Even though I love running, it’s still difficult to get back into that groove after taking a little break. There are always some runs that are a little tougher than others, but I find that even more of them are tough when you’ve been spending more time on the couch with Mad Men than you have lacing up your running shoes.
That’s how it is for me, anyway.
But much like I do when I’m trying to stay stress-free, I have some little tricks that I employ when I want to remind myself how much I love running.
Run with a group. One of my favorite things about my Team Challenge participants this season is their enthusiasm for running together. Each Wednesday, a group of participants meets up for a run. I can always count on this little group run to get my excited and off my couch. Better yet, the miles tick by so much more happily with my team.
Make running a social thing. It’s kind of like running with a group, but this one’s different. Make plans to meet a friend you haven’t seen in a while and run. You’ll be so distracted by the chit-chatting that you’ll be able to forget all about the fact that your legs feel like lead.
Bust out a t-shirt from an old race. Bonus points if the race was especially difficult and you conquered it anyway. Even when a run isn’t going my way, I feel powerful when I’m wearing one of my Chicago Marathon shirts or my shirt from the Las Vegas Rock & Roll Half Marathon. But my favorite shirt by far is my finisher’s shirt from my very first marathon, the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. It was an incredibly difficult race, but somehow, Melissa and I finished. That shirt reminds me that I can get through the toughest of runs.
Bribe yourself. I’m not above bribery. I can successfully bribe myself into running, and it’s fantastic. Lauren, if you go for a run, you can have that new running shirt/raspberry tart/take a nap. Sometimes this one takes a little extra willpower, so the prize has to really be worth it.
Just get dressed. This is my favorite trick that my friend Barb taught me. Sometimes, just getting dressed in your running clothes and getting ready to workout can do it. I feel a little twinge of guilt changing out of them without doing my workout. But that little twinge is just enough, most days.
On another note, I’m over on Girls With Guts today, sharing my story. It’s a new twist on stories I’ve told before, so check it out if you’re so inclined.
Tell me your tricks for getting out of a running rut. What do you do?