Tag Archive: motivation


So Moto

No matter what type of exercise you do… running, lifting, spinning, yoga…. there are just some days you struggle to muster up the motivation to lace up those sneakers, squeeze into your spandex, or even find your iPod.

 

When you skip a workout you often go through the five stages of loss of motivation.

  1. Bargaining: “If I skip today I’ll do an extra set/mile/lap/etc. tomorrow.”
  2. Depression: “I could have worked it out today. I’m full of sad excuses.”
  3. Guilt: “I can’t believe I messed up my training schedule. Everyone is counting on me to train for this marathon/keep the weight off/lead the class/etc.”
  4. Overreacting: “I will never skip a workout again! I don’t care if I have a pneumonia!” And then you end up getting pneumonia and you have no choice but to derail your workouts indefinitely.
  5. Acceptance: “I missed one day. I am human.”

So to keep myself from making excuses I have a few tricks up my sleeve to get me out on the pavement.

  • Listen to some energizing music throughout the day that gets me jazzed for a workout.
  • On that same note, make a new playlist or wait to listen to a newly purchase album until your workout.
  • Change into your workout gear as soon as you can. If you’re a morning athlete, have your clothes set out and staring you in the face when you awaken. If you’re hitting the gym after work, bring your change of clothes with you to work and make the transition from office manager to gym rat before you even get in the car. I’m a stay at home mom who likes to workout in the evening so when I’m feeling like I’m on the verge of making an excuse I change into my running tights ASAP. I feel like I’m tricking my brain into being prepared.
  • Buy new gear and save it for a day where you need a mental pick-me-up. It’s like giving yourself a reward for persevering.
  • Have a range of goals. I’m a total planner who loves to make lists. I like to make daily, monthly/short term, and yearly/long term goals. It gives me a confidence boost when I’ve done more miles than I thought I could, PRed on a hard, hilly run, or my love handles have magically disappeared. Those days are the best!
  • There’s an app for that: Download a fitness app on your phone or just go to their website to log in everything from what you eat to exercises. These programs can often be linked to social media accounts so your friends can cheer you on or secretly despise you for following through on your new year resolution when they quit on day 5.
  • Blog it up: Start a fitness blog or follow other fitness related blogs to get new ideas or encouragement. Encouragement from strangers is often more satisfying than getting a compliment from a friend or family member. But acknowledgment that you’re working hard is good even if it comes from your dog. Talk about your goals and how far you’ve come. It might light a fire under someone else to get moving!

So let’s hear it. How do you keep motivated?

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Well, this is post is more of a formality than anything. I was sick last week so there’s really not much to update. I ran a 6.1 mile run on Monday and then the rest of the week went down the drain. I was sick for two days (Wednesday and Thursday) and Friday I was feeling much better but not 100%. I had to decide if I was going to attend my husband’s Family Day (weekend) with his unit or stay home and be completely out of my mind bored.

I took a chance and traveled two hours with my family Friday night. I brought a change of running clothes on the off chance I wanted to push myself with a run on the hotel treadmill. On Saturday, my son decided to wake up with the sunrise at 6:30. After breakfast, he requested that I help him put his socks and shoes on so we could explore. More specifically, he wanted to explore the stairwell. Apparently, my son’s idea of a good time is climbing 6 floors of stairs over and over. I obliged him because my husband had our vehicle and I was essentially a hostage to my son’s whims. Negotiations to stop and get some lunch were unsuccessful so between climbing stairs and watching the Disney channel I was going stir crazy and my energy was close to nothing. When the CO dismissed my husband and the rest of the Marines after a long day that included a PFT **(Physical Fitness Test)… that is a 3 mile run, sit-ups, and pull-ups… we were all incredibly hungry. We loaded up the truck and met another Marine and his wife for dinner at Fatz Cafe. They were incredibly impressed with our son’s behavior and to be honest so were we. I think he was happy to get out of the hotel and he does love an audience.

Back at the hotel we continued to converse with our friends until almost midnight. The kiddo didn’t mind as he had been having trouble settling down at night because he assumed we were there for the sole purpose of playing with him. He would regret that decision at 5:30 the next morning when we had to pack up and head to the Reserve Center for 7am formation. We waited around until 11 when we went to a park. Luckily this park had a playground. I’m fairly certain we could have convinced our son that this was Disney World… he was THAT excited. So for the next five hours we took turns following him around on the big kid playscape helping him climb ladders and giving him a gentle shove down slides with a short lunch break. Needless to say the two hour drive back was incredibly quiet because a certain someone fell asleep literally two minutes after we put him in his carseat.

So although I didn’t get a short run in to start rebuilding on my marathon training I did get a lot of exercise in one way or another. Sometimes just being active in any way is all you need to keep things going. Let’s hope my illness hasn’t completely destroyed my training. Can’t wait to lace up my shoes for a run today!

** My husband is in fairly good shape, however, he has been training to get his 3 mile run down to at least 21 minutes. When he’s been going on his marathon training runs he wears his military flak jacket (a vest that contains body armor for protection again bullets and other dangerous fragments in hostile territories). So running with some extra weight and more hilly terrain, he got his 3 mile run down to 22:35… just 1:25 away from his goal to be physically fit enough to attend Officer Candidate School (they have pretty high standards naturally).

Beaking it in

Micro G Defy

Last weekend I went to an Under Armour Outlet store. It took all of my willpower to not buy out the store and just stick with some new trainers; A pair of Micro G Defy. (Although… I do regret not picking up that cute 1/4 zip water repellant running jacket after Sunday’s running challenges.) I took them out for their first run yesterday and it was not good. I could feel the cushion a lot better in these shoes which was awesome but shortly into my run I started getting a sharp pain in my bum. I wasn’t sure if this was due to adjusting to my new shoes or if I had neglected my piriformis muscle. *Bad runner! For shame!* So grudgingly I cut my run short. I even found myself limping a little when I got home. So today I have decided to take some extra time to stretch it out and do a little yoga prior to running today. I’m really hoping that will help. I never thought my training would become a pain in the @$$ this soon! So punny.

I feel like my scoliosis is partially to blame. My spine has a moderate to severe curve and it puts my body’s balance all out of whack. If my back puts uneven pressure on one side of my body that means it affects everything below from my hips to my knees to my feet. Should I have found a deep, unrelenting love with a different sport… a more impact forgiving sport like swimming or cycling? Probably. But you love what you love. I can’t give up on running just as much as I can’t give up on cheese. So I press on. If it still gives me trouble I may have a professional review my form to make sure I’m not making my body work harder than it has to. Work smarter not harder right?!

Any challenges giving you a headache lately? An old injury flaring up or maybe you’re struggling to PR on a certain course? Push through, gain perspective from someone else’s point of view, and make your necessary changes. It’s not over until you’re six feet under.

Marathon training week one recap

My marathon training is not off to a good start. I ran on Monday and Wednesday. I was supposed to run for 30 minutes of Friday and then at least 5 miles on Sunday. Those last two training runs just did not happen. I wasn’t happy about it. Moving into a new place just took up too much time and energy. While I didn’t have to carry a lot of heavy items. I was the one that packed and unpacked the majority of our belongings which meant repeatedly bending at the waist. Needless to say my lower back really took a beating and I didn’t feel it was wise to run with a sore back. I do however consider it all a form of exercise at the very least. My cardio for the weekend consisted of many trips up and down stairs. If I’m ever in a pinch for a workout running up and down our staircase for 20 minutes might do the trick. It seems that whenever I’m downstairs I always need something that I left upstairs and vice versa. Murphy’s law seems out to get me lately.

Well, lesson learned. Do not start a marathon training the same week you move to a new place. There’s still some packing and unpacking to do while we’re transitioning fully from the old homestead. My training for week two will still be the same since will be 2 days of running for 30 minutes and 2 days of running for 45 with a core and shoulders/arms workout thrown in for good measure. I may throw an extra 45 minute run in there if I’m feeling guilty for skating on week one’s schedule.

Should I just forgive myself for not doing my intended miles or push myself a little extra this week to make up for lost time/miles?

Marathon Monday

Marathon Monday indeed! First off, good luck to all those who have trained and qualified for a little race called the Boston Marathon and are running from the suburb of Hopkinton to Copley Square in Bean Town (one of my former stomping grounds). I’m personally pulling for Shalane Flanagan 🙂 If I want to ever participate in this Holy Grail of marathons I would have to run a marathon in under 03:35:00 to qualify. I’m definitely not training to run the Marine Corps Marathon in that time. Just finishing is more my speed (pun totally intended).

In an irony that is not lost on me, I begin my marathon training today. That means approximately 6 months of pounding the pavement, drinking my body weight in water, and reacquainting myself with ice baths. I woke up today just reminding myself that today is one day out of the whole process. I just need to concentrate on what needs to be done today and then I can feel some sense of accomplishment when I can check off today’s workout.

I recently realized that I really miss the structure and schedules I had in college or even when I was had my most recent job before our son came into our lives. Get up & do the hygiene thing. Eat. Go to my job/class. Eat. Continue with work/job. Workout. Eat. Study/relax. Sleep. Easy. It was a time where I barely watched tv or was even on my computer aside from doing homework during my college days.

Now my daily schedule lays in the hands of my toddler- the real master of the manor.

I get up & rush through looking at emails/checking in on The Trail Less Traveled. Chug a coffee or half of a Monster Zero. Help little man break out of his crib and get his day going with breakfast. Do chores (laundry or dishes… right now I throw in packing into the mix). Entertain toddler with books, games, and try to teach him at least one new word. Lunch time followed by nap time. Nap time is glorious. 2 hours that gives me time to eat, shower, and blog. My son wakes up from his nap & then the next few hours consist of redirecting him from jumping on the couch or running in circles around the coffee table (I really wish I were exaggerating). Sometimes I make dinner ahead of time but to be honest my husband is the cook of the family. If it were left up to me we’d be eating the same four meals in rotation. He cooks and I keep our son alive. I think it’s a pretty good trade off. I also utilize this time to go for my run. Dinner is followed by our son’s bedtime routine. Then it’s parental relaxation time… aka we catch up on our DVRed shows. Such an exciting life I lead huh?

Now, don’t get me wrong. This is not me complaining. I’m just notating how life morphs into something unexpected (but manageable at some level) sometimes. There are definitely things that I could do to change how my day rolls like putting our son into a daycare and taking on a job. Or just do my own thing and flat out ignore my son all day. Neither of those things sound even remotely appealing right now (and I hope in the latter case, that it will not be appealing EVER). I’m just saying that there are days were I miss having my own timeline rather than conforming to someone else’s. But that’s essentially what parenting is isn’t it? I miss having weekends off. But really we never have days off. Life happens whether it’s parenting, fulfilling household obligations, making fun memories, etc. Life is just daily transitions.

But don’t you worry about me. I have plans. Big plans. Running my first marathon. Getting my Masters degree is at the top of my list. After that I’ll head back to work when our son is in kindergarten. I will find balance once again. Lord knows that day will not be today though. For everyone who feels like they are in a rut revisit your priorities and goals. Your own health and well-being is number one. If you’re not taking care of yourself you won’t be much good to anyone else. So in the words of Jay-Z….

I’m on to the next one.

Whether it’s miles, memories, or responsibilities. I’ve got this.

Edit: I’m currently watching the aftermath of the explosions that occurred at the Boston Marathon. My heart and prayers go out to everyone in the area. So many emotions. I just can’t explain it.

Logging in the miles

I am definitely a person who prefers written communication… take this blog for example… or the fact that I LOVE making lists… so it should come to no surprise that I have found that keeping a log of my workouts, nutrition, and even sleep and mood very beneficial to my training. I recently (like four days ago… yeah, that recently) began using MapMyRun.

Map my Run Dashboard

Map my Run Dashboard

It really gives me a great overall look of how my day looks with an “exercise filter” on. I think it also helps to be more accountable for your exercises and what goes into your body when you have to log it in and see it staring back at you. It gives me an opportunity to be competitive with myself or even competitive with friends since it allows you to connect to social media and posts the details of your run. It stinks seeing days where you haven’t logged a workout or you went slightly overboard on your caloric intake because it was someone’s birthday at the office. This definitely contributes to my daily motivation.

Any other people who use a log to help keep track of what they do? What other ways do you keep yourself accountable?

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