Can’t find my running mojo.

Sad, sad day. No, how about some sad, sad weeks.

What is going on? I love running, love the feeling of running itself, and the feeling of accomplishment at the end is even better. It’s what got me through the two years of living apart from my husband… and I ran the marathon in April with this in mind: 26 miles for the 26 months we were apart.

Things really got going after the Morton Pumpkin Festival Classic 10K last September… kind of on a fluke, my friend Gabriela and I ran that one together, and then became marathon training partners for the Illinois Marathon in Champaign this past April. The rest is history! Many many early Saturday mornings were spent on the sidewalks and roads of Peoria and East Peoria… we had mornings of seeing some yummy roadkill (juuuust kidding), hair freezing because of sweat combined with 10* temps, a 12-miler in snow and slush, and lots of great conversations.

If you’ve been following my blog for the past six months, you know that the marathon was one of the best days of my life. What an accomplishment! How did I even run for 26 miles?? At a decent pace even?

Here I am, five-ish months later, wondering how I even got the motivation to get up early on a weekend morning, when I didn’t have to, to run in the dark, in the cold, when it hurt…

I’ve been trying to figure out the reason for this, and for the life of me, and my running, I can’t.

However, let’s see if I can find a scapegoat… El Paso, at least the part of town we live in, is not the most scenic. Too many stoplights and not enough open road. It’s hot. It’s dry, so dry that I feel like I need to take water with me even on a 2-mile run. We’re at roughly 4,000 feet, but should I still be struggling with the elevation at this point?

I monitor my heart rate when I run, most of the time, and I find that even at a 11 or 12-minute mile, my heart rate is still much higher than expected.

Needless to say, I’m frustrated.

Aaron and I are planning on registering soon for the Las Cruces Half Marathon. I figure that if I actually invest money in a race, I’ll be more motivated to train for it. With the marathon, I knew that if I didn’t complete my training schedule, 26 miles were not going to happen. A half marathon in December would be a perfect springboard for the Bataan Memorial Death March (yep, that’s the name of 26.2 miles in the New Mexican desert) in March. I really want to run another marathon. Really, I do.

I guess I have to accept that my running fitness is not what it was while marathon training. And that makes sense. My last run with any decent length was a few weeks ago (6.5 miles) and before that, I ran a 10-miler in June. Uhhhh, that’s three months ago.

I just have to start over, I suppose… keep pushing, like I did before the 10K last year… getting my butt out the door even when I didn’t feel like it. I’m hoping somewhere on the roads of Northeast El Paso I’ll find my mojo. It’s gotta be out there somewhere…

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