Finding the Fire (Again)

This blog post is the first in a series by Michelle Halsne...


As a serious lifetime runner, I find myself in the ultimate runner’s struggle.  I can’t find a reason to get my running shoes on. I’ve tried every scheme that my extensive tool box offers.  It's odd for me because for 35+ years running has been a defining characteristic of *me.* I started running, along with my sister before being a wife and mother, before being an adult.  Through the years running was the constant.  Sure, there were times when motivation waned or life got too busy but never for very long.

In an effort to pull myself out of my slump I've deployed a few strategies over the past few years (yes, years). As I write this I admit these have failed me in my search for my fire but my hope is that it will eventually ignite and I have no doubt these can work for some in their own struggle.  I have:

  • Signed up for races (just to let the dates come and go with only a few miles logged)
  • Set weight loss goals (I’m currently heavier than any other non-pregnancy time in my life)
  • Booked a running trip (ran once on the trip)
  • Joined a running group
  • Started a running accountability group (We are each at different levels of disappointment)
  • Bought books on running and motivation
  • Downloaded and listened to motivational podcasts

Here’s one you might not be willing to do:  I got a new running tattoo to prove to myself “I still got it!” 

NOPE!  It’s not working.  I am currently on a streak of 6+ weeks without running a step.   This streak is indicative of the last 3 ½ years. Start a routine, keep it for a few weeks, maybe even a couple of months just to lose my rhythm…. my heart.  I am in big trouble here! HELP!

Can it be the often talked about endorphin burnout?   Did my epic 200 mile effort in 2014 extinguish my internal flame?  Have I used up my life’s allotment for miles?

Is it the lack of a real goal? A goal that matches Western States? Tahoe 200?  New marathon PR?

Is it my age? Turning 50 this year…. There is a huge difference between 40, 30, 20 and 50.  

Is it that I moved away from my core group of running friends? No more Bob; the best running partner in the world? No more Andrea; my business partner, best friend, & sub 3:20 marathoner who kept me honest in our runs together?

Yes, it’s all of the above and a few things that are much deeper and harder to confess.

So here it is folks, this blog may be my only hope to find my running shoes again; this little public display of my brokenness.  My plea to the compassionate universe to align my soul with my stride once again.   I am a runner who simple wants to run again. Today, I will run.   I will build towards this new goal of reporting back to myself in this blog.  To share whatever small victory I can achieve.

Do you have any advice? What has worked/not-worked for you?


  • Heather, I remember you! I remember telling you to bring bear spray, did you? I struggle with the “all or nothing” attitude in all aspects of my life. I try to keep the fire going in all areas but like you I really to keep the spark alive so the fire can spread or move around, or whatever. Hope that makes sense. The good news is that I have gotten running back into my life, not as much as I’d like but it’s back. Now I have to keep the momentum. Updated blog post coming soon!

    Take care! -MH

  • Laurie, Hello!!!! Long time no talk/write/see. I’d love to get together and run sometime. My travel schedule is so crazy, hence my trouble with work/life/running balance. BUT I am running a 50K in a couple of weeks. My training hasn’t been perfect but it’s the best its been in years.

    I’ll be in touch!

  • Hey Michelle,
    Love your honesty in this article.

    I don’t have any advice but do have an invitation for you. Want to run? I know having someone to meet helps me get out the door. I run at weird hours but would love to have your company. Message me if you want to plan a run.


  • Michelle- I met you several years ago at Centeal Peninsula Hospital. You gave me your DVD of your WS experience. Woman- you’re amazing and if you never run another step – woman you are AMAZING! I pray you find what you are looking for. I feel like I can relate as I am in the midst of a journey of discovering what my fire is and keeping it kindled while staying healthy my heart is with you. Feel free to touch base. You have a friend who understands.

    Heather Moon

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published