|I am Beth and I am just so damn happy to be running I could crap myself.|
Not to say that you've lost your boner for running, but maybe it is a bit fleeting (or flacid). Maybe you just need a reminder of why you fell in love with this sport in the first place. Personally, I need these reminders every time I am lacking in motivation or I have a sucky run/race or I simply am feeling a tad burned out.
So, here goes.
1. You started running for a reason. Think back. What was it that got your out there initially? Over time, our reasons for running can change. But in all likelihood, the intention you started back then is still relevant. For me, running represented freedom, accomplishment and something of my own. I started running when my kids were 7 and 10 (they are now 16 and 19!). Running was a way to literally run out the door, not kill anyone and get back a sense of self. Sure, there were health benefits, shots of adrenaline and cute clothes, but my reasons were more mental/emotional.
2. Your options aren't limited. Maybe you and running fell out of love because you got bored with it. Maybe you need to spice things up. If you run the same route all the time, try running in the opposite direction. Get really crazy and leave the roads and bike paths altogether and find some trails. Sick and tired of running long? Train for shorter distances and get faster. Or, do the opposite and take on a running distance that's new to you.
3. Everyone gets slower with age. Yeah, so there are those that actually improve with age like full bodied red wines and fruit cake, but the majority of us are going to slow down. Why? Because we're old motherf&ckers. And, our VO2 max and strength decline while our body fat may increase (you know - muffin top, beer belly, etc). In truth, we likely slow 7% per decade in our 40s, 50s and 60s (source). Yikes. I write this not to depress you, but to tell you that if part of why running no longer excites you is that you are frustrated by becoming slower: GET OVER IT. That's life. Do what you can to take care of yourself and keep plugging along. And, always consider the alternative (that means you could be dead).
4. Taking a break is allowed. Maybe you'd like running a hell of a lot more if you simply took a break from it for awhile. It's not a divorce, just a temporary separation so you can let your heart grow fonder again.
5. You've gotten spoiled. When we first take up running, we love everything about it. We are grateful for each milestone. The first mile we go without stopping. The first double digit run, The first time we cross a finish line. All of the firsts that come with being a running virgin. But, over time, we take it for granted. We forget to relish the fact that we CAN run, we don't HAVE to run. We begin to see it as a chore, rather than a gift. Change your perspective and make a shift towards gratitude. See what happens.
Are you cured? Are you falling in love again? Well, I did my best.
Why did you start running in the first place?
Are you getting slower with age? Yes. Dammit.