cumulative fatigue and hard workouts (those 2 x 3 miles!).

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    1. I absolutely agree with you--that cumulative fatigue took a toll! And those crazy speedwork intervals...

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  19. Ask me this question come next April... I may not have been a runner for a long time but I can tell you I feel like I have been training for a long time! I started back in June really training for Tupelo race, now I have my first marathon in sights, along with all my other half's I had already scheduled. I sure hope I don't get burnt out!

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    1. I hope not either! Just be kind to yourself...

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  20. Above all, running should continue to be enjoyable.... you will either BQ or not, but either way, enjoy the Chicago marathon. You have accomplished a lot this training cycle! I love your cross-fit strength posts and your yoga posts....I'm inspired!

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    1. That's my bottom line too! It has to be fun. Otherwise why do we do it?

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  21. As a child I only ran as part of a sports team. It was never ever anything I would do on my own..lol. A few adults saw the potential I had and asked me to join the track team. I never joined cus I didn't see the point in running around a circle! I know now how much I was missing out on..lol -M

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    1. Kids love to run and they run free! I want to feel like that again.

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  22. I am right where you are right now. Tired. Legs are tired, mind it tired, everything is tired and I just don't wanna anymore :) But like you said, it's normal in the part of training and I feel like this during every training cycle and I know it will pass. I called it quits on a run today after 40 miles in 5 days...i was just done. I texted my coach mid run asking for a pep talk. He didn't respond until later and when I told him I bailed on half the run he said "humility and longevity go hand in hand." Not really sure I could have said it better myself. It's so true, though. When you can admit you are tired and need a break and actually TAKE the break, you are in a good place. The big picture is so much more important!

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    1. I'm so glad you and I are going through this tough training cycle together! It's nice to know that I'm not alone in my feelings! Hoping this fatigue will lead to something good at the finish line!

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  23. You have been working so hard this training cycle. It WILL all come together on race day. Mental attitude is so important and you can do it!
    I love the Chicago Marathon! Once you taper and get some rest you are going to go to the starting line fresh and ready to go.
    You got this! Just remember to have fun :)

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    1. Fun is the ultimate goal here! No matter what the outcome.

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  24. I think that training for early fall marathons in general is hard. It is particularly difficult here in the desert, but anywhere that you're battling heat and humidity. Yes, that can make you stronger, but it also can burn you out and exhaust you (and I hate to add this, but I have found that even more so as I've gotten older). Good luck in your race. You did do the training, you overcame a lot, and you'll have a great race. Use positive thinking, enjoy your taper, and you'll be fine. You have a lot of cheerleaders out here :-)

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    1. I love all the support I've received through this tough training cycle! And you aren't kidding about the age thing...I've felt it a little bit more this time around!

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  25. Yes, I have been there. I have a tendency to go "all in" and commit to more than I can mentally handle. Once I'm done with a particularly big training block or a very difficult race experience I ensure I take a break (of varying duration) to do only the activities I want to do with no care for pace or watts or HR. Not to say I don't ever go hard and try to chase the boys on my bicycle - I just do it on my own terms and not because it was written on the plan. Good luck getting through this final phase, Wendy. You are stronger than you realize!

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    1. I'm looking forward to taking a little break after the marathon--I can't believe I'm saying this--but I bet within a week, I'll want to run again!

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  26. You are so normal about how you feel in these last few weeks before your event. I think that once the taper starts, the doubts begin to creep in. Hang in there! Just go out there and have as much fun as you can. You will surprise yourself, I think. Good luck!

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    1. I just want to have fun and feel strong!

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  27. I love love that quote Wendy! My passion is yoga. I never thought I would hear myself saying that. You're so ready for this race.

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    1. Oh, I do love yoga too. But yoga is my yin to my running yang. I don't think I'd ever burn out on yoga.

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  28. Sometimes I get burnt out thinking about the simple longituity (this isn't a word...) of working out. It's a constant thing for the rest of your life and sometimes that makes my warm bed seem like a better place at 5am. I try to make sure to surround myself with funny people who share similar interests and that can motivate me. Or sometimes I fib to myself and say you can do it today and skip tomorrow.

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    1. I rarely skip a run--but when I'm not training for something, running doesn't stress me out. This training cycle has given me a lot of food for thought, and I'm not sure I'm going to ever train this hard again!

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  29. I always love reading about your love your running. You're such an inspiration! I didn't realize you're scaling back your goals for Chicago - all I know is I'll be cheering you on (virtually, lol) and I know you'll do great!

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    1. I'm going to let the day dictate how I do. I don't want to finish disappointed after I put so much effort into my training! I'm hoping to finish strong and with a smile on my face.

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  30. I think training at the level you've been training at gets old fast. I'm hoping the taper will refresh you mentally and physically enough to run strong and joyfully. Just let it flow. No pressure.

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    1. You always know the right thing to say to me--that's why I'm lucky to have you as a friend. I'm looking forward to seeing how you do this weekend at Twin Cities!

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  31. I hope you start feeling better, I felt burnt out during training for a marathon and when running became a chore I dropped to a 10K (I did have a shoulder injury at this time too). I am passionate about running too and this time my training has been rough but I cling to mantras and the end goal of finishing the marathon to keep me going.

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    1. That's what's keeping me going too. I wouldn't drop down at this point (not that it's an option) because of all the hard work I did the past 12 weeks! Plus I do know how normal it is to feel this way at this point in training. No one said it would be easy...right?

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  32. I think training for marathons or other big events is like planning a wedding. You work SO HARD for SO MANY months... then the big day is getting close, but is not there yet... and you're just fatigued with dealing with it and want to get back to the "normal" routine. It reminds me of hitting mile 10 during a half marathon when you're close, but still have some hard work to do. Hang in there!!! It will all be worth it once you cross the finish line and achieve the fruits of all your hard work!!!

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  33. Great advice, and isn't is funny/scary all at once that it really boils down to one day?

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  34. You are fast and extremely strong. I think race day adrenaline will be pumping and that passion will be driving you :)
    It is always good to have plan A and plan B, but I really expect A to go down :)

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  35. It's totally normal to feel like this sometimes in training for things. You will get back to your groove and reclaim your mojo!

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  36. You are so strong and inspiring! We all hit our wall and lose our motivation... but I love that you have recognized it and you know what to do.

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    1. I was a little bit anxious this week....hoping that I'll pull it together before Oct 11.

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  37. Idk how I'm feeling before chicago. It honestly doesnt feel like it's here. and for some reason I feel like my training wasn't enough...it feels like I didn't even train for a marathon! HOPEFULLY it' because I'm just used to running now..idk lol. All I know is I am going to be super nervous on race day!

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    1. Well you know they say it's better to be undertrained than overtrained...I bet you'll do great!

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  38. I have several running friends and blogger friends running Chicago. Wish I were out there cheering you guys on. My son and daughter-in-law will have to cheer extra loudly for me!

    Thanks for linking up!

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