Monday, May 21, 2012

Motivation To Run, Workout, Eat Well...

Motivation. It's so freaking hard. But it's hard for everybody, right? I can't speak for everyone else, but it's hard for me to eat right and workout most days. Sometimes friends, family, and coworkers comment on my dedication to diet and exercise. I usually brush off the comments, because I'm no superhero. I don't workout on days I work and often take days off for no other reason than "I just don't feel like working out today". I eat bad foods when I'm busy, stressed, had a good day, or had a bad day.

But I've had some success. I've become a runner over the past year and a half. I'm expanding my training to cycling and swimming. I don't call it exercise. EXERCISE just seems so infinite, like I'll never be done. I prefer TRAINING. I train for a goal, a race, a competition, something relatively short term. That helps me keep up the motivation. I've lost weight. I hate hearing "skinny", seriously HATE it. I don't watch what I eat to be skinny. I watch what I eat to be lean and healthy. I watch what I eat because I feel better in general, mostly less tired and with less aches and pains because getting old sucks.

Just this afternoon I was walking through Target, looking at junk food that admittedly tastes good, but makes me feel awful. I was thinking about making a small commitment, just one week, to eat clean. I know from experience, that a week is long enough to feel better, and I'd probably just keep going. I finished my shopping, got in the car, and pulled up Facebook. Everybody does that, right? I had a message from a friend who I haven't seen in years. She said I inspired her. She mentioned reading my first blog post (CLICK HERE, if you want to do the same) again. I went back and read it, too. I sometimes forget where I started, when I couldn't run more than a half mile. She asked some questions, so I'll answer them here. Let this be your lesson, friend, don't ask me about running unless you want to open Pandora's Box. I will go on and on until you beg me to shut up.

How do I stay motivated?  - So, I touched on that above. I love competition. At first it wasn't with anyone else, I certainly wasn't looking at Age Group placings in a 5k or some other race. Competing against, and pushing myself to do better was enough of a challenge. That's one thing I love about running. A PR is a *PERSONAL RECORD*, not a judge-yourself-against-some-super-hot-chick-with-God-given-running-talent. It's for you, and only you, to compare your effort for the day. Being a beginner runner is a lot of fun because you PR often. If you want to run, pick a race. A 5k is a good start. 3.1 miles is a challenge, but it's attainable in a fairly short amount of time without devoting hours upon hours to training. Register for the race. Not on race day, ahead of time, so you're monetarily committed. Dropping cash is always good motivation. Go watch a race if you're scared. I used to think that only badass athletes did half marathons and marathons. People of all kinds do both. People actually walk. It's allowed. I promise. There are training plans all over the place online and Couch to 5k is a popular one. Go to a real running store and get fitted for good shoes (be prepared do drop $100, and no you can't save money by buying the same brands but different styles at TJ Maxx. If you could, I'd be the first to point you in that direction). My friend isn't local, so I don't know where to direct her (we have Run On!, Luke's Locker, and CK Sports here). Running stores also have running programs if you don't want to do it on your own. My biggest recommendation for new runners is to run slowly. Running fast hurts. Hurting sucks, so you quit. Run slowly, so you can talk easily. I prefer to run outside, and I wear a Garmin watch to track my pace and distance, but I determine the pace because I run based on how I feel. Punching a number in on the treadmill gives me bad feelings. So, I say all that to say- I stay motivated because I pick a race, pay for it, train for it, and go do my best on race day. So can you. I'm proud of you for running a mile. I hope it was a good experience and you want to do it again. I'm here for you whenever you want to ask a question or share your achievements.

What do I mean when I say "eating clean"? - There's probably a huge variation in what this means when you ask different people. I'm probably super liberal on that spectrum. Eating clean to me is not eating processed or sugary foods. I keep it simple. I pretty much try to avoid anything out of a box. I eat lean meats, fruits, veggies, reduced fat dairy, stuff like that. I try really hard to avoid alcohol and even diet Dr. Pepper. That's as good as it gets for me. I told you I'm no saint when it comes to eating healthy.

Thank you, friend, for inspiring me. I needed that today.

1 comment:

Erin said...

You do inspire, and I needed this post today. Off to register for the next 5k. ;). Hope to see you soon!