Running without purpose…

This is a weird time of year for me. I kinda felt it last summer, but I was so stressed about my first triathlons that I at least had other things to focus on, even if I didn’t have any major running goals. This is the time of year I let Donnie lead the training schedule, I plan my runs around his workouts. And since he’s training for an Ironman in September, he’s working out twice a day many days, on Saturdays he could be gone for 5+ hours depending on where he’s going for his long bike ride. So, I squeeze in what I can, when I can.

My goal was to try to hang around 30 miles a week still this summer, which I’m getting close to. I’m usually hitting 24 or more, but never quite hitting 30 like I had hoped. It’s just tough because I’m doing my “long” runs on the weekends in the middle of the afternoon when it’s hot and I’m often alone which makes it very difficult to motivate myself to do more than 6 miles which is my standard running distance. If I’m getting out? I’d like to do at least 6 miles. And this time of year? It’s hard to motivate myself to do more.

Our Tuesday night Cross Country runs started last week, so that helps me get six miles in pretty easily at a time where Donnie never needs a workout. And our Fleet Feet has a Thursday night fun run that started last week too, I’ll be doing that. It’s scheduled to give me 5, but I can add one before just to give me the 6 I usually like. So, that’s two runs WITH people every week. But the weekends? OH MAN, THEY ARE KILLING ME.

On Saturday I really struggled to leave the house. It was hot and I was tired and I had no reason to run. That’s my problem, without a race to train for, I have a really hard time getting out the door. I know I need a good base so I do it, but man…I can not bring myself to do much. I tricked myself this weekend by do 3.5 miles out along a straight path from my house. I knew if I could make it the 3.5 miles, then I would have to come home and there’s not shorter route than straight back. To push myself to the 3.5 miles mark, I brought some money to buy a gatorade with at a gas station. That’s the other problem, in this heat? I drink 20 ounces EASY over 3-4 miles. So I have to either A) carry my hydration pack which I don’t want to do in the heat or B) plan for an aid stop or drop somewhere.

But this trick worked, I forced myself the 3.5 miles to the gas station. I relished my cold Gatorade, and made it home. That may become my standard Saturday route even though it’s flat and straight and BORING AS SHIT.

Sundays I might have more chances to find people to run with. Donnie’s workouts are shorter so he won’t mind sometimes giving me the morning, and I have friends who can’t run Sunday mornings so Sunday afternoons would work for them. Sundays I can work with. And if I keep tricking myself on Saturday’s then I might start getting the 30 miles per week I need until I start ramping up at the end of July.

It’s just hard. I know I’m a runner. I have no problem wearing that title. But MAN, I hate the summer and I hate not having something specific to train for. Even for me, a self-declared runner, it’s hard to get out that damn door.

Do you have any tricks?

3 thoughts on “Running without purpose…”

  1. I’m a run-just-to-run runner (I hate races) so I’m not sure if my experience is relevant, but I also hate running in the heat. I can’t remember what your policy/preferences are in terms of listening to music or other things while running, but I need to have a good podcast on deck to get me up at 5am in the summer to run. I would imagine with your daily responsibilities and kids around that some extended personal time with good audio could be an incentive…

  2. I have to sign up for a fall race or I’ll never get out and run during the summer! I’ve got the Women’s Half in September and Middle Half in October and that’s the only thing getting me out the door in this heat & humidity!

  3. Our running store had some handheld ice pack thingies on clearance and I grabbed a couple. I will say that they do help for about 30 min.
    And I’m cutting myself slack/using this as an opportunity to look at other aspects of running & fitness. Continuing betty rocker-esque workouts (which helped my running more thanbi had predicted), hills, sprints, etc. I also ordered a heart rate monitor that will work w my phone so I can play with heart rate training.

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