Sunday, October 1, 2017

Desperately Seeking Mojo

Where oh where has my mojo gone? Oh, where oh where can it be?



I spilled the beans on Friday's Runfessions' post: I have a front row seat on the struggle bus. I know the heat has been a huge factor for me. Now that we have cooler conditions, I also think that RA is messing with me. While my speedwork on Thursday-- 4 mins x 6 repeats at 8m/m--went well, I skipped my planned run on Saturday because I felt so crummy. I had to get up early to go to my son's rugby game and had planned for an early 4 miles. When my alarm went off for my run, I turned it off and slept for another hour. This is unheard of for me. 

This was from Thursday's speedwork
I've written on and off this year about my RA symptoms and it's weird how they come and go. One the one hand, I don't get a lot of pain, but what I do experience are fatigue and nausea. After a rough Friday night where I tossed and turned, Saturday morning, I decided to listen to my body for a change and skip my run. Of course, as Saturday wore on, I started having that itch you get when you skip a run. It was 65 and sunny....

Please enjoy this picture of my son as he stiff arms his opponent on a nice run that day:

He had a lot of nice runs like this. And yes, they won!
Sunday morning, I slept in again. I woke up feeling incredibly anxious about running, RA, and life in general. After consulting with the #holottafun ladies who talked me off the cliff, I got out there, running 10.5 miles on my favorite bike path. I put the run/walk intervals to good use and was pleasantly surprised by my very consistent splits. I fueled with Tailwind and stopped at the water fountains for hydration. I won't lie and say that this run was easy but I completely enjoyed the solitude and sunshine. Maybe, just maybe I can run my races this fall. Slower than I'm used to, but finishing is winning. Right?

In spite of my struggles on the road, I was pleasantly surprised that my monthly mileage totaled 81 for September. I wasn't expecting that and it was nice to see that I still got a decent number of miles in, even if my heart wasn't in it. Accepting the changes in my running is tough for me and I really do appreciate everyone's patience and support while I work through this. 

Off the road, things are much better. At CrossFit, Steph and I continue to work on strength training and Coach Sammy Jo isn't shy about putting on the plates. I deadlifted 165# x3 reps this week--I think my 1 rep PR with Becky last winter was 185#. So while I've lost endurance, my strength has remained constant. 


We also did some fun things like the ring swings. The last time I did these, I wasn't able to complete all 3 sets but on Tuesday, I got my legs up to those rings 8 times in 3 sets. I was pleasantly sore after but felt very accomplished. 

I felt like I was flying!
Steph and I did 100 meter sprints alternating with squats to overhead dumbell presses. I was feeling good about running fast--maybe it was the shirt?

Thanks to Holly for this awesome birthday gift!
Thursdays we did front squats--I can't remember the weight but it was heavy--and some bodywork too. We did some dancing to the 80s dance music that was playing in the background, too! Who says CrossFit is hardcore?

We may have been movin' and groovin' while doing these box step ups!
I went to Megan's yoga class on Monday and got that spiritual uplift my soul needed. We did a backbending class. I do love backbends because they force me to pull my shoulders back and improve my posture. Backbends also open up the heart and I always feel better after a backbending class. It seems as though we don't do them enough!

My favorite of all the backbends
Marcia and I finally met up for lunch this week--we haven't been able to connect for a while. It was great to see her. I wanted to hear all about the Berlin Marathon. She hasn't posted her recap yet, so no spoilers here, but I demanded that she bring her Berlin medal to lunch! She told me the medal never changes. It always fascinates me how these marathon majors don't go all out for their medals. Because for those races, it isn't about the bling, it's what the bling represents! 


Ok, enough rambling about my week. How was your week? Have you ever been in a running slump? This truly is the first time I've ever felt like I don't want to run. It kind of sucks. If you've ever felt this way, tell me how you got yourself out of it. 

I'm linking up with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap!



74 comments :

  1. I can relate to some of this, Wendy. Mojo has been MIA since the end of 2016. Dealing with “female issues” since last fall has me starting back from square one what feels like every single day. Trying to focus on the discipline of getting something accomplished every day. I joined a few walk-to-5K groups recently for some accountability. Also, trying new things (ie, swimming and biking) to maybe find that excitement again. My biggest struggle is comparing myself to my former self. So hard not to. Working on making each day the best I can and living the “something is better than nothing” mindset.

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    1. That comparing myself now to my pre-RA self is exactly what I'm dealing with. You get me. I will say that my long run was really pleasurable today. Slow but I felt like I really enjoyed myself. It's the new fast, I guess..

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  2. I think I can speak for most, if not all, of your readers and say that we have not expended one iota of patience on your behalf. Support? You've got that in spades.
    You're doing great.

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    1. I think so, Connie. I just have to get my head around the new slower version of me. Thanks for all the support. I appreciate it so much! <3

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  3. So sorry the slump continues..at least you have a solid "escape" plan in all of your cross-training. Hang in there....I'm sure that mojo is just waiting around the corner to snap you back into action ;-)

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    1. I don't think that is what I'm looking for at this point. I'm just getting frustrated trying to fit into the old me. I'm looking for a way to accept this slower, gentler version of me. Today's run showed me that I can do that. At a race, tho? That remains to be seen.

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  4. I have found myself lacking motivation during periods where I wasn't training for anything but still keeping up decent mileage- and usually the winter is the hardest time of year for me. Honestly I feel like it eventually passes. I've turned to cross-training and usually that reminds me of how much I would rather be out running! Give yourself some time and I'm sure your mojo will return.

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    1. This has been a really interesting year for me. I never know what each day will bring, fitness-wise. I need to do a better job of rolling with it.

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  5. I think we all go through periods of losing our running mojo. I felt like that all summer for different reasons. When I do lack motivation to run, I focus on my strength training or on spin class and that seems to help. You sure look like you are crushing it at cross fit and yoga lately. Have you thought of adding in another day of one of those in place of running for a few weeks? Just a thought!

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    1. I'm doing 2 days of CF and 1-2 days of yoga. I'm looking for that magic bullet, I guess!

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  6. I'm sorry you are struggling Wendy. Really what I see is you kicking ass in other departments as well as reaching 81 miles for the month so that kind of puts you in Category: Badass. Maybe you just feel like your mojo is missing or you are putting too much pressure on the running part. Do you *have* to run? Would it be ok if you missed a running workout occasionally? Especially if you are not always feeling great, I'd say celebrate your (what I see as huge) successes and don't be so hard on yourself.

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    1. Who me, hard on myself? LOL! You are 100% right, and yep, skipping yesterday's run was the best thing I could have done. It's hard to be a type A++ kind of gal!

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  7. So sorry you are struggling with running, but I do think it is normal. Everyone goes through peaks and valleys with running and racing. Your RA probably is somewhat of a culprit, but you seem to be doing great with your speedwork during the week and of course your Crossfit. Are you worried about your fall races? Sending positive thoughts your way.

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    1. You know I am worried about those races. The Hot Chocolate 15k, not so much. But my other 2 races are destination races, and LV is at night. I keep reminding myself that these are both for fun and I can run/walk as much as I please, but my inner competitor is not letting me off easy!

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  8. Sorry to hear about your motivation struggles but it is awesome that you have great (and motivating) running friends to help get you out there. Sometimes we are really hard on ourselves as runners and it sounded like you needed the extra rest this week. It's good that you also have your strength training to lean on. When I loose my running mojo, I always turn to the gym

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    1. I'm glad that my strength training is going so well-- I couldn't bear to have everything falling apart!

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  9. I jump on and off the struggle bus all the time - sometimes I know I'm tired and other times I have no idea why I feel so blah. As my mom always says, this too shall pass. Hoping you get your mojo back soon. (You always have such great workout pics - how do you do that??)

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    1. Today's run was definitely helpful. I enjoyed it immensely. Not sure how this slower, gentler pace would translate to a race, though.

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  10. I actually had a very stressful, tiring week, felt extremely run down all week, and skipped one of my runs -- sometimes you really do just have to listen to your body & give it what it wants. But of course my week did end on a high note.

    Sometimes just a break from running can actually make you fall in love with it again.

    And yes, finishing is winning. It hurts,though, to not be able to do what you once could, I know. But it doesn't necessarily mean you never will again. You just never know. I hope you find your mojo again soon.

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    1. I keep hearing from people that I should take a break. The problem is that I have 3 races coming up. The other issue is that what's holding me back is my RA. Not sure taking time off is the answer.

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  11. I've been having an ongoing battle with the struggle bus for months now - sometimes I outrun it and other times I have a front row seat. I'm sorry RAs been messing with you, but I have to say you got in some great workouts this week! Hope your mojo returns soon.

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    1. I think once I'm done with my races and I can just run, for me, that will help a lot.

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  12. Sorry you feel like you are in a running slump. When I do, I sign up for a race so I have a goal and a reason to get out there. Also I like to download new songs on my ipod. A new playlist always helps on my runs.

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    1. I've got 3 races coming up, so that's covered! Interestingly, Spotify has a new "nostalgic" feature and I listened to that playlist on my run today. Since I had no paces to hit, I didn't need any songs to push me. It was fun and I found myself singing along!

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  13. You did so much! And a 10 mile run is HUGE! I'm sure you feel like you're struggling, but your sure fake it well!

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    1. I sure was glad to do the distance but....it wasn't how I'm used to running. That's all. Slow. Kind of painful.

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  14. Maybe it was something about this weekend for tiredness. I knew this weekend would be busy, and I wanted to get up early yesterday to get my run in. I ended up sleeping until 7, which is unusual for me, and I didn't have time to eat breakfast and do my run before heading out to the pumpkin patch yesterday.

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    1. Maybe so! Sounds like you had fun though.

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  15. I know all too well the feeling of having lost mojo!! I can only hope it will pass quickly for you and, you have so many other activities to keep you otherwise entertained while your running mojo wanes. But, I know there's nothing quite like running when it comes to fitness for you. I am glad you listened to your body and slept in!!...just wish we (b/c i do that too!) could actually just enjoy sleeping in and not think about being out there on the run...maybe on a rainy and cold day... :-)

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    1. I knew you'd get it! I did enjoy watching my son run on the rugby field.

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  16. When we lived in NYC I was looking forward to September and October, finally a cool down in temps for running!! September and October is awfully stingy hot and super humid here in South Florida and I have to work hard, physically and mentally, to make it through my weekly mileage. I'm struggling with motivation too. Hope this helps. Rock on Wendy!!

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    1. I can only imagine how hard it is to stay motivated in Florida heat! Your reward will be coming soon, when we will be running in the snow and cold!

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  17. Sounds like you're already getting your mojo back! I was able to play tennis last week, so my back is feeling much better!

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    1. Glad to hear it! I just need to get my head around the slower pace. Once I'm there, I'll be ok.

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  18. You know the running slump and I are no strangers. I see plenty of goodness here though. Be creative and keep coming at running all different ways. Sometimes fast will feel good, sometimes long will. It's all good! Loved seeing you!xo

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    1. Loved seeing you too! You always make my heart happy!

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  19. Sorry to hear about the lack of mojo - definitely been there and done that! Sometimes switching up my routine, or where I run, helps me get back my mojo. Signing up for a new race also helps too, lol!

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    1. I've got plenty of races on the calendar, so that's covered! That solo run yesterday did my heart good.

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  20. I've been feeling kind of slumpy even though I'm not running. I don't feel that drive to come back from this injury as much as usual. Maybe because I'm tired of playing the run, injury, recovery game? First world problems.

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    1. Truly. Today put everything back into perspective.

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  21. I’m sorry you’ve been struggling lately. It’s tough when you don’t know if it’s the RA or if you just need a break or a change or what. I did write a post once about getting your mojo back. Of course. 😃

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    1. I really think it's RA but I'm just frustrated with the slower paces. I wish I was more laid back and could just let it go.

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  22. I have no advice for you as most of us have running slumps due to some sort of injury which eventually heals ...you are dealing with a different animal, one that you know will always be there in some capacity. I can't imagine the frustration that brings. It sounds like you recognize that your biggest struggle is accepting a slower version of you ...that is difficult. Although not as fast as you, my slow has slowed down even more and it's frustrating and even embarrassing at times. I try to focus on all the things my older, aging body has done for me and just be thankful that I can run at any pace ...but that doesn't last for long. Before I know it, those defeating thoughts come creeping back in. It may be an ongoing struggle, I just don't know. I hate that you have to deal with this disease and I hope you are able to find the peace you need. Love and Hugs!

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    1. It's hard for us type A runners to accept slowing down, isn't it? No matter what the circumstances. I'm glad to still be running, but I guess i'm kind of greedy...

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  23. Hi Wendy, so sorry you are struggling. I'm sure you've explored all avenues, and RA is at the forefront, but is menopause playing a role as well? I'm sure it's hard to tease it all out. I do hope the cool weather will help you. I see you posting your runs and other activities and think you are doing an amazing job, but I know it needs to feel right for YOU. Hoping for nothing but good things for your fall races.

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    1. Oh, I have no doubt that it's RA and menopause combined. I got a 2 for 1, apparently!

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  24. I've been in a running slump a few times. Usually I just let it work itself out. Sometimes it sucks to not feel like running, but your body may need the extra rest. I tell myself that running will always be there for me when I'm ready to get back to it, so I don't worry unless I have a huge race on the schedule. I had a big race this fall so that kept me motivated to train over the summer, but usually the warm weather kills it for me.

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    1. I'm sure this will work itself out as well, but I'm also sure that I need to do a little attitude adjustment--I'm just going to accept that my faster days are behind me.

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  25. I have definitely had running slumps, especially when I feel like I've been in a long training cycle and I just want it to be done!

    You continue to amaze me and inspire me with all that you're able to do despite your RA diagnosis. CrossFit is so hardcore - I don't think I could even hold onto the rings, I have no upper body strength! This too shall pass, sending you positive vibes!

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    1. I can't complain about my progress at CrossFit, that's for sure!

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  26. I keep thinking the weather will turn and get me out of my slump. But then, all the body parts will have to be on board as well. Sigh. FOA. No matter if you are in a slump, at the top of your running game, or just trying to reconcile running with RA you are one strong kick-a$$ lady and I'm privileged (!) to call you my friend. HUGS.

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  27. Yes! I've been on a the struggle bus for a while now. I feel like I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel after cutting back distances and working towards shorter races. It feels like a lot less pressure. But you're still kicking butt with crossfit and yoga, so sometimes funneling your focus elsewhere can help get back your motivation in running! That's what I've found at least!

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    1. I'm hoping the cooler temperatures will bring me some motivation!

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  28. The times when I have self doubts during a run and awfulize my upcoming races? Usually I can look back and see that the weather was particularly brutal, or I hadn't hydrated enough for the weather, or pin it on something tangible...it's hard to not feel good about running, especially when you love it so much. I suspect that the first crisp cold morning will bring your mojo right back.

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  29. Oh man! That is hard. I always lose my mojo in the turn of the weather, like i should be running in good weather but I don't. But an extension of the season like we've been having doesn't help either!!

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    1. I love the warmer weather, but I'm pretty sure it's the reason I'm struggling!

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  30. You will definitely complete your fall races. Finishing IS winning. Maybe you need to take my approach -- every other year I race hard. 2015 was a hard year, last year was an easy "just have fun" year, this year is another hard year. It helps to rejuvenate. Or maybe it's time to say "F" it and just run for fun all the time! Run when you want, sleep when you want, throw all expectations out the window. Sounds rather liberating, actually. I should take my own advice.

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    1. I'm going with saying "F" it. As in "fun". I'm kind of excited about that. Just have fun.

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  31. I'm sorry you're in a running slump. We've all been there. I wish you all the mojo to return soon....and those rings look like so much fun! I've been kind of struggling all summer, but I've been blaming the heat. We'll see if it ever gets cooler in Texas LOL

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    1. I'm wondering about Chicago too! It was in the 80s again today.

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  32. Ugh. I hate this feeling. I always opt for lighter weights and higher reps when I feel this way. Good for you for pushing through! I hope your MOJO comes back soon!

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  33. Your cross training is truly amazing. You are such a beast in the best way possible :)
    I have been on the struggle bus and been in pain at times and just wanted to throw in towel, but I learned to celebrate (over time) finishing and my 12 minute miles. I really was thankful to run with intervals for a long time. For whatever reason my toes seem to be swelling less and a little lower on the pain scale lately and the itch to push a little has returned.
    I hope you get a break from the slump and have some fun races.

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  34. I'm sorry to hear that you're on the struggle bus, I was on it too and it lasted for two years. To get off the bus I had to refocus my thinking to what I enjoyed about each run, and gave myself permission to run slow. This allowed me to get the consistency back and slowly my paces improved (and some weight came off). I hope you have a better week next week!

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    1. I'm working on giving myself a break when it comes to my slower pace. I keep beating myself up over it. Today I may have shed a few tears. I need to get over myself because there are much bigger problems in the world!

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  35. Wendy, I am struggling with finding my mojo as well and I don't have any excuse for it. I am hoping this race this weekend will spark something in me. I have at least 5 half's to get through before the end of the year so I need something! Crossing fingers for the both of us!

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    1. I'm not glad you're in the same boat as me but misery does love company!! I keep hoping the cooler temperatures will give me some relief--and that some lower humidity will help too. We can always walk PCB together, right? :p

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  36. So sorry you have been down on running. Struggling sux. The only time I never wanted to run was when I was training for my second marathon, and I dropped that race, which made me want to run again. Totally not the same thing. All I can say is hang in there.

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    1. Looks like I"m going to drop RnR LV and I won't lie to you--I feel relief at that! So maybe taking that off the calendar will help. Stay tuned. I'm not going down without a fight.

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  37. Hey! I'm sorry you've been struggling with motivation for runs, it happens and I'm sure you'll get through it :) I go through patches where nothing feels good about running, and the less I do, the more I forget about the good things! What has helped me in the past has been exploring new places, or going on runs with friends - basically anything that add something on to the run so it isn't just the same cycle of trainers on, out the door, same paths and same thoughts. I don't know whether that will help but I hope one of these wonderful commenters has something that will inspire you!!

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    1. Speaking of exploring new places, I'm going to California this weekend and am packing my shoes in hopes of finding my mojo on the trails there. Stay tuned!

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