How to get out of a rut.

The past few weeks, I’ve done my share of stress eating.

I’m not entirely sure why, it all started with a few full weekends in a row; family parties, holidays, seeing friends, 5k races, photography sessions, and very little exercise. I’ve run myself ragged, despite not running much at all.

I need to break out of this funk.

Will power alone can’t help me here. I need something more to motivate me to get out there and be the running mom I so proudly display on my car.

It’s not easy getting in workouts when you have a two year old, and one who more recently has decided not to sleep through the night on a regular basis. He must know when I will myself to get up at 5am the next morning to workout, because those days when I’m all ready to go, he wakes up ready to play at 2am.

Of course, when you’re half asleep, it’s easy to listen to the lizard brain and just stay in bed until that final alarm sounds to get up and get ready for work. The cycle continues, feeling like a failure each morning I fail to meet my 5am workout goal, to push it off for later in the day, and then find myself busy with other priorities.

It’s got to change today.

I’ve found the best way to get out of a rut is to pick a goal race and train for it. I stick with running when I have a goal in mind. For example, after the last 5k I ran, I decided to just “let running happen”. I’ve run a few times and did T25 once in three weeks… no goal = no training.

Sometimes I fail to meet those goals, but the journey to each has been amazing.

In the spirit of saving money, I was going to forgo summer races. We’re saving up for a home, and it feels like every penny counts. It’s been stressful feeling even more constrained than we did before when we lived in a home we were hoping to sell. How ironic!

What I’ve realized is that life is meant to be lived. If I am not taking good care of my health, it’s pretty hard to help or inspire you, #amiright?

The second step to getting out of a rut is putting it on the calendar. Once I find a race to train for, I find a workout plan to follow. My running plans have come from all over the place (web, books, friends), but I love to use Hal Higdon’s training plans.

I look over his plans, pick one, then I go to the Time/Date Calculator and figure out the weeks I need to train (if needed). Then, I use Your Training Calendar to put those plans right onto my Google Calendar called Fitness.

Once you get rolling on a plan, it’s easy to keep moving forward despite minor setbacks, bad weather, or other challenges on the journey. So, if you’re in a rut, pick something new to focus on and get out there. I’ve found a few summer races, even ones for Miles, and will get break out of this funk.

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