Sticking With It When Motivation Fails

by Stephanie on March 9, 2011 · 0 comments

in Inspiration

When you sign on for a major challenge like, oh, training for a half marathon, you’re signing on for the long haul. This isn’t a day or a week or even a month. We’re talking about 6-12 months to gain the necessary endurance (for me at least).

Staying committed for that length of time is hard. There are going to be times when you struggle. When you have to force yourself to exercise when you’d rather be doing anything else (as long as that something else is curling up on the couch and watching TV for 6 hours!). It’s inevitable. But it doesn’t have to ruin your progress.

This embodies the last couple of weeks for me. It started right after I did my first 7 mile run. It was a fantastic run and farther than I’d ever gone before. I thought that would have motivated me to keep pushing onward but it actually had the opposite effect.

Total motivation fail. I didn’t want to exercise at all. I was burnt out and tired of trying so darn hard. I’d come so far in 5 months and I wanted a break! It made me grouchy just thinking about running. Not quiet, sullen grouchy. Nope. This was full-blown, lash out at anyone who tries to move me from the couch grouchy. I was an absolute bear and it’s amazing that my roommate/friend/running partner (Steve) could even put up with me.
I could have let this throw me completely off track. I could have said “man, this sucks. I’m done” and became a couch potato. I could have taken a month off and lost all the progress I’ve made so far.

I could have. But I didn’t. I struggled through it. I complained and whined and ate junk food but I still did the majority of my workouts. My heart wasn’t in it and the intensity was pretty low, but I knew I needed to try.

Then last Thursday, after eating 3 servings of chips and bemoaning the fact that I ever started running, I dragged myself to the gym with Steve. The goal was just to follow him around the track for 35 minutes at an easy-medium pace. So that’s what I did.

Until something changed. I don’t know what did it. Maybe it was the fact that I felt like I could have gone faster than my normal pace. Or the contagious enthusiasm of the man running at the track that kept telling us how good we were doing when he flew by. I like to think it was God’s way or rewarding me for keeping with it when I didn’t want to. Either way, I started enjoying it again. The run was fun and fun is good!

Since then I’ve been golden in the motivation department. On Sunday it was beautiful out (40 degrees!). I ran 7.26 miles outside complete with some decent hills and wind. I felt fantastic =)

I’m sure I’ll have at least one more motivation fail (probably more) in the 16 weeks before the Seattle half. I also know it will pass if I keep at it like I did this time. And knowing is half the battle!

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