Monday, November 1, 2010


Why do I do this? Why do I do this?

That question scrolled through my mind yesterday as I rounded my familiar six-and-a-half mile loop.

Why do I do this? Why do I do this?

I've used this blog of document many of the ideological, pie-in-the-sky reasons that I run. Running keeps me sane, it helps me be a better me, it keeps me healthy and helps me appreciate my physical abilities.

The list goes on and on.

But yesterday my question was much more basic. Why, exactly, do I run? Because, after all, I'm sure there are other outlets that would achieve those things I listed above. Right?

Why do I run?

Surprisingly, I don't think I've ever really thought about it before now. Running was something that just sorta happened. To help you understand where this most fundamental question was coming from yesterday, let me paint a picture for you.

The crisp fall air was blowing, and the leaves crackled beneath my feet. The sun was bright and the sky was blue. The leaves, unfortunately, were just a bit past peak. Otherwise, it would have been a quintessential fall New England day - the kind of day they make postcards out of.

It was cool enough that I didn't wear shorts (although I could have), but not as cold as to force me to bundle up in a jacket or gloves or a hat. My capri running pants and a long-sleeved shirt suited the day's weather just fine.

Simply, it was a near-perfect running day.

I should have be itching at the chance to get outside and run. That's right, I said should have. Truth is, I wasn't much in the running mood yesterday. But I knew I'd regret a decision not to run, so I laced up my sneakers and headed out. I needed the miles.

It used to be that I'd be excited at the possibility of running on a fall day - that tiny window us New Englanders have between the hot, humid days of summer and the long, harsh, dark winter runs.

Why wasn't I excited, I asked myself. Usually, once I step outside and get moving, I'm instantly reminded. Not yesterday. With each step, I continued to question why I was out there. No one was making me do it.

My running seemed harder than usual. I felt awkward and uncoordinated. It was like my body was fighting me. My arms moved strangely by my sides and I couldn't quite find a comfortable position for them.

That runner's high? No where in sight.

This wasn't the first run like this, either. It seems like the miles I've put in lately haven't come easily. Sure, I get them done, but they're just harder than usual.

No longer do I come back refreshed and energized. No longer am I feeling a rush of

I don't just mean mentally hard; they're actually physically harder than usual, too. At times yesterday, I struggled up the slightest hills and even, gasp, stopped for some walk breaks.
I even contemplated cutting the run shorts a few times.

It seems that I've entirely lost my mojo.

I posted a few thoughts on Dailymile following my run and the advice started - take a break, cross train, find a buddy, wait it out, find what motivates me, train for a race. All good advice from people who've probably experienced the same thing.

I know my less-than-enthusiastic attitude is only temporary. I know I'll find that spark again. I know I'll find something that will re-energize and focus me.

Until then, I'll keep running - because I'm pretty sure that mojo isn't going to come knocking on my door. I have to go out and find it.


  1. Teresa-I completely understand where you are coming from. You have accomplished a lot in your running. It's hard to sustain the contstant racing, mileage, racing, training, etc of the marathon and other race cycles. I can only do one or two marathons a year myself. Keep it going. I applaud you for dragging yourself out there. I've had a couple of runs like that myself. As Greg S. said to me recently, the bad runs are there to remind us of the good ones.

  2. Teresa, if "just keep running" isn't working (or doesn't start to soon), maybe it is time to mix things up with a break or change of routine, whether its cross or strength training, a new type of workout, mixing in some different times of day, if possible, or setting an easy but interesting short-term goal (a race or otherwise). Having not followed your blog that closely yet (sorry, will rectify), I don't know what normally motivates you, but if whatever it is isn't working right now, then it may be time to experiment with a change. Hope you figure it out (though "mojo loss" is less serious than a true loss of "motivation").

    And thanks for the mention, Chris!

  3. Hang in there! Good choice to keep on running. Maybe your body's tired from making it do too much in too little time, I don't know but I'm also sure that the daylight savings business, the arrival of the new season, the days getting shorter could have something to do with it too. I'm sort of in the same boat! You can do it. Listen to your body. If you need to cut it short, do, if you need to run, do, you'll be back at it for sure when the time is right!

  4. Boo :o( Hang in there!! We all go through this every once in awhile. Your mojo will come back when you least expect it :o)


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