Sunday, August 3, 2014

Why I am Not Motivated to Run

I love this. It was a page on my Runner's High calendar. The Runner's High calendar is the only reason I still have a paper calendar at all. "Training accumulates. It's like money in the bank."

Training accumulates. It's like money in the bank.

It is so true and something that I often forget. It is not just the three miles I ran today. It is the three miles I ran today, the intervals I did yesterday, the strength workout I did the day before, combined with the rest days, that make me a stronger runner. Each workout and rest day do not stand alone. I am stronger today because of the work I did yesterday. I try to keep this in mind when I am tempted to skip a workout on a non-rest day.

"How do you stay motivated to run?"

Someone asked me once how I stay motivated to run. The truth is that I'm not all that motivated. It is usually a daily struggle in my own head. Do I run today? It's freakin' hot (or cold) out there. My legs are tired. I'm exhausted from work. (Insert a hundred other excuses I can dream up here.)

I do it even though I am not motivated. I usually don't want to do it. But most days, I do it anyway. Then I am on-top-of-the-world happy that I did (aka runner's high). It has nothing to do with motivation. It's fighting past not being motivated.

I told myself a long time ago that "I don't feel like it" is never an acceptable excuse. There are plenty of valid reasons not to run: injury, overtraining, rest days, family commitments. "I don't feel like it" is not one of them. I try to apply this principle to everything in my life, although I am not always successful. I really didn't feel like cleaning the toilet today. (The toilet remains dirty.)

What gets me out the door? I tell myself a few white lies. I'll just run two easy miles, slow and low (that is the tempo). No big deal. No pressure. Two miles is always better than zero miles. 99% of the time, once I get out there, I do more than 2 miles and often push myself to run faster.  Getting out the door is often the hardest part (except when I do stadium stairs. stadium stairs are the hardest part.)

It is not about motivation. It is about pushing past being not motivated.

I don't need motivation. I need to get out of my own head.

How about you? What gets you out there?

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Keep Running,

Lea

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27 comments :

  1. Interesting. I pretty much feel the same way. I don't necessarily always WANT to go out, but I am sorry when I don't do it. So basically, I'm avoiding regret LOL!

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  2. Awesome post, love your perspective . I definitely have days or weeks when the motivation is lacking but like you said it bothers me more to miss a run than to step out and see what happens.

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  3. Yup. For me it's about building the routine so that I am not giving myself an option to get out of my run. I try to review what I'll be doing first thing in the morning, so that I'm thinking about it during the day and ready when I get home from work. Now if I could just motivate myself to blog in the same way!

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    1. Your blog is a lot of work. I whine that my posts take a long time, I couldn't imagine how much time it would take if I had to draw hilarious pictures for every post too! :)

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  4. I agree, I often times have a very difficult time getting out the door. Then there are days or weeks even when I bound out the door no problem. It is definitely a challenge when your brain gives you so many other 'ideal' alternatives to running, like sleeping in, watching a show, etc.

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  5. I am not a morning runner expect maybe weekends and days off. We are talking 8-9:00 morning not butt crack of dawn. So I run after work. I have to wear my gym clothes or at least bring my bag to my desk so that I can change before leaving. Then I go to a park that is sort of on the way home. If I go home first? Forget about it! But if I feel off or really tired, I tell myself the slow and steady, just 30 minutes excuse. And if that still does not get me there, I try again the next day. Today,I am sitting here with my morning coffee debating what to do. It's decided - wear my clothes so there is no excuse but to go.

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    1. I agree! On the weekends, I usually put on my running clothes as soon as I wake up, even if I am not planning on running until hours later. I figure I'm half way there if I am at least dressed for it! :)

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  6. I totally agree. Most days, I have to talk myself into running. But then I love it AFTER I am done. Most times, even on my way to go run, I am trying to come up with excuses to turn around and go home. It's a daily struggle!

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    1. But we do it. and we love it in the end! that is what matters!

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  7. Running was becoming a chore for me. So I quit (kind of). Let's just say we are on a break. I'm focusing on cross training and doing Insanity during this hottest part of summer. I'm hoping after the break I will love running again in the fall. (I do miss it a little already).

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    1. I did that about a year ago. Exactly the same thing, Insanity during the summer months when it was hot! It was great!

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  8. I'm so glad that you wrote this and that someone else can relate. I see a lot of people post on social media about their running, and how much they love it and love getting out there, and I'm like, well am I REALLY a runner since I don't feel like I LOVE it and am motivated daily to get out there? I mean yeah I like running, but I don't wake up every day excited to go fro a run or itching to run. But like you, I always have that runners high afterwards and am so glad I got out there. After NYCM last Nov. I really had no motivation to run. and actually I didnt run for months. Now I'm back into it training fro a half and I like having a training plan but I definitely needed that mental and physical break from running!

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    1. yep! sometimes we all need a little break. I do love to run, but that doesn't change the fact that it can be hard to get going some days!

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  9. Yes. This. I need to get out of my head, too. I have times when I really struggle with being motivated to run, and sometimes I'll even take a break because running is supposed to be fun and I shouldn't do it if the thought of getting up early and running makes me miserable. Just getting out and starting is key. Thanks for sharing and have a fantastic Monday!

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    1. Yes! I agree. we shouldn't do anything that makes us miserable! If running is not your thing right now, then there are plenty of other ways to keep moving!! Sometimes a break is just what we need!

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  10. Totally agree with this. I am not motivated 99% of the time, but I do it anyways. And the little white lies work for me all the time.

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  11. Sometimes I have excuses not to run, but when I'm training for a race, all of that goes away and I look forward to it! When you're coming back from injury it's tough sometimes to push yourself to run. It is important to keep things in perspective!

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    1. I agree, a race can be a great motivator. I need to go sign up for one soon!

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  12. Thank you! I really needed this post to get out there. Knowing that my running idols like you aren't always into it either makes me feel better about myself! Misery loves company! :-)

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    1. ha ha! One thing I really strive for on this blog is honesty. Sure, I love to run (I wouldn't have dedicated a whole blog to running if I didn't) but the truth is it not always easy and the motivation is not always strong. We're all in this together! :)

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  13. This is just what I needed to read! Trying to up my training for a half marathon PB, but when life gets in the way it's so easy to make excuses. Need to think of the bigger picture and get out the door!

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  14. I have never been a fan of cardio but I knew I had to do it to be the way I wanted to be. LOVE the weights & all but the cardio - well.. but I do it, I know it is good for me & my heart.. I just say once I am thru I get to do the weights! ;) PLUS, there is an end goal for me in that it keeps me healthy....

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  15. Honestly, fear of gaining weight and depression keep me running. I'm so afraid of regressing and getting fat again that I keep running. And when I'm not running, my mood worsens so much that I have to keep moving. I should probably be going to a doctor, but I've been able to outpace the anxiety and stress so far. It's what keeps me going. :)

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  16. There are definitely days when I get home from work and the thought of getting out there just isn't at the top of the list. But I have learned that if I just get started, then it all works out. I think I'm tuned in to my body enough to know when it's just not motivated and when it's truly worn out. Since thankfully sheer exhaustion doesn't happen often, I've just learned to pay attention when it hits and get some much needed rest. Otherwise, I just get out there. And when Wonder Mutt is staring at me with that look on her face - you know the one - then it's pretty hard to say no to her! :)

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