When determination pushes through burnout

Can you bear yet another post on running? If you are tired of hearing my take on running I won’t be offended if you click out and return tomorrow. If not…….

I love to run. What began as a pudgy high school girl’s attempt at being svelte has transformed over the years into one of my greatest joys. Running is something I have shared over the years with people I love, and at times, I have enjoyed that it has been mine alone. In the days of nursing babies, balancing work and navigating marriage, it was mine, all mine. I did not share running with anyone. I savored every moment on the road, by myself , no one asking anything of me, if only for an hour or so.

These days, running is my mental health escape. I have learned to push myself further than I thought I could, but learned to be content with the joy of an afternoon run.

Somedays, like the past few days, I have felt the beginnings of burnout. Oh, don’t think that my love affair with running has not suffered a brief fling with biking, or knitting, or some other “hobby”, but in the end, I returned. I always do, and running always welcomes me back on the road, picking up where we left off.

Maybe my high hopes of back to back marathons have triggered this simmering burnout, but the past few weeks I have noticed a nagging resentment that I had to get up and run. At first I thought it was just because I was busy. Then I blamed it on the extra pounds that make it more like work, and less like fun. This morning, I looked at my calendar and realized in full on panic that this marathon is less than a month away. This morning I could have cared less if I ran it or not. In fact, I told myself I have way too much to do, too many irons in the fire and it is one of those seasons where I don’t feel like running.

So this afternoon I do what I do when I feel like burning out. I pushed through it. I went on a run. Just a short one. A 3 miler. It was pretty miserable. I counted down the mile markers. I listened  to Justin T. my go-to man, but it didn’t help much.

But I finished. I wasn’t particularly glad I ran.  No “runner’s high” or sweet satisfaction. All I accomplished was pushing through. But I will run again tomorrow. I won’t want to. But I will. I’ve been down this road before, and I know where it ends.

One day, not to far away, I will feel the “want to” again. And I will be so glad I pushed through.  Burnout is not wrong, quitting is. There is a difference.  Sometimes you need a break. Sometimes you need to push on.   Push through because you will fall in love with the long run again.

 

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