“Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp, or are you going to be strong today?'”
— Peter Maher, two-time Olympic marathoner from Canada
As some of you know, I developed a new-found love for running when I decided to take control of my life and my health this year. I’ve despised running ever since the dreaded one mile run in order to pass PE in high school. (Yeah, all you UAers remember running around the field stepping in copious amounts of goose poop was no fun at all.) But I’ve changed my tune when I found that this activity actually kept my weight down and in check.
As we head into the deepest depths of winter and the holiday season, the days are shorter, the nights are longer, and my body just wants to hibernate and sleep for 5 months. Normally I’d give in to it and not break a sweat for several months on end, but I lost 20 pounds this year and there’s no way any of those pesky pounds are going to creep back on. I will admit that the frequency of my runs lately has been more like 2 – 3 times a week rather than 3 – 4, but I’m running faster and further than before so some of it does get cancelled out. I need to do better with motivating myself to get up and running… literally.
Here’s a short list of ways I keep myself motivated:
- Writing a weekly activity schedule — One very important thing I’ve learned during my weight loss journey [another story for another time] is that writing things down helps keep me accountable. If I write down my activity plan for the week, I’m more likely to stick to it. We’re all busy people with busy lives, but chances are we know our weekly schedules ahead of time and can plan around that.
- Thinking about how far I’ve come — Six months ago, I couldn’t even run a 1/4 a mile. Now I can run 3+ miles. Hopefully 6 months from now, I’ll be able to run 5 miles… or maybe more. Also, it doesn’t hurt that I have muscles now! Wooo!
- Reading fitness magazines — Yeah, it sounds lame. I have a monthly subscription to Shape and Women’s Health. I don’t read them and oogle over how someone’s abs or biceps look. I know I’ll never look like Brooke Burke or Jillian Michaels [nor do I ever want to] but reading stories about every day people like you and I who made fitness work for them is inspiring.
- Having a goal — It differs from day to day. Some weeks I just want to get at least two runs in; other weeks, I want to run a little further than I did the week before. It doesn’t matter what your goal is, just make sure its reasonable and attainable, but also challenging.
I like the quote that I started this blog with. It’s centered on running, but really can be applied to whatever it is that you do. The decision is up to you every day: Are you going to challenge yourself or find another excuse to do nothing?
PS – Here’s the link to a great article with 100 tips to get yourself motivated to run, but can be applied to any activity in general! http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-243-297–11733-0,00.html