Then last night I went to the gym to run a 4-miler on the treadmill. The first mile went great. Then the second mile I started to get shin splints and stomach cramps all at once. Two things that rarely happen to me. I kept pausing the treadmill to stretch and drink water, but nothing was helping. So I quit at mile 2. I have NEVER quit a run early before. I felt shitty about it all night. I should have at least walked the other 2 miles. Oh well, time to start over and forget about it.
Luckily, Runner’s World posted an article today about how to stay motivated so I decided to write down my favorite ones from the article here so I can refer back to it when I need a little extra push (some I tweaked slightly to fit me personally).
Create a blog. I’m already doing this! This is all about publicly declaring your goals to create accountability for yourself. In that vein, I fully plan on running 4 miles tomorrow and 8 miles on Friday.
Forget the watch. I have become way too attached to my Garmin. I can’t even imagine running without it. But I found on a 10 miler I did a week ago that when I didn’t look at it constantly and actually relaxed I ran at a faster pace. So I need to become more relaxed and start making running fun again. On a related note, I think this is partly what went wrong last night – I was pushing myself too hard and if I had just slowed down I’m sure I would’ve finished the 4 miles.
Sign up now. Signing up for a 5k is how I originally motivated myself to start running. I’m very competitive so this always helps me. I really need to sign up for the Seattle Rock n Roll half before I chicken out or they sell out. I signed on to do it a couple weeks ago and then got sticker shock when I saw how expensive it was. But now I have Christmas money so I NEED to get on that. I know that’ll get me off my ass. The fear of failure really is the ultimate motivator.
Think Fast. Runner’s World’s suggestion here was to run the first half of your run slow and then run the second half fast. I definitely need to try some runs like this because so often I don’t pace myself very well and am dying on the second half of the run. It would be a nice change of pace to have extra energy at the end of the run.
Download new music. I know if Kesha’s song Tick Tock came on my iPod as I was running my pace would increase. Or promise yourself that if you go for your run you can purchase that song you just can’t get enough of when you get back.
Remind yourself. It always helps me to remind myself how far I’ve come both mentally and physically since I started running regularly. I may not be at the weight I want to be at, but I am proud of my body because I know what it’s capable of. I love my legs now even if they are ridiculously short because I know how strong they are. I always make a point of thinking about how confident and great I feel when I finish a run.
Treat yourself. When I am having an especially hard time getting my ass out the door I promise myself a treat when I get back. Chocolate milk is the best treat because it’s good to drink after a run and who doesn’t love it?
Honeymoon Bikini. This is the obvious one. Swimsuit season is just around the corner. I’ll be on a honeymoon this summer and I fully intend to look hot while on it. I plan on hanging a pic of my dream swimsuit in my office to serve as a constant reminder.
Don’t Pause. This is a big one for me. I need to just jump out of bed and go for a run – I tend to give myself too much time to talk myself out of it.
No Regret. My mantra: You’ll regret it big time if you don’t run and laze around on the couch instead.
Try New Trails. Change up your route. I think I’ll try the park across the street (I don’t know why I haven’t run there yet…) and Green Lake would be a big treat for me (great people watching).
What motivates you to get out the door and get your ass in gear?