Ah, the elusive trait of being and staying motivated. It’s tough, but in the end if you stick with an exercise routine long enough, eventually you get addicted to the endorphin high and you can’t stop.
FLASHBACK: One year ago. I hated running with the burning fury of a million fireplaces. Like, the really awesome fireplaces that you find in old log cabins that run on charcoal and are really dirty but the flames get really high.
Suffice to say, I couldn’t run a mile straight without passing out from exhaustion. I never thought running would be for me, and I wasn’t motivated to go running. I literally had to drag myself out the door. It was tough, no lie.
FLASH FORWARD, February 24, 2012: Last month, I ran my first 1/2 marathon. All thirteen miles. No walking. None of this, “oh, hey, let me hitch a ride on your golf cart for the next twelve miles” trickery. I ran each and every mile.
How did I get here? Simple: I stuck with it. Three to four days without fail, I’d go running and then track my mileage. One day, I came home from my usual 1.5 mile and realized, “HEY! I’m not tired.” So I walked right back outside and ran another mile.
Here’s some other things that kept me motivated:
- Running With A Buddy: My running buddy was in cross country. I wanted to out-run her after realizing she was in way better shape than I was. My competitive nature kept me working hard, and today I can out run her easily. Sorry, running buddy, but I have a better chance at surviving a Zombie Apocalypse than you at this point in time.
- Getting Vocal About My Goals: I didn’t just run. I started telling people that I ran. Yeah, I’m not the most humble person in the world, so it felt pretty great to post a picture of me on top of a mountain, downing water like my life depended on it, with a caption that read: “Just ran six miles on a mountain trail, no problem.” By labeling yourself as a runner or an athlete, you are motivating yourself to keep doing what you’re doing in order to keep that prestigious title.
- Keeping Track. I accredit Daily Mile and LoseIt.com for helping me reach my goals. These sites let me see actual progress in my workouts. I got to watch my mileage and speed increase, and my weight decrease. It was awesome. Not to mention Daily Mile helpfully tells you how many lightbulbs your running has powered. I don’t know how they harness my mileage to power lightbulbs, but technology is pretty advanced these days 😉
In the wisdom of Dori: ”Just keep swimming.”