Missing Motivation

MISSING: My Running Mojo

If found, please return promptly. $100 Reward.

While I think it’s normal to experience peaks and valleys in one’s running life, the valleys are never very fun. My running mojo has been on the low side more or less since I ran the marathon in November, but this week was particularly rough. After the Cherry Blossom 10-miler on Sunday, I took a few days off. I ran with Kelly on Wednesday and while it was great to have some early morning company, the spark and motivation just wasn’t there. I ran for about an hour that morning, a quick 3 mile jog on Thursday night, and will (hopefully) run a few miles this evening.

The Brooklyn 1/2 marathon is in the back of my mind (only 6 weeks away!) and of course I’d like to run well that day, but I’m trying to be gentle with myself. The more I stress out about not wanting to train, the less I want to do it. So. My plan for the next couple of weeks is to run as I see fit – no rigid training schedules or crazy long runs, just some well-timed running dates for socializing and stress relief. I have a pretty good base, so if I’m feeling better in a few weeks, I may add in some workouts and set my eyes on a PR. But if not, I may just plan on running the Brooklyn half as a long run (vs. attempting to break 1:30).  I’m sorry if this post seems a little depressing (that’s not my intent!) – I just want to let y’all know where the running stands. I hope my running life will be a long one and I know the only way to appreciate the highs, is to also experience the lows.

I don’t have any crazy running antics to report, but I DO have a fun recipe. Although, it’s so ridiculously easy, I hesitate to call it a ‘recipe’. Anyway, it’s delicious. I made it for the man friend and he thought I was a genius. Major lolz.

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Ingredients:

  • 6 rectangle ice cream sandwiches, unwrapped
  • 3/4 tub of cool-whip
  • your favorite candy bar or chocolate chips, chopped

Directions:

  • Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving the edges hang over the long sides of the pan
  • Place 3 ice cream sandwiches (cut them to fit!) in the bottom of the pan
  • Spread a layer of coolwhip on top, add another 3 ice cream sandwiches, and a final layer of coolwhip.
  • Sprinkle with crushed candy bar.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least one hour.
  • Use the parchment paper to lift the cake out of the pan, cut into slices, and serve.

Ta-da! You’re a genius.

Thank you for all of your Jamba Juice Ambassador votes! Reminder: You can vote for me every day (once a day) until Tuesday, April 12. The winner of the give-away is:

Comment #41  Katelyn 

I voted for you!! :))

I live in Canada and we don’t have a Jamba Juice (or Trader Joe’s which is why I want to win so bad!!) so I’m going to tell you my favourite smoothie to make at home which is peanut butter, banana, vanilla protein powder and spinach!! Yummm!

Katelyn- email me your mailing address at runnerskitchen [at] gmail [dot] com

Okay, I’m off to go run a few miles (hopefully!), eat a burger, and buy some goodies from Trader Joe’s. Happy Weekend!

  • Kelly

    Hey girl…I have wanted to say this for a while but have hesitated. Do you think maybe you are just burned out? I mean maybe after the Brooklyn Half you take a break. A real break. I know it sounds scary…you not run? But it just seems like since November you haven’t been enjoying it. And you should enjoy it. I think maybe the running mojo will return once you take some time away and let yourself (or give yourself ) permission not to run.

  • Robin

    I completely get where you’re coming from. Confession: I am sitting at my laptop right now in running clothes. I’m also signed up for the Brookyln Half. My half goal ever since SI in October was sub 1:40, and I hear brooklyn is a relatively flat course, but I haven’t been feeling it lately and don’t know if sub 1:40 is in the cards :/
    Hopefully things will look up, running-wise, for both of us soon!

  • Meghan

    Ahh THANK YOU for this post–I have been not my normal running addict since the NYC marathon, and have been feeling majorly guilty about it! I just haven’t been “feeling it” but as you say, we need the lows to experience the highs, right? I have faith nice weather will bring in the motivation…

  • Anonymous

    @Kelly – I think you may be spot on. Maybe a month or two off (completely
    off!) are what I need.

  • Sara

    that cake looks so good. i know what you mean about losing the magic. i just got back on the road today (mistake to run at 3 pm when its 93 degrees) after four months of going to the gym and avoiding all running. It happens. love your blog so much, read it all the time, even though I think this is my first time to post. Happy Friday!

  • Runnersfuel

    That cake looks amazing!! I’m hungry for some froyo!!

  • Your Dad’s egg pizza just gave me a boner. And I’m a girl…

  • since i don’t like regular cake i am soooo saving this recipe for my birthday this year!

  • Astrid

    Hi Megan! I’m missing your spirit about running, but I know your motivation will come back!!! You just need to get ‘the run/race” in and maybe some speedy workouts. By the way, I live this ice-cake recipe!!! Hope to see you soon!!

  • I’m also signed up to run the Brooklyn Half, but right now that’s kind of up in the air right now till I figure out what’s going on with my leg. 🙁 I hope I can run again soon! I’m sure your running mojo will find it’s way back to you in good time, but while you’re waiting, sounds like you have a good plan in place!

    Have a great weekend!

  • Meggie

    that cake looks ah-mazing. where did you find said man-friend? I have yet to find one in my last 7 yrs in manhattan and, during wall street’s better days, considered sitting out in financial district with a sign saying “med student. needs husband.”

  • Kristan

    Aww Megan this breaks my heart. I know exactly how you feel. In addition to some time off, you probably need some fun, no pressure, off beat races. Something away from the park! In the meantime maybe fun weekend runs to prepare for the half would make the long runs fun. Either way you’ll get it back!

    In happier news, that cake looks amazing and is genius in its simplicity!

  • Cailinw

    long time reader and first (or second?) time commenter here….

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. This is none of my business but perhaps you are just also having so much fun with your man, that you needed a little break from racing and high pressure running? When I was dating the guy I eventually married (and have two babies with!) I remember it was the first time in my life running sort of went by the wayside. For our first six months of dating, I was way more apt to skip the gym or my run to meet him for a drink or dinner after work (and that was so unlike me!!!) I eventually got back on the intense running “band wagon” because I am just a person that needs running in my life. I don’t, however, regret enjoying that time in my life because it’s something I will never get back! (Side note, I also had to stop running half way through my pregnancies. That break had me chomping at the bits to get running again-sometimes a break is what motivates us to get back!)

    Wow. Sorry that was so long. Hope you get your mojo back soon!

  • I have totally been there after a hard training cycle. Like the other commenters, taking time away really did the trick. Running is supposed to be fun and it will be. Perhaps trying not to force it and enjoy life – sometimes other things are meant to take the front seat for a while. When it is time, it’ll come back 🙂

    As for the ice cream cake, holy yum.

  • Corey @ the runners cookie

    I don’t think you sounded depressing at all – I can totally relate to the pressure of a training plan becoming a negative thing, and I think when that happens it’s so important to (like you’re doing) take a step back and recognize that it’s a good time to NOT have a plan and just run for enjoyment. Forcing it has never worked for me, and I always find myself coming back to wanting to train after I’ve taken enough time off. You could totally still rock the race in 6 weeks! Ummm also that ice cream sandwich cake looks amazing. 3 ingredients? I think I can handle that 🙂

  • I’m so glad you posted this missing motivation post, because I’ve been experiencing the same thing this week. Really, I’ve lacked motivation since day-one of my half-marathon training (four weeks now, race is four weeks away), but this week was particularly awful. I never skip training runs, but I skipped track work this week and have been beating myself up ever since. It’s good to know you go through these highs and lows, too. I really admire your training and your outlook toward running – both in good times and in bad – and the way you balance running with real life. Good luck at Brooklyn! And way to just take it easy on yourself – maybe I should do the same!

  • Anonymous

    @RunEatRepeat – haha this made me lol 🙂

  • I’m also experiencing a running low! I took a bit too much time off after the NYC Half, I think, and now I feel like I’m back building up my base. I had to stop and walk 6 miles into my 8 mile run yesterday because it was so hard. When you’re not physically into it, makes it a lot harder to get mentally into it. Here’s to hoping your mojo comes back soon, but I appreciate your long-term outlook on running. Highs and lows will come and go. Helped along by delicious desserts like that ice cream sandwich amazingness!

  • I had an ice cream sandwich cake at a dinner party once and it was amazing!

    re: your motivation. I’m sorry, friend 🙁 it sounds like some time off might be a good idea? Maybe focus on something else for a while until you miss running, and perhaps you’ll find your missing mojo?

  • I’d kill for some of that right now. Seriously. I would do murders.

    re: “The more I stress out about not wanting to train, the less I want to do it.” It’s like when you know you have to be up in two hours and you really want to go to sleep but you can’t. Then as soon as your alarm goes off, you’re OUT.

  • Thanks for sharing the highs AND the low. So important to have perspective and remember that it’s a journey and not a destination (yes I quote Aerosmith frequently). But you know you’ll feel so much better when you come out of the low and rock the Brooklyn half. PS I voted for you 🙂

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