Unfortunately I seem to have lost my running mojo. Up until the end of November things were ok, but as soon as we moved into the darkest month I have had no enthusiasm for running at all. My training diary for December reads as follows:
1st - no run.
2nd - no run.
3rd - no run.
4th - a very poor quality 4 mile jog round Glasgow first thing in the morning (after attending the Sunday Mail Sports Awards the night before).
5th - an even worse 3 mile run in Crieff with the dog (with a break for a rest at the half way point).
There seems to be nothing in the tank at the moment. I pack my running stuff each day and carry it in to work, then carry it home at the end of the day, unused. On Wednesday I had planned to run after work. I even made it to the changing area and had started getting changed before a voice in my head said "Fuck this, you don't really want to go out there in the cold and the pissing rain, do you?". I agreed with the voice, put my shirt back on, and headed home. Not good.
So what is going on? I am not the biggest fan of the winter, but I can usually force myself out the door for a run, regardless of the weather. I've been busy at work and busy with various sportscotland events, but I am normally able to organise my days in such a way that I can fit a run in at some point. Not at the moment, it would seem. And the less I run, the more fed up I become, and the less I feel like running. It's a vicious circle.
So far this year I have run a total of 1,879 miles, so have only 121 to go to reach my normal target of 2,000 miles. Not that it matters a jot, of course, but it would be nice to get there. I have done 20 races, a few less than normal, but that total includes 7 ultras and a marathon which is quite a few more than I have done in a single year before.
I think I need to work out a more structured plan for next year. My next marathon will be my 75th marathon/ultra, and my 50th actual marathon, so I'd like to do a good one, possibly around the end of March. That means a) finding the right event and b) starting to train a lot harder than I have been training recently, including sessions like fartlek, intervals and other forms of speedwork. The thought of it at the moment is horrible, but hopefully my enthusiasm will return at some stage. I also need to think about my club. Strathearn Harriers is a small club, and I find it almost impossible to get there during the week. Not many of the members have the same running ambitions as I have. Should I look for a club in Edinburgh, which I can go to more regularly after finishing work? Would that help? It would certainly be good to be part of a club who were keen on taking part in the various cross country events, for example.
And of course there are the big events next year like the Highland Fling, the Cateran Trail and the West Highland Way race. The only one I have entered so far is the WHW and I'm not sure about the others yet - I am trying to work out a sensible running plan for 2010 before committing to any other long races. The only certainty at the moment is that I will not be back in Tooting for the 24 hour track race.
Maybe I'll go out for a run tomorrow and the magic will have returned. But at the moment I doubt it.