An email from Jacqui, Aussie Scott’s childhood neighbor:
I’ve been dreading this email, trying to hold off in hope that my motivation and fire in the belly will have come back already. I haven’t enjoyed running for a while now, probably six months. Every run is a chore and it’s making me grumpy and stressed from the pressure I have been putting on myself to perform at a higher level than I’m able.
Even the 30-40 minute runs have felt like a long hard slog. I have been trying to use outside sources like yourself and my friends, entering races, watching Ironman etc. to try get the spark back, but that just has to come from within. As soon as I said I was taking a break I felt a massive weight off my shoulders. I am still having a couple of trots a week but no more than 20 minutes tops.
I am hoping I will rediscover the love real soon and can be motivated and WANT to run, and compete and flog myself day in and day out because I know I do love that feeling. At the moment, though, I don’t. I know there is a sub-3:00 waiting for me at some stage. Yes I may overthink things way too much and have a screw or two loose, but what runner doesnt? I also know that when I love running, all of this stops!
Thanks for your understanding Scott.
PS. Have you ever lost the LOVE?
A response from Aussie Scott
I love your email! I respect honesty even when the news may be hard for you to put on paper. Don’t sweat it, you will be back, I feel it!
Let me give you the long story of my marriage to the sport of running. It’s definitely a LOVE/HATE relationship but we are still together after 15yrs!
Yes, I have lost AND FOUND the love for running many times. Once I started competing at a national level after four happy, successful years at Oklahoma State, I wasn’t the same runner. I had lost my team, I was on my own and I was living and training under Tommy Paton, my high school coach who got me to a second place finish at the National X-Championships. I knew he could help me get the results. But this time I was married, had bills to pay and running was only a stress reliever for me; it was hard to maintain 140km weeks. I started running halves, and after about 6 months I finished as the 5th Aussie at the National Championships at the Gold Coast Half Marathon in 66:03.
Tommy and I decided I would train to race the marathon. Seven months after that decision I was selected to represent Australia at the Hong Kong Marathon as part of the Greatest Race on Earth (Four Marathons in Four Countries in Four months, with four 2nd tier national athletes selected from each country). I ran a disappointing 2:27 after expecting that I would break 2:20 on my first attempt (how many people have made that mistake of thinking they will nail their first marathon)! I should have known better, but found myself with the lead Kenyans at the half way point – big mistake! After the race I lost all motivation and the lost the “love” for running. I jogged for about 3 months with no planned workouts or long runs, just looking to get the love back. I didn’t find it!
So I quit running, I quit Tommy, I found a full-time career-based job and basically told everyone that I was done competing and done with being coached. Little did I know that my love/hate relationship with running took a turn in a good direction, I starting “jogging” without the stress of letting others and myself down, just going out and doing whatever, whenever.
Of course I was too competitive with myself to do nothing. During this time I had met some great people who were big on adventure racing, so I got myself a mountain bike, a K1 racing kayak and a Surf Ski and starting training.
The adventure racing was all about finding something different to compete at. I brought in a few good results, but overall the people I trained with were so superior at cycling and ocean kayaking that my running didn’t make up the difference and overall I wasn’t competitive. But, most importantly, I was enjoying running and getting motivated to do something bigger.
I starting competing in my local Geelong team and noticed I hadn’t lost much speed, so I decided to started coaching myself and run a marathon or two before the love died again. After two years of no serious running, training or racing I ran 2:29 for second place at the 2009 Great Ocean Road Marathon. Because I was the first local guy I got a free trip to Japan to represent Geelong, and eight months later I ran 2:27 there and was happy with the result. I was enjoying running!
After Japan, I started build a plan to break 2:20 at the National Championships. I ran 2:23 at the next Great Ocean Road Marathon. I was 100% excited about running again, the National Marathon Championships were still five months away and I was ready to race tomorrow.
Mark Tucker talked me into racing a marathon in Sydney three months later, for cash prizes as the course was hilly and ran on a footpath along a highway. At this point I wish I’d had a coach to talk me out of it, but I was fit and wanting to compete! A pack of six Kenyans showed up, but 3 of them dropped out at the halfway point as two other Aussies and myself were feeling good and they assumed they couldn’t beat us and would finished out the prize money spots. Anyway, as the pace picked up I got dropped and really had to grind to finish in the last cash spot,which was just enough to pay for my trip. I was dumb, upset with myself and now only three months from the National Champs,
After rebounding with a half marathon, I got excited about Nationals and believed I was in shape to get my time. I ended up running a strong race but couldn’t hang with the leaders; I had to settle for 2:20:37, finishing as the fourth Aussie. I was happy considering that I hadn’t been smart about coaching myself; I had progressed and was happy with running so it was good.
Anyway, I wanted to share this with you and hope that you find something that helps you reignite your passion and love of live!
Aussie Scott coaches PR like an Aussie, an ongoing training group in Cedar Park for various levels of runners hoping to improve in the marathon, half marathon, 10k, or 5k.