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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Motivation Monster


Let's talk about motivation and the motivation monster.  

I am finally deep into marathon training once again and I just have to say - damn it feels good!  The motivation monster had me for almost a year as I've mentioned in previous posts - it was almost an entire year actually it was May 6, 2012 (the Lincoln Marathon) to May 2013 almost to the day that I started running again.  And it wasn't an easy start by any means.  

My favorite running inspiration from day one (the day I became a runner 01.04.2011) has been Stephanie Case an ultra marathon runner who blogs over at ultrarunnergirl.com (She has no idea who I am or that I obsessively read her blog - like obsessively).  She mentions the "motivation monster" who comes to visit every now and then without notice.  He comes in the form of injuries, excuses, exhaustion, work commitments, social outings, binge drinking, holidays, fear, anxiety, family commitments, etc.... anything that comes between you and running / working out.  

There's no getting around it.  You can either give in to the motivation monster and allow these excuses (to sum them all up together) to control your schedule or you can embrace the monster and work together.  

I was scared of the monster for almost a year - and my primary excuse was fear which allowed secondary excuses of work, social commitments and everything else to pile on.... excuse excuse excuse - I didn't have time to run.  Bullshit.  I had plenty of time, I just didn't want to.  

However, in the last three or four weeks, I've begun to embrace the monster and use that energy for good.  I do have time, I've always gotten up about 5am-ish to write, read blogs, read, watch the news or whatever and since I've already developed that habit, I figured it was a good time to start working out in the mornings!  Already two weeks down as a morning runner!!

Sometimes you just have to change your story.  I don't want to be uncomfortable in my skin anymore.  I don't want my clothes to be tight.  I don't want to struggle getting dressed every morning.  I don't want to get nervous being photographed.  I don't want to be huffing and puffing up my three flights of stairs with my grocery bags anymore.  I want my damn runners body back.  So I'm going to get it.  But that means changing my story.  That means saying no to things because running and fitness must, MUST be a priority now.  

One thing I've realized as a gluten free runner and yes I will always consider myself a runner - I've earned that title and I will never ever give it up.  So, as a gluten free runner, I've realized that running and physical fitness is the only way I can control my weight.  I have no other explanation for it - of course I can't speak for anyone else out there but for me, I can't cut anything else out of my diet.  I already eat very healthy - sure I have my gluten free cookie binges, but honestly it doesn't happen often enough to cause excessive weight gain.  Sure if I was eating gluten free pop tarts for breakfast every day - then yes, but I don't.  So the only conclusion I can draw - is my lack of physical exercise.  2011 was the best physical year of my life - I was running almost six days a week - I was eating the same (gluten free of course) - and that physical fitness and health made everything else in my life great.  So I'm going to make damn sure the rest of 2013 is the same as is 2014, 2015, and the rest of my life.  

One thing I'm doing different from my first adventure into marathon training is a more concentrated focus on cross training to strengthen my overall fitness and lung capacity to make me an even stronger runner.  I'm doing spin classes which I have done before but not very seriously - now part of my strategic plan and something that I really enjoy in hopes to build my leg muscles.  

But what I'm most excited about - swimming lessons!!  Now, yes I can swim, swim to save my life if I was stranded (6 feet from the shore mind you) but athletic swimming or swimming for fitness is much different.  I had my first lesson last night and let me tell you - it is exhausting, intense, and the most difficult full body workout I've ever experienced.  The instructor made it look so graceful and effortless when he was showing me each drill - then I would attempt to copy his instructions; flopping around, splashing, gasping (and I mean GASPING) for breath, wiggling all over the place - he ended up moving me to the farthest lane lol.... needless to say I did get better by the end of the 2 hour lesson but it's going to be weeks before I can successfully "swim laps" as they say :) 

Anyway to wrap up this long rambling post - I guess I don't have any motivational tips, I just mentally decide I have to do something.  I don't really have any other option at this point to feel better physically - so running it is.  And I do have the time, I can make time.  There are plenty of hours in the day - it's how we use them that makes all the difference.  I have the luxury of DVR, so I can watch tv on the weekends.  I will admit that more running and working out will cut into my reading time, but for now, that will just have to be ok!  And another great benefit - it's a great excuse not to drink!  (lol I'm always looking for an out on that one!)

Make time for fitness - don't let the motivation monster get the best of you!



Always, J ♥