This ever happened to you?
- You haven’t been running at all but you’re feeling good enough to run, or bad enough that you should run
- You dig your runners out from the bottom of the shoe pile
- You haul out all your clean running stuff
- You do a couple of quick stretches, and
- Bust out the door for a couple of blocks
And by the end of the first week of this, it’s a slog. A no-fun zone. Like a crawl through the desert. But at least you’re running, right? You can eat whatever you want…
Then Week 2 happens.
The boss calls an emergency meeting and you miss a day. The dog redesigns one of your bedposts and there goes another. The yellow tie-dye gets in with the whites and before you know it…
You’re Back Where You Started!
And the next time out it’s another block-by-block hurt locker.
In my mid-twenties I put myself through a year-long game of Red Light Green Light. Get going for a week. Stop for a week. Go for a week. Stop for a month.
Out of pure morbid curiosity I decided to see exactly how badly I felt after a restart run:
- Feet hot (it was the middle of summer). Yes.
- Lungs burning. Check.
- Hamstrings sore. Check.
- Parched. Check.
- Belly fat itching. Check.
- Nauseous. Check.
By the end of the week, I’d endured three similar runs. I noticed I wasn’t sucking quite so much wind, and I’d figured out that eating before running was a bad idea, but drinking water was fine, so that was three symptoms disappearing.
I decided to go for a record…
…one more week. By the end of that week, my belly fat stopped itching, so that was four out of six symptoms pretty much gone. How bad could one more week be?
By the end of three weeks – nine runs (a couple of blocks each) – it was down to hot feet. Hey, it was summertime. But the running itself was remarkably easier. I mean remarkably.
I made it over the Hump.
For me, it’s the three-week hump. It’s always right around three weeks.
By the end of three weeks of running every other day, my body finally gets the message that I’m not trying to kill it. And it stops resisting me.
For you it could be quite a bit different. Discomfort comes in twos as well. And fours. And fives.
Whatever your number is, if you go SLOWLY and reasonably STEADILY with plenty of REST (link), you’ll get past it, and your running Death Valley will begin to sprout daisies and rainbows. You’ll finally edge into the fun zone.
We’re talking weeks here. Not months. Not years.
Sure it’s rough the first day.
Maybe even day six.
Hang in There.
Carve out little, regular time chunks in your calendar for a couple or three weeks. Don’t try too much.
But expect it’s out there, and…
You’ll Run Right Over Your Hump.
You’ll be thankful you did. Happy. Grateful. Elated. Maybe gobsmacked.
That’s what these Motivation posts are about. To help you get to the other side of that hump. And stay there. Elated. Gobsmacked.
Running is simple. It doesn’t demand much time. It doesn’t require a club membership. And it doesn’t involve medieval workout equipment.
But a little motivation helps from time to time, yes?
So come on and join us, let’s hear how you’re keeping motivated, and let’s collectively keep ourselves in the fun zone !