In two weeks, I will have to decide if I will continue on with MCM training or defer until next year. (One other option: Transfer to the MCM 10K.) These two weeks are crucial for me. I need to give my mind a reset and see if I can turn this training around.
Like the past nine months, it will be a challenge.
This morning, two hours before I was supposed to wake up for my 16-miler, I was wide awake. I read for about an hour, then began thinking about the run. I had zero desire to go. Zero motivation. So I canceled it. Slept through the 5 a.m. alarm. When I was awoken by the sun around 8 a.m., I wasn't disappointed in myself -- I still had zero desire to strap on my water-filled CamelBak and head out for a five-hour run/walk. But it was a beautiful day, and I DID have a desire to be outside running. So I walked to the high school track and did three miles.
Yep. Three miles instead of 16. But I was glad I got outside and didn't fall in to the "all or nothing" mentality that typically defines me.
I've been thinking about this lack of motivation recently. As much as I am trying, trying, trying, I admit I'm not giving 100 percent. This recent horoscope hit home:
"You're not doing all you can to ensure the outcome that you most desire -- but why? It's a good day to examine your motives very carefully."
One thing that I'm sure has been holding me back (physically, yes, but mostly mentally) is my weight. I stopped eating the junk that my office gives out for free every day (for the first week or two of our free-snack program, I succumbed to M&Ms and Famous Amos cookies and a bunch of crap; for the past month and a half, I have not touched the bad stuff). But I still am eating a lot of bread/carbs -- and too much dried mango at work -- and not really tracking my calories. When I DO track myself and choose Sweetgreen salads over Chipotle burrito bowls, I not only feel better physically but I am much more motivated during my runs. Even if the weight isn't down, I'm more inclined to run longer, more often, better because my mind believes I can.
And as many people tell me, and I have experienced, so much of long-distance running is mental. I have put in the miles, and I should be able to go farther, but when I get that nagging voice in my mind telling me I can't do it, it usually stops me cold.
So I've decided to see what happens this week, and hopefully next, if I focus on my diet and small runs. See if I can flip that switch in my brain. It's really the last tool I have in my toolbox -- and a critical one.