Sunday, August 14, 2011

A 6 Mile Run & Finding Motivation

You may not know this about me, but I am pretty good at making excuses, especially for things I don't want to do. For years, I have made a million excuses for not working out. I could list them for you but I'm sure we all know them by heart. I think one of the biggest excuses we all make is that we are "too busy". Sometimes this statement is true. When Eric was on overtime and working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, I could totally understand this statement. He needed to sleep when he could and that is probably the case for a lot of people.

BUT...there are a lot of us that could make time if we really, really wanted to do this for ourselves. And the way we choose to exercise is very different: some people exercise by going to the gym, by gardening, by walking baby strollers around the block, by walking 18 holes of golf, by playing softball, by running, etc. The thing that all these exercises have in common is that they are fun and we enjoy doing them. So if exercising is as good for the soul as people claim it is, why don't we make more time? Before we say we are too busy, we should remember that:

We also need to keep from wasting time by just "thinking" about exercising. I can't tell you how many mornings I wake up at 5:20 and contemplate for over 20 minutes if I should go run or not. If only I could  just remember this:

I think the key for busy people is to PLAN time for exercising.

Because my kids aren't too keen on the jogging stroller (and because I am not too keen on running with two screaming kids) I know I need to plan time to run when Eric is home. This leaves me two options during the week...running early in the morning before he leaves, or late in the evening when he is home and we are done with dinner. I don't know about you, but late evening runs are TOUGH, especially after a long day. So if I know my only real option is to run at 5:20...then I am that much more likely to get up and go because I know I won't get the chance later.

I have also realized that not every day or morning is ideal for running, depending on what we have going. So I have literally started to plan my runs at the beginning of the week. Planning also seems to help me get motivated because I am prepared for it. I know before I go to bed that the next day will be a run day so I make sure to put my shoes by the door.

Obviously, I am no expert in this department. Actually, I am more of an expert in the excuse department :-) But I have found my groove this summer and the ONE thing that has helped me get to this point is planning. Planning and setting goals keeps me motivated and on track and that is something I need to succeed in anything. 

This summer, I set a few different goals with running, and the most recent goal was to run a 10K. I haven't signed up for any 10K races yet, but today my running buddy (Dana) and I decided to run our own little race. We met this morning with the goal to run 6 miles. No breaks. No walking.

I'll admit, I was starting to wonder if I would make it today. My legs were already feeling tired at 3 miles and if Dana weren't with me, I probably would have called it a day (having a running buddy is the best!!). But we both trekked on and before we knew it, we had run 5 miles!! We only had one to go and at that point we were in a groove. We actually talked about going for 7 miles but we didn't want to push our luck. Ha!

We finished our 6.2 miles in 59 minutes. In April, I couldn't even finish an 8K in that time, and now here we are knocking out a 6 mile run WHILE chit chatting. Craziness. I am SO PROUD of us for setting this goal and following through today. We also burned close to 700 calories so I think I will celebrate by eating at least that many calories in chocolate.

So what's the reason for this random post? be honest I just wanted to brag about our 6 mile run for a second. Haha! But seriously...a few friends have asked me lately how I find time and motivation to run the way I've been running lately and I wanted to explain that it is just about setting goals and making time. I am not an athlete, or a veteran runner, or even someone who likes working out. I am just a Mom who wanted something to help me get rid of the post-baby chubbies and help me escape from my children a few times a week. I just happen to love running now and can't imagine not doing it. Once you get to that point where it becomes fun, you will never worry about making time again :-)


  1. I can't run but should set a schedule for myself to walk. Keep saying I'm going to do it and I don't! You have done great!

  2. Such a motivating post! I'm planning on running a Ovarian Cancer Awareness Half in May and will definitely be using the great tips/tricks you post :)

  3. Such a great post! Keep up the good work. I am hoping to do my first 10k soon. It is work but so well worth it!


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