Thursday, April 24, 2008

Get Going

Looking for an excuse to call it in for the day and skip that workout? You won't find it in this article over at

Time to Run: Get Motivated describes the constant struggle undertaken by all runners at some point during the their training. That challenge? Well, Grey's Anatomy is on TV. Or dinner takes 1/2 an hour to prepare. Or work sucked all the life out of you. Or it's too damn early to get up and run.

Motivation. How to get it and how to keep it. Running is essentially the same thing day after day. You can vary your scenery and you can varied you types of runs. But when it comes down to it, most runs are left foot followed by right foot followed by left foot. Run, rinse, repeat.

The article makes a couple of good suggestions about how to maintain motivations. Run at the same time every workout day so it becomes habit. Follow a ritual to mentally prepare yourself. Trick yourself into running just walking slowly and telling yourself that you'll only run for a couple of minutes.

In truth, it usually only takes about a half of a mile to warm up mentally and commit to the run. I went running on Tuesday and I was feeling particularly tired frmo hauling storyboards around our office all day. The last thing I wanted to do was run. But I jumped out of my car and onto the horsetrail path at the park. I just started going without thinking too much. I told myself I'd do 4 miles. Two out and two back.

After the first mile my energy found me again. at the two mile mark, I thought, okay, lets just got another half mile and make it a nice, round 5 miler.

I turned around at 2.5 miles just after a steep hill. I ran down and thought - okay, let's make this a tempo run. Faster on the way back. I picked up speed and held an 8"10 mile for the final 2.5. When I got back to my car I was beat, but I felt great. So great in fact that I decided to job half a mile past my car to add an extra full mile onto the run.

So after all of that internal whining and complaining to myself that I wasn't going to get home in time to watch American Idol, I managed to complete a 6 mile tempo run in 50 minutes, and get back just in time to watch Idol. (Ironically once I sat down and started watching, I realized that I didn't actually care for the show, just the comfort of being back in my apartment.)

So moral of the story, and of the article --- you can find a lot of external motivators like running buddies and online forums. But when it comes down to it, running is you alone, and the strongest motivation is going to be that internal drive to go a little farther past the turning point, and maybe even a little farther past the end point. You push yourself, you push your limits. You will reap rewards.

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