Two weeks ago, and a fortnight after finishing the 2012 Dublin Marathon, I listened to my body and it was saying “Kick it!” – so I went zooming around my regular running route.
Since last week, though, it hasn’t been saying much at all. I think I’m still in the middle of my delayed-reaction post-marathon blues.
Last night I wanted to go for a slow five-mile run on my usual route. However, as soon as I put my foot out the door I felt like a bean bag with an elephant sitting on it. I hadn’t an ounce of physical or mental energy.
So, I changed my plan and went on a light three-mile shuffle instead – and I didn’t enjoy a single step of it. This is odd for me, because normally during a run I’m having great fun in my head. Random songs and thoughts usually pop in to entertain me, like some kind of running-based circus or cabaret show, but not on last night’s run – it felt more like a school exam.
My route didn’t help. The five-mile circuit is quite hilly and demanding, and it doesn’t have a natural point where I can break off and shorten my run, so for the three-miler last night I had to go in a different direction, around a built-up area where I can’t get a rhythm going. I usually go on this shorter circuit when I’m conscious of having to run less – feeling tired or tapering down, for instance – and so simply being there reinforced my negative vibes.
Anyway, I shuffled around and hardly broke a sweat. Tonight is a night off, but I want to go out running again tomorrow night – the thought of not running at all is just as demoralizing for me as the thought of running without pleasure.
If I do run tomorrow night, just for a couple of easy miles, perhaps I’ll go in a completely new and unexplored direction so that my run will be less about working out and more about investigating new routes. I’ll leave the watch at home and put all thoughts of racing out of my head. The best way to beat these blues might be keep things slow but also freshen things up.