Today I want to talk a little bit about motivation – specifically running motivation.
This quote I recently read from Christine of Charging You Up sums it up perfectly:
“Staying motivated to accomplish something takes consistent time and energy. No one is going to push you up that hill or over that fence without you putting in some of the work yourself. You have heard that quote before “the only limits you have are the limits you set for yourself.”
Nothing could have been more true than this past Tuesday morning. I had a track workout planned – I had everything ready to go the night before – my clothes laid out, waterbottle filed and I Pod charged. I knew it was going to rain but for some reason did not trust the weathermen. Besides – races don’t stop for rain, so why should training.
Well – it was one of the few times the weathermen were right.
So, 4:45am rolls around and I am awakened (15 minutes early) to the pitter-patter of rain hitting the side of our house. I contemplated getting up and getting my butt (and legs) to the track, but I “sold” myself on all the reasons why going to the track was not a good idea and promptly rolled over for an extra hour of sleep.
My justifications included:
- I REALLY was not training for my fall marathon (yet)
- I could brush off this workout, no one would know
- I could move it to to later in the week
- I could use this as a rest day
- It was chilly and rainy outside and I did not want to get wet
- I “needed” that extra hour of sleep
But although that extra hour of sleep was wonderful (and it did feel pretty good) it was not consistent, and when I finally roused myself to get ready for work I knew I could not let the day slip by without accomplishing what was supposed to take place earlier that morning.
That’s the funny thing about running and what many people whom do not classify themselves as “runners” do not understand. Races and race day are great but there are weeks and weeks of training to get to that point.
No one tells me to get up in the morning at O’Dark Thiry . In fact sometimes Mark does a good job at giving me a better reason to stay in bed some mornings.
I have to motivate myself and it’s not always easy. Weeks and weeks pass as I log (and sometimes slog) miles, working toward that one day/race where I put it all on the line.
Many would say that it’s a lot of effort for little reward.
I can see their point, but my running motivation is for that one day, when all the hard work, unpleasant weather, and many solo miles all come together.
So, at the end of the day (and it was the end of the day), I changed from “worker bee” to “track runner” and did what I needed to do – putting in the work regardless of the conditions or how I felt.
No one told me to suck it up and go to the track after work or to the track for that matter. The weather was pure crap – BUT I knew that by getting it done I was a little further up the hill working toward my fall marathon goals and that was all the running motivation I needed.
Because at the end of the day – no matter how you cut it – you never regret a workout. And you know what – once I got to the track all my other thoughts melted away. I got (as I like to call it) “to work” and got it done (actually surpassing my mile repeat paces).
I know it won’t be the last time I lose my running motivation or the last time that the weather is pretty crappy before a workout but I have to remember that each workout has a purpose – getting you a little further up that hill and a little closer to your goals.
Question – Goals, who has them? How do you stay motivated?