9 Signs That You’re A Burned Out Runner And How To Cope.
The problem with burnout is that too often we don’t know we’re there until it’s too late. One moment it’s all going great and the next? Well oh shit.
Here are some signs to help you identify whether or not you’re a burned out runner.
- You avoid talking about running on social media – If you’re a naturally jealous cunt like me you’ll see all these bastards entering all the races with enthusiasm and you’ll think “what a bunch of mad cunts, I wish they’d focus on the more important stuff in life. That stuff that I’m focusing on. Raising 114 furry babies and flossing my balls”.
- You do the bare minimum you can get away with – You hate yourself for being lazy and you wonder why you don’t want to do anything about it. A beautifully mad cycle of procrastination and paralysis. Then you go onto social media and see your mate Dave has entered 28 marathons in January 2018 and how he’s ‘only’ aiming for a podium finish in 29 of them.
- You start thinking of your fitter self as another person – The person who ran all those races is different from the fat blob you are now. It’s like in Back to the Future 2 where they go back to the bad 1985 and are completely separated from all the good shit. This is all a myth. You are the same person who achieved all the good shit. You’ve just become a victim of your own choices. You’ve gotta get back to lapping all of those lazy cunts on the sofa again.
Remember thinking as a kid about how no-one with such a stupid fucking haircut could become so fucking powerful in the world? I’d take 1,000 Biff Tannen’s ‘roided up on mutant camel piss over what we have now.
- You think you’ll never be able to enjoy running again – Joy seems so far away when you’re hating all the shit. You go back to how you were before running “why do people even do that to themselves?”
- You get anxious about running – You remember only the bad times and never the good. You start playing negative scenarios through your head of what could happen when you run and it’s rarely good. Running becomes something to worry about and avoid rather than a release.
- You lose vision – And not through wanking (alone). You let others guide you into trying to achieve the targets they’ve set for themselves. I had to fail badly at the 4 hour marathon several times before I realised I’d no idea why I was shooting for that goal and that was part of the reason I’d lost interest in running. I regained my muse by starting to plod cross country.
- Self destructive behaviours arise – Eating disorders, shaving your balls in public, depressive episodes, setting your book to be £40 to match the price of Write This Run and to make some kind of warped point, drinking and drugging to excess, giving yourself 20 different nicknames all of them with the word “cunt” in them. Self destruction leads to even less running. When you hate yourself for being self destructive, that’s when the bad shit really starts to happen. No-one who is in good health is self destructive on purpose.
- You start blaming other people or other things for you not running – “I’d really like to run but Kim Jong-Un is going fucking nuts again, we’re all going to die in a nuclear winter (which seems like an appealing prospect when I see those “OMG I’m a fit little lady” selfies from men on Facebook and I’d like to spend all day drinking on the couch instead”
- It stops being fun most of the time – You’re slower, you’re fatter, you’re less well prepared. Why fucking bother?
Here’s the good news. The burnout period ends if you see it through.
When I stopped running during the height of my drinking I’d have these upsetting dreams where I’d be running around on hills and in meadows and would then wake to the reality that I’d just drink the best part of a bottle of whiskey and not ran in 3 months.
That shit finally ended when I put down the bottle and made a commitment to start running again. You can’t take running or your motivation for granted. Sometimes the difference between your motivation nosediving or not can be one bad day. And that bad day can just be eating too much or not doing anything at all.
So if you’re having a good day – don’t let it slip. If you’re having an awful day, don’t make it even worse for yourself by shitting your pants in a Starbucks and blaming it on Donald Trumps.
Keep moving forward even if the wind seems to be against you for now. One day the wind will be blowing in the right direction again and you’ve gotta be ready for it. Any preparation for a better tomorrow will help you.