Motivation (or Lack Of!)

The weather continues to baffle us here in the midwest.  Monday, I ran wearing three layers, running tights, an earband, and gloves.  Tuesday, I ran wearing shorts and a long-sleeved t-shirt – and I was sweating like it was July.  Last night it was pleasant when we ran; a long-sleeved t-shirt and yoga pants were more than enough.  Today, it’s freezing again – and raining. 

The last several weeks, I have worked hard to stay motivated because I am supposed to run a 10k (6.2 miles) next weekend, and a half marathon at the end of April.  My body, however, has worked against me.  First it was my belly churning and processing at the most inconvenient of times.  Mixed in with that discomfort was pain in my left knee.  It began to subside, but then reappeared Monday at about mile four of a seven miler.  I continued to run despite the pain because I was determined to get a long run in (I ate A LOT Sunday).  As soon as I got back to my car, I hit the seven mile mark, and my knee was finished.  Though I felt as though I was hobbling those last three miles, my overall pace remained steady.  My frustration also remained steady.

Tuesday I had to strategically plan my run.  Addison is on the fine arts academic team, and their first competition was out of town that evening.  I had about 30 minutes to get a run in, and then had to wash up at school, and put back on my dress clothes.  I took off from school, and decided that running a 3-mile loop would make the most sense.  The problem with that was that loop included Mozart hill – the one-mile long killer hill.  The hill I hadn’t run in months.  The hill I detest.  It was also the hill I needed to run in order to prove to myself that I can still run it.  My run began downhill, which was great.  When I approached the uphill portion, I really wanted to turn around.  However, in order to get back to school – and my clothes and car – I had to go up a hill.  I pushed ahead.  When I am trying to ascend a beastly hill, I chant to myself PUSH!  PUSH!  While that is coming out of my mouth, in my mind I am asking myself why the heck I thought it was a good idea to run Mozart.  I did make it up the hill.  Without stopping.  And whenever I reach the crest of the hill and round the corner onto a relatively flat street I am always proud that I have once again conquered The Hill. 

On that run my knee was a little sore, and by my Wednesday night run, it didn’t hurt at all.  If I have a couple good runs, I will run the 10k with my friends next weekend.  If my knee or belly continues to give me problems, I will focus on the half marathon.  I am so looking forward to spring weather sticking around.  Rather than run in the cold rain tonight, I am going to Zumba.  It is great for cross-training, and a nice change of pace. 

There are many different things that motivate us to exercise.  Some of the things on my list include time with my friends, time to process my day, the amazing feeling of having finished a run, my husband’s perseverence in running, my daughters’ new interest in running, and my friends.  I am always inspired to continue on when I participate in races.  The variety of runners and their dedication never cease to impress me.  What inspires you to exercise?  How can you inspire others?  One of the best things about the sport of running is that runners are such a supportive group of people.  Because I had special people who encouraged and inspired me, I feel the need to pay it forward and do the same for others.

Need some motivation?  Summer, aka bathing suit weather, is only three months away!  Now get up and move!

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