Creating Motivation 10 Weeks at a Time

Me and Ashok at Shelby Farms
Me and Ashok at Shelby Farms

I started my next wave of half marathon training this week. I’ve found that I stay more motivated if I have a reason to train and a reason to work out. Mind you, I’ve always worked out. I can’t really remember a time in my life when I didn’t work out in some fashion. Sometimes I was more focused on yoga. Other times, I was a walker. There were times that I worked out using exercise videos. Frequently, some sort of strength training has been a part of my regimen, no matter what it was. I ran a lot when I was in college. I absolutely loved the feeling of endurance running. Sometimes I would run twice in a day. I was a bit obsessive and was probably addicted to the endorphins. I quit running in my early twenties and did not return to it until my early forties. And, I love it just as much now as I did then.

Even with my love for the sport, I still get unmotivated to do it. I’m a 9-to 5-er, and I’d rather come home and sit after a day’s work. I used to get up and run in the morning, but I’ve grown weary of that. I also have a busy social life that I enjoy. I make my workout schedule early in the week and put it on the calendar so I can plan around what I need to do. It is a FIRST priority. It’s a priority because it impacts my health. I am 52, and I’m on one small dose of medication. When I got my colonoscopy that is suggested at 50, the nurse called to get a list of my medications. I told him the one I was on. He was silent. “Any more?” he asked. “No,” I answered. “You are kidding,” he said. “I usually settle in for a long list of medications when I do this.” That’s why I run. I feel as good now as when I was in my 30s. I have no aches and pains other than the occasional muscle soreness from activity. So, I’m motivated to stay active because I want to continue feeling this way as long as I can.

It’s hard to stay motivated just for my health, though. I lose sight of the benefits because there is nothing to see. I’m in good health, so no numbers are dropping. I’m maintaining. I need to see some results to stay motivated. I really enjoyed training for the last race in Austin. It was a 10 week training period, and I saw the results pretty immediately. When it was done, it was done. So, I decided to ask Ms. Bitch to train me again. We looked at the calendar and picked another race that was about 10 weeks out. I also needed to find a local race because of my budget and lack of available vacation days for travel. So, I chose the Dash for Dad Zero Prostate Cancer Run on April 27. It’s a half marathon with a different route than the St. Jude Half Marathon that I usually run in December. Besides, it’s a great cause. Daddy is a survivor of Prostate Cancer, so I have a personal connection to the cause. So, I’ve chosen my race and registered. Now, I have to get ready.

Goals for this 10 week training period:

  • Lose 10ish pounds – (My dog has to lose weight, too. She gained 13 pounds last year!)
  • Run a 2:30 half marathon
  • Have fun doing it
  • Get connected with some local running groups such as the Salty Dogs, the Thursday night Midtown Breakaway Running Group or one of the Memphis Track Club groups to increase my social interaction.

So, Ms. Bitch has given me my first week’s marching orders. My focus is on nutrition and losing weight the first couple of weeks. So, I’m eating really healthy and really clean. It’s not really dieting, but I have to cut down on sugars, eat lots of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, and NO coffee. I’m drinking lots and lots of antioxidant-rich green tea. I’m starting to love it. I’m already seeing a difference because I usually just quit running for about a month after a race. I’m already back on track, and that is a BIG accomplishment.

If you have a personal connection to Prostate Cancer and would like to donate to a good cause, please check out my fundraising site. A $101 donation will pay for a man to get a screening. But, any amount helps. I’m all for keeping men alive and well. After all, I have a vested interest in the dating pool. And, if anyone wants to run with me, please do. I could use the company. It’s much more fun when it’s social. Gotta and my dog have to run 45 minutes this morning.





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