I love to run.  I never ever thought I would say that.  I remember wanting to love to run, but hadn’t yet given it the chance.  Running makes me feel stronger.  It challenges me.  The thing with running is it’s not for anyone else.  It’s only for the runner.  I’m not a marathon runner by any means.  Heck, I don’t even run fast.  I struggle to keep my breath and I have to stop sometimes, but even if it’s a ‘bad’ run, it’s never a failed attempt.  Every run is a win.

But here lately, I’ve been in a running rut.  I want to run, but I’m so tired of running what seems like this same corn row over and over and over and over again.  Our running path is typically one-two miles up our dirt road then we turn around and run right back home.

Here’s what I’m talking about.

This is shortly after we first started running in January, 2011.  On our dirt road.

Here’s a picture of the Hank dog during one of our runs.  On the dirt road.

Here’s the dirt road during the summer when it’s so hot we really shouldn’t be running on it.

This is my typical view.  On the dirt road.

And here’s another.  On the dirt road.

And here’s another.  Almost home.  On the same dirt road.

You get the idea.

Now don’t get me wrong, every opportunity we’ve had, we’ve run other places.  We’ve run at different locations around our community, we’ve traveled just so we could run and we run at the beach every time we go.

Yes this is a dirt road, but it’s a different dirt road.

We took a road trip to Blakeley State Park  just to run.

We ran a different path near the Tombigbee River.

We run at the beach.

Again, you get the idea.

Living in the country, we don’t have the conveniences of easily running a different route.  It’s not like we can set the alarm early, drive somewhere different to run and then make it back for work and then in the evenings, it’s usually dark when we get home from work.

Because we’ve run this same boring, short distance day in and day out, I’ve deceived convinced myself into thinking that I’m not a *real* runner.  I’ve also allowed myself to just not run at all.

Help!  What do I do?

18 comments on “I’m in a Running Rut”

  1. I feel ya! 100% I have a .25 mile driveway. At the end of said driveway, I have two choices: turn left or turn right. Same routes all the time, only differences are the distances I choose to go. I get into a running rut, too because I’m bored with the scenery and because of where I live, the only time I run with other people is at a race. Thee only time. LOL So I usually just take a break, maybe run some HIIT on the dreadmill or do some yoga. You’re a real runner though Samantha….do not convince yourself otherwise.

    • Hey Sarah, you can come and run with me on my little road and I can come run with you! 🙂 I took a break last week and should have gone today, but couldn’t mull up the energy. I did get in a good workout a couple of times last week and made sure I did today too, to keep my endurance and cardio up. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? 🙂

      • I think so….sometimes ya gotta fake it ’til ya make it! LOL Least that’s what I tell myself and eventually I get out of my funk. I live in remote south east Montana….35 miles from pavement…nothing but cows, horses, snakes (in the summer), bagers, skunks, coons, coyotes and recently in my back yard(JUNE!) a black bear. Trust me when I say this, I was looking all around me when I ran for about a month after that! Never have been chased by anything! LOL

        • Sarah! Now that I know you’re in Montana, I def want to come run with you! That is beautiful country! We’ve been to Kalispell and into Glacier and it was wonderful. Thanks so much for your encouragement! I can honestly say I’ve never seen a bear during one of my runs. 🙂

  2. Tracy a.k.a. my tiny tank says:

    I’ve just recently started reading your blog. I just started running again after 10 years Of not running. 12 years ago I lost a dramatic amount of weight
    I did a bit of running back then ran one 5K but never really got into running
    About a year I began running again to get this 40 six-year-old woman back in shape
    I gained a small amount of weight after the birth of my son and now it’s time to take it off especially because he’s eight years old. Back to running And your dirt road
    Because I’m a mom and I have a busy schedule I don’t have much time to run
    I stick to two or 3 miles three times a week
    I need to run on my treadmill or in the neighborhood close to my house
    Those are my dirt roads
    Sometimes I feel like I really don’t want to do my run on my dirt road
    But lately I’ve found a lot of peace on my dirt road
    There’s something therapeutic about the same thing over and over again
    It seems to me a little bit like prayer
    So now on those mornings when I really don’t feel like running my dirt road I think about the time that I’ll have to pray and be peaceful on my own
    So my thought is when you’re on your dirt Road turn in
    turn into peace and meditation and prayer in those things that you need to think about
    May not be a groundbreaking idea. But I can clearly relate to your blog post
    I try to think of my repetitive runs as my prayer.

    • Tracy, I so need to take your advice and appreciate the solitude of my dirt road. It really is therapeutic and peaceful and I need to find that again. I’ve had some great prayer time and have written blog posts while running and I need to remember that about it instead of complaining about it. 🙂 You are very thoughtful to offer that advice. Thanks!

  3. I can so totally relate! I live in the suburbs, so I have a lot of neighborhoods to choose from and even some local parks and schools with tracks. I have to mix it up every time, otherwise I will get bored. Even my music on shuffle isn’t enough to make the environment different enough. Your dirt road looks appealing to me, and I bet the dog loves the freedom. But I can see how it would get old. Wish I had some advice for you. Only thing I can say is, “Just keep running!” 🙂 And you are definitely “A RUNNER!”

    • Thank you Kathy, the dogs do love it! Maybe I could come run with you! 🙂

  4. I can totally understand. I do have the option of different scenery and yet I still go to the same routes over and over again. The only thing I can think of to suggest is to not give up and also to try listening to different things on your music player… do you listen to podcasts? Sometimes I feel like having someone talk to me while I run is like running with a friend.

    Just keep running – you are a runner!

    • Podcasts! Love that idea! I have some Beth Moore devotions downloaded I should pull out and listen to!

  5. Of course you are a runner! Look at all those beautiful places you’ve gone and taken to the street! Anyone who laces up and gets out there is a runner in my eyes. It’s hard to get out of a running rut, but here’s a couple of tips. Vary the speed of your runs by doing fartleks, http://running.about.com/od/speedworkouts/ht/beginnerfartlekworkout.htm
    those can be fun and easy to do anywhere. You could also find a local high school track and do interval training, I have found that adding track workouts in breaks up the monotony, here’s some examples of workouts: http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/beginners-guide and I agree with Carrie, try listening to new things on your music player, I’ve recently started listening to This American Life on long runs, makes the time fly by. Good luck and have fun, that’s what it’s all about!

    • MegG! Thank you so much! I will definitely try the fartleks and changing things up that way abit. I also need to learn to listen to music or the podcasts for sure—Carrie, that’s a really good idea…haven’t thought about podcasts! 🙂

  6. Just recently subscribed to your blog, and I can relate. I have my neighborhood that I run, and it gets old. But, I agree with changing things up. I sometimes run tempo, fartleks, make games (how fast can I go to the next mailbox), those things. I am extremely slow, so when I go fast, I’m so proud of myself that I keep my enthusiasm up. I am also running the Runner’s World streak where you have to run one mile a day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. Thought that would be a drag, but I’ve found it energizes me. You can come run my neighborhood, and I’ll run your dirt roads. I would love to run dirt roads as my neighborhood has dogs I have to contend with. Hang in there!

    • Thank you Susan for becoming a new reader and subscriber! Also, thank you for your advice. I do need to change things up more! It will also help me to become a better runner by trying out those things! That also sounds fun doing the Runner’s World streak! Thanks, again!

  7. Hey there! I know what you MUST mean, but I can’t say that I really know what you mean, because my life cycles up and down so much that I am always excited to run – and it’s that “change” that keeps me out of the rut, but it’s not a change of scenery as much as it’s a change in my life. Example – getting pregnant, being pregnant, delivering baby and starting to run postpartum again, then cycling up to going as far and fast as I can before I’m pregnant again, wash, rinse, repeat. Keeps things exciting hahaha. Add to that that we move every 1-3 years and there isn’t really a big rut into which I can fall. But I know what you’re saying because so many people seem to have the issue, so although I haven’t *been* there per se, I have a few ideas of things I might try if I ended up there – so take it from someone who hasn’t been there, that these ideas have not yet been attempted 🙂 Haha. Anyway, I was thinking maybe each week, going along with the ideas of others having it be a peaceful time to reflect and pray – maybe each week you could focus on a different topic for your runs? Perhaps one week would be one run where you focus on your run – speedwork, distance, whatever – but then the other runs, try to think about some of these topics, and rotate through the weeks: heroes of yours, others who’ve fought cancer like you have, people who can’t run because of disease or conditions since birth, friends who are coming back from an injury right now, people in other countries who need our help/prayer, goals for the coming month, blessings in your life, fitness highlights/lowlights/goals. I am thinking I may try this myself and actually go through and assign a topic to each week on my calendar since I don’t have a race to train for right now and am recovering from an injury and would like to be more focussed in my running…
    Another idea is one that you said might be hard – stopping to run on the way to/from work, etc — but what about just doing a one-way run from a different place by parking a car in a spot on the way to work or on an evening when out doing errands with your husband or on a weekend, or with one of your kids – if there were some place convenient to leave it to which you could then run from work or from home to pick it up — or drive out in a direction and leave the car and then run to work or to home or to your kids’ high school or to your husband’s work so you can get a ride home with them or back to the car. This means the “roundtrip” driving time would be split between two days, and it means you have the extra motivation to run a certain distance because you’ve got to get to that next place to meet someone or you need to get to your car. Am I making sense? Example: Maybe we all go out Friday evening for dinner somewhere – then we could bring two cars and drop one ten miles from here, and then Saturday morning I can run to the car and bring it home. Just an idea 🙂

  8. Sorry you are in a running rut right now. I never mind running the same route over and over but I usually spend most of my run thinking about different things so the scenery isn’t a big deal to me. Hope your running mojo returns soon!

  9. Southern Lady says:

    Sorry you are in a running rut; I just returned to running after a four year hiatus and I can say that I honestly forgot why I loved how it made me feel , even if accompanied by a few aches and twinges to this middle-age body of mine. I wanted to share what one of my yoga teachers reminds us when we are holding a challenging pose in class, and believe me, her words have propelled me up many a hill on a challenging run day…”Remember, nothing lasts forever”…not even a running rut:)

    • Ahhhh…thank you so much for that. Whenever we’re not where we want to be, we tend to feel guilty and are hard on ourself. That’s especially easy for me with my ‘all or nothing’ personality. Your (or your yoga teacher’s) words are very encouraging. Thank you for sharing them! 🙂

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