Thursday, September 23, 2010

A running funk

For me, there is nothing worse than running funk.  That feeling of lethargy that you get when your alarm goes off and you contemplate going out for a run; the long list of excuses you run off in your head that justify skipping out and going back to sleep, and of course the guilt you feel later in the day because you didn't run and you know you should have.  

Lately I have been plagued by such a running funk.  I notice they come in waves, and I attribute this latest running funk to the unbearably hot August's of central Texas.  See, I grew up in Boston, which means I spent most of the year running in cold temperatures.  My favorite running outfit would be nylon shorts and a long-sleeved cotton shirt (plus a sports bra of course!) and my favorite running temperature would probably be 45 degrees, sunny or overcast and crisp.  Of course, a Boston summer can bring warm temperatures, occasionally peaking in the low 90s, but the mornings are always relatively cool, usually high 60s.  Well, that doesn't even compare to an Austin August, where for a solid month, the daily high was above 100 degrees.  The evenings weren't much better, with temps still in the 90s at 9pm.  That left the mornings, where it was high 70s or lows 80s, but more than 90% humidity.  Running is this kind of weather just isn't fun for me and it felt like work.  It was hard for me to psych myself up at 6am to head out for 60 min of running through what feels like a wet blanket.  In 10 minutes, I would be drenched with sweat.  It started becoming easier and easier to make excuses and I first found myself missing weekend long runs, which then turned into weekday runs.  Instead of 5 to 6 workouts a week, I slipped to 2 or 3 days a week.  The longer I went without regular running, the easier it became to skip the next day's run.  It's an awful "funk cycle"

Fortunately, I think the funk is coming to an end!  The weather is getting slightly cooler and dryer here in Austin, and I am feeling more excited about running.  It's probably to early to call, but I've already run 3 days straight this week and I'm hoping the funk has passed...

In other news, I hosted yesterday's Runner's Round Table, episode 99, Trail Running for the Urbanite.  Check it out!!!


  1. Somewhat similar to your situation I'd grown-up and studied at the university in Illinois, then came to Houston. What a shock! Though I knew summers were hot in Houston, an intellectual understanding and a primal *knowing* are distinct! So, I can completely relate to your lethargy in climbing out of bed to experience the wet blanket of Austin's early morning sweat bath. I'dencourage you to ideally find a like-minded friend(s) and training partner(s) who run at your pace, since the best way to combat the desire not to climb out of bed is knowing that you'd be missed! Most of my running friends I'd initially met through (same program as If that's not practical, then during the worst Austin months I'd recommend joining a fitness center so-as to do your faster than race pace runs on a treadmill. It's Fall as of today, so let's hope the weather soon changes for the better!

  2. That's good advice Mark. Good news is that this past week has been awesome weather in Austin. How about Houston?