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Our Great Motivators

Posted Sep 07 2011 10:28am
It hardly needs to be said that runners are motivated people. Let's face it - most of us aren't running because we have a gun to our head. We run because we are motivated by larger goals, whether it's training for a big race, getting healthy, staying fit, losing weight, or even finding the inner peace and relaxation that comes from working out. It's our daily motivators, however, those little things day-to-day that get us to put on our running shoes and head out the door, that are the tricky ones. Having long term goals are one thing, but making sure you get out and do each daily workout requires smaller motivators.

Different people use different techniques. Some run with a friend, knowing they will push each other. Some change up their running routes, making it seem like a whole new course. Some listen to music. And sometimes, these day-to-day motivators come from unexpected places...

As I watched the rain continue to pour down for 6 straight hours, I accepted the fact that I would be running my 8 miles through it. As soon as I got out the door I was immediately thankful that I'd worn my long sleeve tech shirt. I know I previously pleaded for the cooler fall weather, but 60-some degrees was too cold, too soon! Only a quarter mile in, when the rain was swirling sideways into my face, I started considering cutting it short. It was a little too miserable out. Then I thought, "no, I'm not going to give up. I'm going to use this as an opportunity to do better, train harder." There's nothing like a torrential downpour to motivate you to finish your run as fast as you possibly can just to get out of the rain. And that's exactly what I did.

Totally worth my Kinvaras drying out for 3 days
"What does my Garmin say," you ask? Oh, nothing really. Only that I just ran 8 miles at an average 8:04 pace! BAM! Take that previous training record! In your face! Rain = a great motivator.

Final Stats: 8.02 miles, 1:04:49, 8:04 pace

This morning when my alarm went off at 6 am I was already wide awake. I turned the alarm off and rolled over, starting to argue with myself about whether or not to actually get up for my speed workout. "I could do it tomorrow instead." Sound argument. Then I realized, if I am awake enough to have a rational conversation with myself, then I am awake enough to get up and run. It's one thing to stay in bed and sleep an extra hour because you are so tired that you fall right back asleep. It's another thing if you are only staying in bed because you like the way the way the pillow feels under your head. Time to get up!

20 minutes later I found myself outside and ready to run. Still debating whether or not to actually run the Paper Mill 5k this Saturday, I knew this was the workout that would make me decide. 3 miles, split into 1 mile repeats. That's all I had to get through. Halfway through my first repeat I realized I was out of energy and had an empty stomach. Oh well. Push through. With one repeat left I didn't think I could make it. "Seven and a half minutes of pain, a full day of bragging rights." That's what I repeated over and over again and then, all of a sudden, it was done.

Final Stats: 3 x 1-mile repeats, 7:33, 7:24, 7:14 splits, average 7:23 pace

Not my best, but my best in awhile! I haven't been able to get it down below a 7:30 average in over a month. Even better is that I continued to get faster, even though I continued to get more exhausted. Sometimes you don't need fancy tricks to motivate yourself. Sometimes you only need you. You = a great motivator.

That said, I'm all registered for Saturday's 5k, and ready to kick some you know what!

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