the nap won

I can count on half a hand how many times this has happened: I put all my running clothes on, right down to my socks and shoes ... and then don't go. But it happened last night. My stomach was turning, my sinuses aching, my head splitting.

I don't subscribe to this belief: "I regret that workout, said no one ever".  I've regretted workouts. I've felt worse after a run. And sometimes I throw in the towel and rest instead of slogging out a crappy run that means nothing.

But the line between good rest and wimpy rest is thin. Like I said I don't take many 'unplanned' rest days. I don't throw in the towel on a planned workout unless I know it's about to be unproductive pain. But I very often want to. I can't tell if this will come as a shock to anyone. But there are many days and sometimes the days stretch out for weeks, that I just don't want to run. I don't want to leave my warm couch to tromp my sore little legs around the same 8 mile loop. I just don't.

But of course I do. I run 6 days a week, sometimes twice a day. And the #1 reason I do get my butt out the door isn't very tagline worthy or inspiring.

  1. Plan: Plan the week and stick to it. If there's happy hour after work, I know I better be up getting my miles at 5am. If there's a meeting in the morning, I plan a runch. Don't leave workouts to the whim of day, it won't happen. I take the thought out of it... and just do it. (I guess there is a tagline in there)
  2. Bribery: I use music as my #1 bribe. Yep, I plug in. Sometimes for days at a time. Running to my own soundtrack is just about the best treat I can think of. 
  3. Friends: I say it all the time, "I wouldn't have ____ without you". Meeting friends takes 87% of the work out of running. Just show up and go. As you talk, the miles go by. Autopilot. 
  4. Threads: It's not motivating to tromp around in my 3 sizes too big half marathon finishers tee shirts. Sure it works, but I'm most motivated after laundry day when all my Oiselle gear is there, ready to be made into bright outfits. 
  5. Competition: I think about who isn't taking the day off. 'nuff said. 

Winter is the pits, it's not my jam. I'm one happy lamp from full on blanket wrapped depression by February 2. But while getting out the door sucks, getting out of bed suuuuucks, and that first mile or two sucks... by mile 4 I'm usually a happy runner. Yes, there are some days from start to finish that all I think is, "this effing sucks. Eff this run." But luckily those days are rare.

What keeps you running? 


  1. Having a plan and sticking to it really helps me stick to running (on top of obviously enjoying it) I also focus on how I will feel after if I run vs if I don't

  2. There's definitely days when I don't feel like running. I'd rather sleep in or take a nap. And those first two miles suck.

    "Should I cut this run short?" "I should stop and go back." "Why am I out here again?"

    Those are the thoughts that race through my head. But I also run on trail, which means, I have some pretty awesome views to enjoy and they never get boring. So by mile #2 or #3, I'm feeling better about that run I didn't feel like doing in the first place.

  3. Honestly, the only thing that got me out of the warm bed next to Mr. Cuteness this morning was thinking how bad I want to rock the Boston marathon in April. I hope it was worth it because I really love my ZZzzz's!

  4. For me it is whether I want to 1) have a guilt free treat 2) look good for an upcoming event 3) get my miles in for the year 4) not screw up training for an event by missing a scheduled run

    I like your list though and totally agree that good workout clothes help! Who knew compression pants would improve my mood so much?!

  5. My comments keep disappearing before I post them! Hopefully I'm not posting 600 times. I like your tips, but if it's an option, why not also try running somewhere other than the same 8-mile loop? I get so bored if I run the same route more than two or three times in a row.

  6. Hope you feel better soon!
    It's not often I don't feel like running or biking. But if it does happen, I usually honour it, knowing my body might need the day off. And, I think about how much race X will hurt without the proper training!

  7. "It's gotta suck a little now so it sucks less race day" And if I'm not training, then nothing. Unplanned rest days for all! Other than my pants not fitting.

  8. I think I'm having the same problem as Jean...I'm typing and the comment disappears. Weird.

    Anyway- I too need to plan my runs or they won't happen. If I set the intention to run at a certain time, I'll make sure it happens (and since I work from home, if I have a lunch run planned, I wear my running stuff all morning so that i HAVE to run). I bribe myself with podcasts as well - it works well.

  9. I love that..." Who isn't taking the day off." Perfect way to think on those 5 am mornings!

  10. I commend you for running that much. As much as I love running, my legs just won't let me run more than 4-5 days a week. I need that crosstraining to even things out! But I do fit my workouts in no matter what!

  11. Girl I hear you on the dark/winter/morning running debacle. And since you live so nearby, I feel like I *definitely* can relate. I'll wave if I see you amongst the sideways rain on California Ave.

    A good go-to for me, if there isn't a training necessity/plan, is, "Do I want to be grumpy for 20 minutes when I get up/get warmed up, or do I want to be grumpy the entire day because I skipped the run?" That normally does the trick...remembering how much better the rest of life goes when the run happens.


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