Since I stopped training for the Chicago Half in September and kinda training for my mom’s marathon the same month, I have really fell off the horse when it comes to staying in shape. Usually after a race I take a few days to a week off to give my knees and hips a rest. For a couple of weeks I decreased my mileage during the week but still did “long runs” (7-8 miles) on the weekends because I didn’t want to lose my endurance and I really like the longer runs on the weekend. This lasted a couple of weeks and then I got busy on the weekends and lazy during the week so now I’m back to square one. I don’t have another race until mostly likely April so I’m trying to find motivation. Doesn’t it make perfect sense that I have a running blog?Santa Shuffle 2011 (boo for blurry pictures)

Some people like this time of the year when the leaves are changing but I hate it. It’s just a sign of the inevitable…winter. I think the weather has a lot to do with my nonexistent motivation. It’s completely dark by 4:30 p.m. and the temperature is dropping way too fast. I don’t mind running in the dark but I feel like I’m tense the whole time scanning my soundings (thanks to my mom for making me think I’m going to get jumped because I live in the city. Mom – stop watching the news!). I never listen to music, I always run in lit places and I always carry my Mace (I also took a self-defense class in college so don’t mess with me) and most of the time I’m running with my roommate Sarah. I’m thinking about buying a small light because I don’t get home from work until 6:45 p.m. and cars aren’t always seeing me lately. I think the light is really dorky but I would rather not die when crossing the street. Any suggesting of other things I could carry/wear? Does anyone own some good cold weather running clothes?

Burrr…tailgating for Superbowl 2011. Sad day for a Steelers’ fan.

Another reason I need to find my motivation is because ever since Halloween, I have been acting like it’s ok to eat candy like it’s my birthday every day. I was unfortunate to be in a house with a scale this weekend and was not very happy after reading the results. I don’t know why I thought it would be any different but I can’t expect to cut my mileage in half and eat a pound of candy a day and lose weight (a girl can dream). So my new goal is to get into a routine and add strength training into my workout.

How do you stay motivated in the dark, depressing days of winter? (Did I mention that I hate winter? I need to move.)

Check back later today for your favorite Tuesday entertainment!