Runner’s Block

I blame the counselor in me, but I think too much. If I feel something odd or act differently than normal, I take the time to figure out why I’m feeling/acting that way and how I can resolve it.


Like when I was a snappy bitch on Tuesday afternoon, I realized it was because I was nervous about a presentation I was giving that evening. Once I was aware of that, I was able to change my ‘tude.

Or the time Cory and I watched Castaway the night before he left for his study abroad trip to Spain (stupid idea.) I remember sobbing my way through that movie – and I had already seen it three times. I just really didn’t want him to end up with a volleyball as his only friend.


Or like this week, when I experienced (a completely made up phenomenon) runner’s block . Like not being able to write a creative sentence if I tried, I could not bring myself to go on a run. Yes, I actually am tired and yes, I actually don’t have much time to fit in 4 and 5 mile runs when I don’t get home until 10:00 – but I knew those weren’t the real reasons behind my avoidance.

I’ve avoided running this week because Sunday’s long run was traumatizing. I know I joked about it, but I had never felt so badly during a run. And the thought that was burned to the back of my brain was You can hardly run six miles. How in the hell will you run 13?

I know it’s a process and I understand everyone has bad runs, but it doesn’t negate the fact that it got under my skin and really messed with me.

So I stalled out.

But you all know I’m not one to give up that easily 😉 So today I slept in a in a bit. And rather than rolling out of bed and onto the treadmill, I took it easy and made myself some breakfast. I’m finding it easier to run when I have food in my stomach.

I’ll let that settle, wake up some more, write an email or two and then head out for a run. I’ll do my best not to think about time or distance, and I’ll just focus on putting one step in front of the other.

What more can I do, right?

**Edit to add: This morning’s run!***


  1. says

    Runners block – love it. Even though I’m training for my third half, I think it’s really common to feel this way! I know when I have a bad run, I’m the type that wants to run again immediately and fix it…I’m also the type that ends up pushing myself too hard too fast and developing obsessive thought patterns that aren’t healthy either. I think it’s really good you just let yourself be and didn’t force yourself to run – you’d end up hating it! Hopefully now your body is going to be ready (and willing!) to jump back in

  2. says

    Aw Colleen I know how you feel. My leg has been acting up (slightly) and I’ve been using it is an excuse to pretty much not do any workout because I am afraid of what will happen if i do try to use it to run and fail. Le sigh. And don’t be too traumatized!! Everyone has BAD runs…I do all the time. Looks like your going to have great amounts of carbs in your belly to give you the energy to GO!

  3. says

    I know it’s easier said than done, but don’t let the bad run get to you too harshly. About 2 years ago, I could barely run a mile without having a mild heart attack, but it was just last October that I completed my first (and probably only) marathon.

    Now I’m pretty much back in the same boat– my body barely wants to run more than 2 miles– but I’m completely fine with that. Your body will get used to the mileage just like mine did and it will be completely tolerable.

    You’ve got this, Colleen 😉

  4. says

    Keep it up, you can totally do 13 (although I honestly don’t think I ever could).. :)

    At least it’s nice out! Tell yourself you have to run outside because its probably going to rain again soon and you want/need to soak up some sun!

  5. says

    My husband (boyfriend at the time) and I trained for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler and we’d do our training runs on the Mall. I had some terrible terrible runs. Like one time my knees started to hurt so bad and I stopped at the beginning of the reflecting pool put my hands on my knees and started hysterically crying and convulsing. Like loud, full body sobs, haha. Then there were other days that I could run just fine and my legs wouldn’t bother me at all.

    Hopefully you can figure out what your body needs to run efficiently. Looks like you’re on the right track though!

    Keep it up! You go girl!

  6. says

    I feel ya at getting discouraged after a tough experience. I always let doubt creep in hard core at those times too. I try to remember other times I have overcome challenges to remind myself I CAN do things. I know you can too. :)

  7. says

    I do the same thing with thinking too much- I drive myself crazy trying to figure out the why of things. It usually works out in my favor though because like you said, once I am aware, I change my behavior. Congrats on your 6 miles! Before you know it 13 miles will be no big deal:)

  8. says

    When I get to that point in exercising where I’m absolutely dreading it I just either a) take a break or b) do something new. I’m sure 3 or so days off or doing something different won’t kill your half marathon training and it will make you feel a lot better.

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