What do you do when you fall out of love with running?

I don’t know how it happened.  I don’t know where, and I don’t know when, but sometime in the recent past I’ve fallen out of love with running.  And I’m sad about that.

I’m sad because I absolutely love being a Chaser, I’m sad because all my friends are having a great time running round London, knocking out PBs and loving every second, and I’m jealous that I can’t join in because, no matter how hard I try, the thought of going running mostly just makes me want to hide.

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It’s like everyone else is at the most awesome party…and I’m not invited.

A few weekends ago I didn’t run at all.  Not because I was really busy, not because I was injured, and not because a squirrel ate all my trainers (there’s a family of squirrels living in the loft so that’s actually quite plausible, I call them The Wilde’s), but because I just didn’t want to.  But, rather than being OK with that, I felt ridiculously guilty and spent endless hours trying to justify it to myself.  Probably not the sign of a healthy relationship…

Maybe I took on too many challenges in the last year.  6 marathons in a 12 month period is a little insane, I didn’t even realise that’s what I did until I counted them, but I enjoyed them all…except maybe Amsterdam which broke me pretty hard, and Brighton when I got overtaken by an actual toilet in the last mile and swore never, never, ever again…until I did do it again 2 weeks later, but, generally I enjoyed them.

After Amsterdam I was a physical and mental shadow of my usual running self, painfully slow and far from the form I was in at the end of 2013.  It took a lot of mental strength to bounce back and I’m still only half way there.  Did I learn anything from that?  Apparently not.

The problem is I do love running and I find it really hard to say no when someone jabs me in the ribs and suggests a weekend running round a new City/up ridiculous mountains/through vineyards in fancy dress.  They sell me sweet dreams of sweaty fun, post-race cider and 10 hour road trips and I’ve signed up before they’ve even finished their sentence.  I never claimed to be normal…

Running is a bit like wine, I love wine and it’s always a good idea to have another bottle glass, but you never quite know when you’ve had enough and then everything gets a bit hazy and weird and you wake up feeling rubbish.  Actually, running is exactly like wine, who knew?

My last marathon was 2 whole months ago, and that was Medoc so I’m not entirely sure it counts when you’re doing shots of whiskey at mile 20, so shouldn’t I be over it all by now?  Does running have a cumulative impact?  I don’t know.  I’ve tried having a break, going to the gym, spinning, yoga, bootcamps, but I still can’t get excited about running.  All I do know is that, right now, I don’t love one of the things I generally love the most in life, I feel a little bit lost and I don’t know how to fix it.

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9 thoughts on “What do you do when you fall out of love with running?

  1. runsonsyrup

    Been there, felt that. Sometimes a break is all it takes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking some time to focus on other things in life — spend time with family and friends, revisit old hobbies and discover new ones, just RELAX!! It can be quite lovely once you get past the guilt. Good for you for admitting it to yourself.

  2. I second that sometimes it just takes a break! I’ve too been there. It sucks. It’s hard when you sign up for a race but can’t find the motivation to prepare for it, too. But honestly, sometimes just a few weeks away from everything fitness related helps — internet included.

    Running IS like wine, though. I love that statement; I totally agree.

  3. Ugh I know how you feel! Not right now, but earlier on in the year I just got fed up with running. I really go through phases of loving it and not being that bothered by it. To get myself out of that funk I either rest up and do something different, or book a race! But sounds like you’ve raced your socks off this year! And yeah, I think running is a bit of an addiction, but then again there are worse things to be addicted to- that’s what I tell my mother at least! Hope you figure it out soon! x

  4. You took on a massive challenge this year and it sounds like you’re physically and mentally crying out for a break. After all those marathons running might seem like a bit of a chore right now, so just go with it and enjoy the other activities you’re trying – after all, you’re still active. Then, get back to it without the pressure of another massive challenge – go for a slow social run with a friend to catch up on the gossip, go to parkrun, do a Santa run, etc. You might even consider volunteering at a parkrun or local race so you can be part of the running community without actually running. It’s good to have a goal race to motivate, but sometimes that can just add to the guilt!
    I hope you’re able to get back to it soon and enjoy your running 🙂

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