As athletes and as humans, we go through seasons of life. Sometimes we’re hitting home runs. Others we find ourselves in the status quo and, well, sometimes, life just feels hard. 

With the pandemic taking over our lives since March 2020, my assumption is that we’ve all hit some pretty low, lows in the last few years. If you find yourself stuck, in a slump, or have low motivation, know that you are not alone! Alexi Pappas recently shared her rule of thirds to describe her training for the Olympics – one-third felt great, one-third felt just okay and the last third felt pretty crappy. In both training and in life, I’ve been in all of these seasons. Have you? 

Here are my takeaways for how to move forward with life (and training) when it just feels hard. Let’s get to living (and running), let’s move forward, because LIFE IS NOW! 

  1. Discover Your Core Values: What is important to you as an adult, community member, an athlete? Write them down! This might take a lot of reflection and solitude. Pause the noise from what the media, influencers, or your family/friends tell you that should be important. Close your eyes, take 5 deep inhales/exhales, drop into your heart and listen. What is it saying to you?

Examples include: 

  • Family + Friends 
  • Health + Wellness
  • Volunteering
  • Traveling
  • Community (Connection) 
  1. Fill Your Cup: Take time for yourself. Write down what makes you smile, makes your heart happy or things that feel good. You may need to dig deep and think about memories as a child. I loved coloring and playing outside as a kid, so in my adult years, I spend as much time outside as possible and also take hand-letting classes – this is a creative script class using colored pens. It’s my form of coloring as an adult.
  2. Determine What Doesn’t Fill Your Cup: Life is about experiences and awesome connections with energy that aligns. What are the things that don’t serve you? What doesn’t ignite a fire inside your soul? What causes anxiety, stress, and depression? Who are the people who don’t align with your energy? If you can, stop doing these things immediately. It might be tough to do this, especially if you discover a long-term job or friendship is actually causing more harm than good. Sometimes, the biggest shifts in life create the biggest breakthroughs!
  3. Find your inner mantra: Words are powerful! If you can describe who you want to be in life 5, 10 years from now? How would you describe that person? Are you courageous? Free? Vibrant? Powerful? Loving? Trusting? Create a three-word sentence with the words that align with your energy and who you want to be – I am a ______ , _________, and ________ person.
  4. Start Taking Measurable Action: One small step forward is one giant leap for a stronger, healthier YOU! Now that you know what fills your cup and removed the things that no longer serve you, write down what you want. What do you want to create in life? What do you want to create in running? Who do you want to be? Divide your list into short and long-term goals and book time for each. 

When I began my coaching business, Elevate Your Running, I was still contracting full-time and spent 30 minutes every day on something to move the business forward. This looked like creating copy for one section of my website, connecting with athletes on Strava, and hosting community group runs. Forward momentum was slow and steady – and differently not linear.  

Keep the faith and know if you continue to show up, good things will happen! There are 1,001 ways to get to a destination, your path isn’t right or wrong, it’s your way. That’s a pretty great way! 

How do you plan to show up in training this season!? Do you feel stuck and don’t know where to begin? Download my FREE 16-week half and marathon training plan to help you elevate your training – you may just find the confidence that is deep down inside of you, helping you to elevate your life in the process. If you’re looking for more advice, coaching, and connection, I have a few 1:1 + group coaching spots still open! 


➡️ FOLLOW @sayrahrunshappy and @elevateyourunning for more running tips, inspiration + motivation, and check out the Elevate Your Running Podcast for more life and running discussion topics. TRAINING PLANS, GROUP COACHING & 1:1 COACHING ARE AVAILABLE NOW! ☝