Dude, where’s my Mojo?

You know when you wake up and you think ‘ugh. I just don’t want to do it’? Whatever it might be. Work. Shopping (food, not fun). Cleaning.

 

That’s been me and running all week. My mojo has gone! I got one run in on Sunday, and another on Tuesday, but for the rest of the week I have sat on the couch oscillating from mourning my lost mojo to defiantly watching TV and being all ‘I don’t care, whatevs man’.

 

It happens to all of us – you can’t love something all the time, even if it is one of your greatest passions. So here are some tips to help you find your mojo if, like me, it’s gone on a late-Summer holiday:

 

  • Recognise how you feel. Try to work out what’s going on: is your body tired from training, and needs time to recover? Does your mind just need a break from always having something next on the to-do list? It’s definitely the latter for me. Now my mind is saying ‘you know what would be ace? Just chilling. Chilling with some guacamole and Doritos’. And who am I to deny my mind this one small thing?
Emoticons are a great way to self-diagnose. I like to feel like emoti-Spiderman before I pretty much do anything.

Emoticons are a great tool to diagnose your mood. I like to feel like emoti-Spiderman before I pretty much do anything.

  • Be kind to yourself. The last thing you need when you’re already feeling flat is more pressure… from yourself. That makes no sense at all. There are times when you will love running, and times when you won’t, and it’s ok to have an off-period. If you need to take a week or two to sort your head out or let your muscles relax, then do it, and don’t beat yourself up about it. Honestly – it’s ok.
  • Think about your next goal. My mojo is definitely linked to looking forward to events: planning them training for them, running on new routes and setting new records. Right now I don’t have an upcoming event, but I do know what I’ll be booking as soon as payday rolls around: a 10 mile road race in November.
Thanks Runners World for always finding the right motivation and inspiration.

Thanks Runners World for always finding the right motivation and inspiration.

  • Share the love. Now is the time to embrace whatever running community you’re in, not shy away. Don’t hide from how you feel – tell others, and you’ll be surprised at the support you receive from those around you. Go to your club run, accept that friendly smile and return it.  In a moment of frustration I tweeted, and got some really helpful advice from a friend in Sydney:
Original tweet. Followed by mistaken tweet from my buddy. And then:

Original tweet. Followed by mistaken tweet from my buddy. And then:

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#GlobalRunningCommunityUnite!

 

  • Seek inspiration. Keep reading those running magazines, and find things that you want to try out.  Look for inspiration around you – it’ll be there somewhere. I have a friend living in Vancouver who sends me pictures of all the (cheaper!) running clothes she can buy over there, and updating me on her distances – and her excitement is literally just what I need to remind me of the great things about running. Like cute running shorts. 
She sent me this today. HOW GORGEOUS are those mountains?

She sent me this today from her run. HOW GORGEOUS are those mountains?

  • Just run. If, at the end of all this, your mojo still hasn’t made an appearance, then just put your shoes on and go. Slow, fast, long, short, whatever you want. You are far more likely to remember why you felt running was a good idea in the first place if you go and do it. Remember the runners high? Drinking chocolate milk like it’s going out of business? Fresh air on your face after being indoors all day? Feeling like your legs are made of lead when you go to sleep? All positives from running. Well, positives in my running, anyway.

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And that’s my list! I’ve given myself til Monday to put the first five into action, and then I’ll do the sixth. August was such a busy month, and September is the same, so maybe a time out isn’t such a bad idea.

 

My Sunday run was at a folk and arts festival – it was the first morning that was really chilly. Like I had to shake my hands to keep them warm chilly. I guess the days of running in shorts are coming to a close….

 

Sunday Morning Sun

Sunday Morning Sun

 

I hope all of you reading this have your running mojos, and if not, I hope some of this was helpful!

 

Have a good weekend.

 

Ellie B

Running: Mind, Body and Soul

This weekend I did a bit of a road trip across the country for the last long weekend here til Christmas. It was SB’s birthday last week, and so we went to his hometown to celebrate with his friends, and then I drove to Cheltenham to see my Mum. Every year Mum goes to this arts/music/folk festival called Greenbelt. It’s really good fun: camping in tents, listening to music, going to talks. I imagine it’s what Woodstock was like, but without the LSD and with better port-a-loos.

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My Mum and her half pint

Yesterday I went to a talk about running and spirituality. They had a panel of four runners: Abid, a Muslim from central London, Bob, a Vicar in central London, Jenny, a Fund Manager for a charity, and Sky, a 17 year old triathlete on the GB Junior Team.

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The panel

They were talking about the links between their running and their individual beliefs, and how they converged. It was really interesting, because there’s lots out there on running as a meditative exercise, and this was along similar lines.  It wasn’t as heavy as it sounds! I thought I’d share some of the highlights:

  • Bob suffers from epilepsy, and says that knowing he’s a runner, and that’s his identity rather than being disabled, helps him handle his epilepsy
  • In Islam, you’re supposed to take your time with anything to do with God. So Abid doesn’t use his running as time to meditate, as when he’s running his mind is everywhere
  • As a shy, timid, scared child, Jenny found that running expanded her horizons, and helped her connect her mind and body in its rhythm
  • Sky uses social running to establish her identity away from competitive sports, and to give her time to consider other aspects of her life
  • All highlighted the collective alone-ness of running: you can be running in a group of people, and still be on your own with your own thoughts and space
  • Abid highlighted the links between discipline in his belief and running: no one knows if he doesn’t get up for his pre-dawn prayers. Sound familiar?!

It was cool to listen to these runners talk about how running impacts them and their very different lives. I think everyone who runs recognises the feeling when your mind, body and soul meet during a run.

When I run, there’s a period when I feel at  my strongest, both mentally and physically, and I think this is where the link is. This is usually just before I start to feel knackered and wish I was closer to home….

In other news, the festival food was amazing. I had the best felafel, hummus and haloumi wrap ever. It was so big that I had to open it up and eat it like a salad. Today I did hill sprints to complement all the healthy food I ate to make up for the last long weekend in England before Christmas, and all the tasty delights it brought with it. :)

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See the size of my fingers? That’s how big this wrap was

Happy running!

Ellie B