New Year Lethargy

Sigh.

My honeymoon phase with running seems to be over. I just can’t be arsed to run at all right now, and I’m kind of enjoying my sedentary, bury-myself-under-blankets-on-the-couch existence of late. It’s just so cozy.

Part of me wants to blame having been away for almost two weeks, which clearly interrupted any kind of routine that I might have had. But, I ran a really challenging 5K during those weeks, and went running on the beach instead of sitting around doing nothing. It felt so easy when I was embedded in the gorgeous climate of southern California… I could run anytime I wanted! Without having to bundle into multiple layers! It was like eternal summer and it made me want to run.

Also, the above scapegoat falls flat because I didn’t really have a running routine before I left for vacation. Colin and I had been running on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and one weekend day… sometimes… or a random selection of those days, or maybe just one. We tried though. Then December arrived and with it a slew of races, one after another. When I just didn’t feel like running (or when my foot was hurting too much) I used the excuse that our races were basically training runs because we had so many, so there was no need to run extra. (Weak, I know.)

So maybe the problem is that I’ve had no routine for a long time, and it’s hard to dive back in. Another convenient excuse is that, soon after returning from California, a nor’easter hit and our usual running spots were covered in snow and ice. I ventured out for runs through town last winter with Gina, but they were difficult because not everyone shovels their sidewalks, and with the piles of plowed snow covering the curbs, we were basically running down the middle of the street. I don’t own a treadmill and am too cheap to shell out for a gym membership (plus the closest gym isn’t close enough and I’m lazy), so cuddling on the couch to read or watch TV becomes the easiest option.

On top of not wanting to get off my bum to run obstacle courses around snow piles in the freezing cold, I’m just not even interested in signing up for races right now. As I mentioned in my Review of 2013 post, only recently I was finding myself spending my lunch breaks scouring coolrunning.com and active.com for upcoming races and getting pumped about trying new courses and getting race swag. Maybe it’s because of the glut of races I ran in the last two months, but I feel a little burnt out. Races just aren’t exciting me the way they did last year. Not even ones with finishers’ medals, which I was salivating over last year (Bling! Proof that I ran! Positive reinforcement! Yay!).

Basically, reflecting on my current state of running blah has been making me feel kind of down.

So rather than use this post to attempt to validate my laziness and excuses, here are things that I’m doing to try to get myself back into the running groove:

  • I joined a running club, something I’d been wanting to do for months. When Colin and I used to run at the track, we’d occasionally share it with people doing speed workouts and I was intrigued. The local running club seemed cool and very welcoming, but I was worried that I was too slow and too much of a newbie to join in. I’ve since been warmly welcomed via email by a few members, and I’m planning on trying my first speed workout next week. I’m excited, but also a little terrified. I’m looking forward to meeting fellow dwellers of the Wu, and am hoping it will be the kick in the bum that I need to start running in earnest again!
  • I grudgingly signed up for a race, one that should have a ton of spectators because it will take place on a St. Patrick’s Day parade route, right before the parade starts. Cheering crowds always get me pumped. I just hope this crowd will be the cheering sort, not the drunk, jeering sort. (Plus, I’ll have an excuse to wear this hat again, which is always fun.)
  • My work sponsors a fitness challenge every winter, and during the challenge participants can sign up for a discounted gym membership. Our gym has an indoor track as well as treadmills. This might be a way to run without having to brave the elements each time. I’m considering it, anyway.
  • I’ve been peeping other running blogs for inspiration and am even toying with the idea of signing up for a running box subscription like Stridebox or Runnerbox… mostly because I’m a gear-head. I’m excited at the idea of box subscriptions, I’m just not sure I’m ready to commit that much money to a monthly box of fun trial-sized foodstuffs and swag. (Who am I kidding? I’m ready. I just need to figure out a way to justify it.)

So that’s where I am. I wonder if other runners in cold climates, especially newbies like me, get down like this each January, or if I’m just a lazy wussie. Hopefully these things listed above will get me going again, and hopefully you’ll see more race posts and product reviews in this space instead of general whinging!

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