(Hey, it's Emily!)
As I've reflected on my progress thus far and how much I have to do to be ready for a half marathon, I thought… Holy moly, I have such a long way to go!
Monday morning at the gym, I started week 4 of Couch to 5K and I struggled. A lot. The fear that I won’t be able to run a full mile without walking started to creep in. In elementary school, I wasn’t the fastest at running the mile, but I ran it. I think I finished it in about 10 minutes. Now? Not so much. Including the walking warm-ups and jogging, I’m averaging just under 14 minutes a mile.
Even if I get down to 13 minute miles, it would mean that those 13.1 miles of the half marathon will take me just over 170 minutes (2 hours and 50 minutes). If I think about how quickly that time passes while I’m driving or working throughout the school day, well, that’s not so bad. But put me on a treadmill and say, “3 hours, go!” and that’s a whole different story. That’s a real hit to my motivation.
The reason why I have not consistently stuck to an exercise regimen is that it’s extremely hard to keep up my motivation. If pounds weren’t falling off as fast as I desired or I skipped a workout, it was easy enough to say something like, “What’s the point?” or “Well, I didn’t go yesterday… and today I’m SO tired, so I’ll go tomorrow.”
As Zig Ziglar said, "People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily." Here are some things I use to keep me motivated:
- I have a printout of my workouts that I can “x” off when I complete them. After a tough workout, it feels SO good to cross it off and it’s a tangible sign of my progress.
- I have an inspirational drawing. I found a picture of Belle (the Disney princess) drawn as if she were a runner (with modern running attire and headphones, no less), printed it out, and added my own artwork so that it looks like she’s about to run to the Cinderella castle at Disney World. I colored it in and have it hanging in a place where I see it every day. The visual representation of my goal (running the Disney Princess Half Marathon) reminds me that I have something very exciting in my future!
- Supportive people. I couldn’t do this without all of the support I have from friends and family. The fact that my cousin Julie (and likely, a few other people) will be running with me, keeps me on task. I can’t let them down!
- Personal goals. While running the half marathon is the overarching goal, my personal goals for weight loss and becoming healthy give me a different aspect of the running to focus on.
What are some things that cause you to lose motivation? What motivates you to continue your workout regimen?