Where Is The Love?

Despite beautiful weather and beautiful trails I still struggle trying to find my love of running.

Despite beautiful weather and beautiful trails I still struggle trying to find my love of running.

Meandering thoughts from the trail: Where is the love?
by Sheila Dawe

In the month of February, I find myself in a bit of a funk. Me, the runner with the can do attitude. How can this be? I have always tried to have a positive outlook and be focused on my training. By making my running routine I never questioned it, I just went out and did it. And now for the first time in over 5 years, running has become hard and I am left pondering “where is the love?”  Perhaps I should have taken a bit of a break in December, but I didn’t. Perhaps everything is too stale: following the same old training plan and same old routes. Perhaps it is from starting off the New Year on the wrong foot, so to speak. With a sore foot (tendonitis in 2nd metatarsal) I now find myself dealing with pain the majority of time I am running or walking; running has become oh so difficult. Whatever the reason for this funk, I need to find a way out of it and thus my month of February, is dedicated to getting my mojo back and finding my lost love.

February 9th, at the start of my trail run I heard the familiar voice say, “battery low”. My Ipod was then silent shortly after only 2 miles. Little did I know that, although I was disappointed of not having charged the Ipod the previous evening, this run would result in the spark I needed to make a change in my attitude. The silence allowed me to reconnect with nature and my thoughts. The lack of music and many other things contributed to me being able to see a glimmer of the old me.

On this day I ran on a beautiful trail of pristine dry snow. Living in the Pacific Northwest this is a rare event. We had a snow storm a week ago, followed by a week of freezing temperatures. I marveled that there were no other footprints besides mine and some wildlife. While having one of my many snack breaks and sitting on a log, I was pleasantly surprised by how silent the world was around me. I was suddenly transported back to when I was twelve years old and would explore the woods around our neighborhood after a rare snow fall. I had an “aha” moment as the young explorer in me came alive on this run. I realized what I love about running is the adventure. My adventure is in exploring trails, exploring the possibilities of my body and being out in the great outdoors for hours upon hours.

I got my mojo back and found my love of running, thanks in part to Moon Joggers.

I got my mojo back and found my love of running, thanks in part to Moon Joggers.

This is how I continued to find the love again for the rest of the month:

Step one: Make it easy. When I first taught running clinics this was my number one rule. If an active is easy then one will enjoy what they are doing. Making it easy can take multiple forms, such as: running at a slower pace or running for shorter intervals (i.e. having more walk breaks). I even went to the extent of breaking up my 6 mile run into two 3 mile runs, just because mentally it was easier to do the 3 mile route.

Step two: Make it simple. Lose the technology. Putting the Garmin away, allows you to not think about the pace and become more in tune with your body and finding the pace that fills right. Running without music and simply listening to the world around you allows you to connect with the process.

Step three: Stir it up. Try different routes. I started to do my usual routes in the reverse direction. My long run, I changed the start location which resulted in a change of route. I even changed the clothes I wore; I dug deep into the drawer and found some old forgotten favorites.

Step four: It’s all about me. Be sure to continue to eat and drink during run. Change the focus on the act of running to taking care of yourself. Work on rehab and strengthening exercises.

Step five: Be positive. I have always tried to say, “I love…” as opposed to “I hate…”. I believe that you create your own

The explorer in me adventures out on a new trail.

The explorer in me adventures out on a new trail.

reality and thus by having a positive attitude, eventually the true feelings will follow. So I love hills, I love to run in the rain, I love long runs, I love making time for a run after a long day at work and I love the runner in me.

Step six: It’s all about someone else. Give back. Teach someone to run. I find tremendous joy in training my mother to run her first ever half marathon. Another option is to volunteer at a race.

Step seven: Use Moon Joggers for motivation. I often will check Facebook prior to going for a run for motivation.

Remember if you find yourself in a funk, try dedicating a month to improving your outlook. I am now glad for the month of February, in which I found my one true love and baby I am so glad to have my mojo back.

 

sheila daweBiography:  Sheila being 49 years old, single, with no kids has the perfect lifestyle for becoming an obsessive runner. Her 77 year old mother, Catherine Campbell (another Moon Jogger) moved in next door to her in 2000. After cheering Sheila on at multiple marathons, Catherine finally caught the running bug. Sheila taught her to run in 2009 and this year is very significant as Sheila is training Catherine to complete her first ever half marathon. Sheila works for the Government of Canada as a fish health technician but longs for the day when she can retire and dedicate even more time to her passion…running.

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