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Monday, March 26, 2012

Feeling the burn(out)

I didn't think it would happen to me.
I'm burned out. 
Too much running, too many marathons, too much going on at work.
I started feeling this way right before the Publix marathon. Usually I'm excited to race, even if it's at training pace. This time I felt like, "Ugh, another marathon?!"
Then, the week following the race, I felt slow and sluggish. I took days off, then I felt worse when I got back to running. I was a little sore since I'm not used to hills, but this was more than sore: this was bored.
By now I should feel fresh and fine. Instead I feel tired and slow.
I think part of this funk is that I have had several very busy and stressful weeks at work (something I will post about later) and, well, even though it wasn't my plan to "race" Publix and I could never, ever have run a PR on that course, I feel a little down because I didn't PR. And I came in fourth. I think fourth is the absolute worst place to finish.
Yes, I know I'm being unreasonable.

The problem with being burned out is that Boston is just a few weeks away. If I want it to not suck I have to get in some key speed and confidence-boosting workouts, and I need to get my interest back quick. Any ideas, peeps? 

On another note, some Publix pictures:
This picture gives you an idea of the hills: long and steep. The guy in red behind me was part of the "pack"  I ran with for the majority of the race. The guy in the white shirt led me for the first several miles, but gradually dropped back. I saw him finish 3 or 4 minutes after me. 
Guy in red STILL right by me as we turn to the finish!
And this picture is just because I think my muscles look awesome. 


  1. I've been there and the one thing I can say is that it's when I've gotten injured too. There are so many factors that go into how we feel about racing--like you said, stressful work, etc. all play a role in how much energy and enthusiasm we have left to give.

    But you do have an immediate issue--Boston! So think to yourself that you have to suck it up for just another week or two, then taper, then race. THEN--take a break and run when you feel like running, without a schedule or agenda to get the love back in your body and mind. Good luck

  2. Hopefully work won't be as stressful in the next few weeks so you can find some mojo and keep going...then, take a nice long break after Boston!

  3. Ugggh. You know GRacie, I would have been poooped out after ONE week in your shoes. So for Boston...hmmmm, well, focus on the fact that you get to meet um...ME!!! :) ha. Kidding. A couple days off won't HURt you. PUt your feet up, watch a movie, relax, sleep and put this on the back burner for just a little bit (not long enough to lose anything). Maybe even indulge in a massage and a getaway. Unplug from the running world...give your mind and body a break. That's what I would do.

  4. Whoa. You should dial back your training, and not do any races prior to Boston Marathon. I think you will feel fine by race day, but just seems like you had too much going on with races. I think you were racing a marathon every other weekend for a while. I guess also make sure to sleep a lot, eat right, and drink a lot of water. I bet you will be fine by Boston race day.

  5. Your muscles DO look awesome in that last picture!!!

    I hope you can hang on for just a little bit longer... You can do it!

  6. Um, yeah...holy muscles! I dream of having abs someday that I can just run in a sports bra...

  7. Your muscles do look amazing! Seriously, though - amazing! I feel you on the burn out (on a tiny, tiny scale for myself, though :-)), and 99% of the time, mine is caused by outside stressors - work, kids, etc.

    I find that mixing up my workouts as much as possible is the big help. I also make new play lists, sometimes try a new fuel or Nuun, silly little things that get my mojo back, even temporarily. I'm not above buying myself a new tank top, etc as motivation either. :-)

    Hope you get your groove back so you can enjoy the last of your Boston training!

  8. Wow, you are toned girl! I can understand why you feel burned out... you have ran alot of races lately. Hopefully you can take a break after Boston? I'd say to go into that not expecting/thinking you will PR, but it's hard to make statements like that and follow thru on them...

  9. Your muscles look great! I would say that since you are about to taper anyway, you should be able to cut back on your miles for the next couple of weeks (or few) and then Bring It when you get to Boston. Afterward, take a break! You have been going non stop for a long time!

  10. Your endocrine system has taken a bit of a hit. Realistically all the heavy lifting for your Boston mary has already been done. Do the varsity speed work if you feel keen, and do a longish run 2 weeks before Boston, but other than that keep it to short and easy - enjoyable - runs.

  11. Are those Saucony shorts/ I have the same pair, love them.

    This is what I would do. I think all the training is done. Boston is in less than 3 weeks. You need to rest the body while maintaining your sharpness. This means cutting the mileage but maintaining the frequency. This also means keeping some speed and MP miles, but not too much. Right now you will gain fitness by resting. I would not take days off, those will most likely leave you sluggish. Just decrease the mileage of all your runs. A 4 mile recovery run, no watch, just music is going to be better than no run at all. Good luck!

    1. They're actually Nike tempos, got them on clearance for $14 :)

  12. your muscles are insane.

    i feel ya on the burnout. i still wonder if that affected me back in 2009. unfortunately i don't have a solution for you from my "trial and error" other than maybe take a few days to a week off and allow yourself to veg out. are you feeling like you're putting pressure on yourself to suck it up and run? when i do that, i tell myself i need to just pull back and take time off. it shouldn't be a chore. i think you and i are not the types to abuse this and say "oh i don't feel like running, i should probably take the day off".

    one really good thing is - boston is close enough that technically you could just taper from here. i think you're like me in that you don't like a 3 week taper though. but, cutting back now won't hurt anything. "the hay is in the barn" as they say.

    good luck... hang in there!

    i refuse to buy nike clothes that aren't on sale. especially after you shared that link a year ago or so when they were on sale.

  13. I always feel more confident going into a marathon (granted I've only done 4) if I have one good 5k or 10k 2 weeks before a marathon. I prefer the 10K. It's a tough race but mentally it helps- especially when you get to that last 10K in a marathon. My mind immediately goes back to the hard 10K workout I did and I know I can do this. That's just one idea. I always feel funny giving you tips though since your marathon PR is so much faster than mine!

  14. I have been struggling big time with burnout right now. I usually don't have trouble motivating myself to workout, but lately it's been an issue. I'm not running Boston this year, but I'm running a marathon 2 weeks later, so I feel the pressure to get my crap together, but all I want to do is sit on my couch and do nothing. Haha. I've never heard of that leading to a good marathon time! Oh well.

  15. there is no "think" in that last picture. your muscles DO look awesome. your abs are insane. well, so are your marathon times.