Friday, July 19, 2013

When Motivation Slips

Currently, I find myself in the midst of a battle.

On one side is my motivation, my drive, my desire, and my eagerness to stay active, stay motivated, eat healthy, and keep moving forward on my fitness journey.

On the other side is apathy, exhaustion, and excuses.  Things that stand in the way of reaching my goals.

And right now, the second side is winning.  Since my marathon on June 2nd, I:
-Have gone running a number of times that can be counted on one hand
-Have put on 10 pounds
-Lack motivation and energy to work out, and sometimes to do anything productive
-Eat out.  A lot.
-Am not happy

I find myself at a crossroads: continue to go down a direction I don't want to head OR to take this moment to change my path, my habits, and get back on track.

I'm digging deep for this one.  Looking to things that motivate me in a way to get myself headed in a positive direction.  I have some quality go-to's, so I figured I would take the time to write them down, so I can take a look back when I have moments like this down the road.  Here's a few things that work for me when I feel my motivation start to slip.

Talk about it
Sometimes, this is the hardest thing to do.  But for me, it's the best.  When I am finally able to be open and admit to myself where things are - not a wish or perception, but the bitter reality - THAT'S when I usually find the strength to turn things around.

Find your inspirational go-to's to watch, listen, or read
For me, there are certain things that if I immerse myself in them, I instantly have this desire to work out or eat healthy.
-Watch The Biggest Loser.  A LOT!
-Listen to songs that are on my running playlists: some biggies- Linkin Park "By Myself," Simple Plan "I'd Do Anything," Eminem "Til I Collapse," and the most recent addition Kelly Clarkson "Catch My Breath"
-Read articles/books about running or fitness transformations
-Look up races and make lofty but realistic training plans

One of the hardest things for me is just to DO the things I say.  So many times, I put together a great plan for running, I plan on eating healthy, I plan on going to the gym.  Plan, plan, plan.  But then, there's little follow through.  So as necessary as putting together a plan is, at the end of the day it doesn't matter.  What matters is that I get out and go for a run when I don't feel like it.  That I stop eating at fast food restaurants regularly (or ever).  That I go on hikes, play sports, go to the gym.  Follow through is key.  Don't be all talk.

Hold yourself accountable
What happens if I don't do the things I hope.  Aside from the feelings of guilt or shame, NOTHING.  So I need to be able to answer the question: what is going to happen if I don't ______.  Make it a game or competition.  Have an incentive or reward.  Find positive things to do only if goals are completed.  And don't let not doing it be an option.

It's go time!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Independence Day 5K

I decided to wake up early on the 4th and run a 5K.

I had no idea what was going to happen, mainly since I've only gone running 3 times since my marathon on June 2nd.  I could see it going really well, keeping some of my endurance up over the month.  I could see it going horribly, basically losing everything I gained while marathon training.

I checked in, got my sweet shirt, and got ready for the starting line.  I won a pair of cheap sunglasses because I knew a trivia answer of who won the men's lacrosse NCAA championship (UNC).

Ready... Set... Go!

I took a deep breath and started trotting.  It started with a big downhill, so I got to pick up some speed and test the breathing.  I felt really good, but hoped that it would last.  First mile- still felt great.  It was a nice course that looped around the streets of Highlands Ranch.  Then, it hooked onto a walking trail that cut through the meadow.  Beautiful!  Then, it got hard.  There were a few tough hills that took the breath out of everyone, causing a lot of people to walk.  I was thrilled that I still felt great and didn't have to!  After a few uphills, then we rounded the final corner of the race, and could see the finish line - a quarter mile ahead and all uphill.  Normally, I make a big sprint to the finish.  Not today - the hill neutralized any burst I had left.  I picked up a little speed, gritted my teeth, and just started at the finish line, watching it get closer and closer.

Official Time:  28:29

I'm super happy with this time!  The next few months I'm going to focus on hitting a better time, but this was a test.  I haven't really lost anything, even though I haven't been running and haven't been eating very well.  I felt great, especially considering it was a tough course.  It got me excited to keep going and get ready for the next one!