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Motivational Struggle

Thursday, June 20, 2013

When I left off my story, I'd injured the formerly good left foot on my run Tuesday. I got my 10K steps in on Tuesday, but not much more.

Wednesday was tough. It was a day in the office, which made it easy to get a lot of gentle steps; but that foot hurt a lot. My lunch walk was both shorter and slower than usual. I used RunKeeper, which reported that I walked a sedate 21 minute per mile average pace. For all of 22 minutes. I almost bailed on the thought of mowing the lawn, which needed it Tuesday; but then I remembered someone describing the modern running shoe as being "like a cast," thus causing foot muscle atrophy. I reasoned that this was a bit of an exaggeration, but my steel toed lineman's boots used for lawn mowing would be more like a cast. So I put on the boots, found that they were protecting the feet pretty well, and got the lawn mowed. That took the time Wednesday evening that might have otherwise gone into a blog, but that was OK.

Thursday morning, a work at home day and normally a running day. I'd already decided today was a non-running day. Even if I hadn't, about two paces of beginning to run in the hallway would have been enough to convince me. No light jogging in the hallway today, either. The better part of valor was to put on sandals for the morning routine instead of staying barefoot as I usually do.

The pre-work walk timed out to a pace of 17 minutes per mile. Improvement, but still pretty slow. But, this was a work at home day. Unlike yesterday, I remembered to take my ibuprofen. And with the convenience of my own freezer available, I could decide to ice down my feet on short notice. That helped, and the noon walk timed out to an average pace of 15:40 per mile. Still not normal, but close enough that I can see normal from there. And the foot felt good enough that getting my 10K steps today wasn't much of a problem.

Not being able to run is harder emotionally than physically. I got a bad case of the don't cares in the mornings, and skipped the TGUs and kettlebell snatches. However, force of habit got me through the normal sets of pullups and pushups. I should pause here and be thankful that I built some good habits to pull me through days of low motivation.

And I trimmed 100 calories from my nutrition range yesterday. It looked like I wouldn't be running for a while, so it seemed a good idea to give myself permission to eat less. If this turns into an extended period of not running, I may have to trim the range further. Particularly if I remain so unmotivated as to skip the kettlebell routine most mornings.

I have a few what-if regrets: What if I'd learned to run slower? What if I'd worn the newer lightweight shoes and quit sooner because I felt it sooner? What if I lose another summer for running, and don't learn to deal with hot weather? It was 72°F when I walked at noon. That was comfortable for walking, and a missed opportunity to learn a bit about running in warm weather. All of this feeds the non-motivation, and I'm trying to walk away from that kind of thinking. Hence, this blog, talking out the thoughts so the bad ones can be dismissed and the good ideas can become more solid.

My current plan is, I will skip Saturday for running, even if the feet feel healthy. Clearly, I'm overly optimistic about how good is good enough to run on. So let's compensate for that by taking an extra day off after I *think* I'm good enough to come back. Plan B says, it's probably time to take a full week off. That feeds my non-motivation, but sounds wiser than just skipping another day.

So, how bad is it? Really, not that bad. I can't run right now. That's frustrating, but I've been there before. I need to cultivate the patience that got me through the last time like this. I'm low on motivation, but I've been there before. I need to do the right things, even if I'm not doing them enthusiastically, and wait for the motivation to return. History leads me to believe it will return, perhaps soon, perhaps not so soon, but it will come back.

Meanwhile, give myself pep talks. Treat the feet right. Take that ice bag to work, and ice them down in the morning. Try to get some ice out of the cafeteria at noon so you can ice them down in the afternoon as well. Remember to take that ibuprofen at work; that's why you have some in your desk. And if you have to walk slow, walk slow . . . but walk.

Life goes on, even without motivation. Just have to be ready for the fun when the motivation comes back.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Forget the "what ifs" and don't dwell on the past. You don't live there. Sounds like you've got a good plan moving forward and even if you do have to go with plan B, you can always add some upper body ST in so you still feel like you get a good workout every day. Good luck!
    1703 days ago
  • KANOE10
    You are so goes on without motivation..You just keep doing the habits you have developed even if you do not feel enthusiastic about it. I am sorry about your foot and hope that it heals. You are wise to know that patience is needed and that your motivation will return. I know how much you love running and it is hard to be patient until you can do it again.

    1703 days ago
  • NWFL59
    Hope you are healing as well as anticipated and that your motivation is returning. Glad you have previous established good habits that will help get you through this temporary mental state. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1703 days ago
    Low motivation days can be tough but you've got the right idea by blogging out your thoughts and pep talks. Patience and'll be back running again soon. emoticon
    1703 days ago
    Take time to get these issues behind you. Lack of motivation is one thing and lack of patience is quite another. Have a healthy Friday. Spark on!
    1703 days ago
    A tough chapter that I hope you will get through and come out stronger from!
    1703 days ago
    This happening to you is so unfair after how patiently and wisely you handled the previous injuries : (
    I hope your leg will heal soon!
    I'm sure you will find other enjoyable workouts to stay fit until then.

    1703 days ago
    Life goes on even without motivation -- and motivation returns when we keep on with the good habits life has taught us.

    Thanks for reminding me.

    And . . . sorry you're having a tough patch. But you are (even without enthusiasm, which cannot be coerced) doing the right stuff.

    1703 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Oh, how I hate those down times in between being able to do the fitness activity we love and the recovery from injuries period. I wish you well in rehabbing your foot and finding the solution to your ongoing foot woes. Very interesting information on shoes being too supportive and atrophying the muscles. I am under the constant care of a podiatrist and am stuck wearing orthotics because of 'fallen arches' Knowing what the pain was like before this problem was corrected made me realize this is something I will have to do always so no barefoot fun for me.
    Pullups and pushups are pretty good morning wake me ups ;) Keep up the great work! For having no motivation you are doing a whole lot better with your program than a lot of folks!
    Spark on!
    1704 days ago
    I think I'll borrow this one: "Life goes on, even without motivation. "

    One wise woman said to me, "just remember how many things that really make you happy require you to be fit". Hmmmm. Good to remember. What I really, really want.

    You, too. To be fit. To live.
    1704 days ago
    Give yourself time to heal. Keep icing the injury. Soon you will be good as new.
    1704 days ago
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