There are days, weeks, even months when I'm not motivated to run. Having run 11 marathons and, thus 11 marathon training cycles, I've dealt with the ups and downs of training and putting in high mileage weeks. My first couple of years training for marathons, I use to beat myself up about missing a run or skipped miles. Over the past few years, I've given myself a lot more leeway with my training schedule and allowed my miles to be less on days or weeks that just felt off or when I wasn't motivated. I incorporate more strength and cross training. Taking a spin class allows me to think differently during the workout (I'm less concerned with miles and pace per miles) and gives me both a physical and mental break. Strength exercises allows me to focus narrowly on my movements, without worrying about times or minutes.
Along with switching up my schedule and being flexible with myself, I've learned that sometimes you just need to put your shoes on, step outside and run - without a plan, without a route, and without pressure to hit a specific pace. Living in a new city has allowed me the freedom to go for runs where I don't know the mileage or how long it'll take me to get to certain points. I run to explore Portland, to see a new part of the city or to just get lost. On the days when I'm just not motivated but the sun is shining, I simply lace up and step outside. Even if it's only 20 minutes, I feel better and I've seen a new road or section of the city.
So, next time you are feeling unmotivated, just lace up and step outside. Something good will happen...promise!