My Life as a Dog

Monday, July 30, 2012

Motivation vs Habit



Some days I just don't want to run or spin or go to the gym. Period. Today was one of those days. I went running yesterday and it was a "long" run: 7 miles. I struggled. I should have run earlier in the day before it got so hot but I just didn't have the motivation. I got my 7 miles in but not in a time that I was happy about. It left me feeling a bit discouraged. Not only that but lately I've been up a few pound. Not much but enough. It's easy to think that it's inevitable that I will be back where I once was. Its on day when I think like this that it feels like I don't really need to go to the gym, that it's not going to make a difference.

Today is a day when habit paid off. I tried not to think about it too much. I just went. According to my half marathon training schedule I was supposed to run for 45 minutes today and go at least 4 miles. I had the personal goal of getting 5 miles in instead of 4 which would give me better stats than at this same point in training for the last half marathon. I figured that I just needed to go at a pace of 6.7 MPH for the 45 minutes and that would barely get me to my goal. The first 10 minutes were pretty easy but then I started the negative self talk and soon thought I needed to slow down. I thought "It's hotter in here than normal" or "My shoes are tied to tight." I can come up with all sorts of reasons to slow down or even to stop. I didn't. I kept thinking that I needed to stay at this speed the entire time or else I would not meet my goal and not meeting my goal was going to feel like failure. Another 10 minutes into the run and I had new excuses: "I've got sweat in my ear and can't hear my music" and "My nipples are chaffing. I should have used the Body Glide." Again I just kept on telling myself I only had a small distance or time until the next milestone. Those are little tricks I use on the treadmill to keep me going. It worked. Before long I realized that I only had 15 minutes left, then just a mile. "Of course I can run another mile." "It's just another 5 five minutes." "Of course I can run for another 5 minutes. It's not that far." I ended up finishing my 45 minutes running 6.7 MPH the whole time and finished a distance of 5.02 miles! Yay!

It's on days like to today that I'm glad I have made a habit of getting to the gym or out to run. My motivation certainly wasn't going to get me there but my habits did. And now I once again am feeling some motivation because I had a good experience. It wasn't easy but I proved to myself that I can do things even when it's not easy.

Oh and in case you are wondering, that is not me in the photo above! :)
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