In 2008, I had one very big goal: go from a 5k to not one but two half marathons. On the schedule was the Marine Corps Historic Half in Fredericksbug, VA in May and the half marathon at the Baltimore Running Festival in October. These two races consumed my 2008. I didn't finish feeling very strong in May so I ramped up my efforts, joined a running club, participated in speed workouts at the track and improved my diet. My efforts paid off and I had a great day in October. But then, I just fizzled. I figured I'd take a few weeks off then start running again and sign up for some races. I didn't do much running at all then just before Thanksgiving, participated in the annual Freeze Your Gizzard Cross Country 5k, a race I normally love. I hated it this year. I felt tired. I felt stiff. I just wanted to get out of the cold and go home. So what happened? I think since I spent an entire year thinking and talking non-stop about running, I experienced burn out.
I didn't just sit on the couch though. Instead, I joined a gym and started participating in other activities. I discovered spinning (which I love!), a really great strength training class that I never, ever miss and only ran when I felt like it and didn't put any pressure on myself if I went 2 weeks without running a single mile. Slowly, I got back into it and started running more and more and now, I feel like I'm back out of the running funk. I'm not going to stop doing the other things that I discovered and now love because I think they will help me from burning out again. Also, while I did make another big goal for 2009, a full marathon (gasp!!!), I'm hoping that I'll go a little easier on myself...ease up on the pressure I put on myself in '08 and most importantly, have fun again!