Monday, 24 November 2008

Action Precedes Motivation (repeat ad nauseam until body moves toward door)



It has been over 18 months now that I have been running more consistently than I ever have in my life. I have always been what I call an inconsistently consistent exerciser. After working out to prepare for a cycle event that was going to be the longest I had ever ridden-- 65 miles, in mountainous terrain-- Cape Town, South Africa, I didn't want to throw out the work I put into conditioning.

Thus my love-hate relationship with running was spawned. I love how it feels. As a kid I had undiagnosed exercise induced asthma so I grew up being one of those kids that just couldn't run. To be able to watch my body progress and add on miles, albeit slow miles, was miraculous to me. Prior to this last attack at running my longest run had been around 4 miles and I had never even imagined the possibility of running something like at 10k (6.2 miles).

At about the 3 month mark of my consistent running I spontaneously signed up for a local 10k, the day before the event. I did better than I ever would have imagined. If I could have continued my regular training at that rate, I would have reached amazing goals (for me) by now. But I soon thereafter was injured; surely from over-training on the heels of my new found confidence and imagined ability. Injury also comes with running.

Good news: in a previous life I would have totally chucked the running and said-- see, my body isn't made for running. But I persisted, saw a PT and got back into running by rehabbing and almost starting from scratch.

After that my husband and I began training for a half marathon to be held in April, 2008. The bad news: we were both re-injured. While I didn't have to go the full rehab routine, it totally messed with my retraining schedule; I had to take time off and then just had to hope I would be able to even finish the 13.1 miles. The injury occurred on my first 10 mile training run, which I ran with afore mentioned dear husband.

Big mistake.

I am best at being a solo runner. I pushed it too hard, half wanting to keep up and half trying to show off on some hills around mile 8.

Big mistake.

Some crazy thing happened at the back of my heel that was so intense I was sure it was a stress fracture-- xrays, MD visit later we decided it was something muscular and needed rest. It still eeks it's little nervy head at times.

We ran the half marathon with a cloud of paranoia over our head the entire way. Stephen had thrown his back out, I was coming back from the heel injury. We just wanted to finish so we stopped at ALL the rest stops: count 'em: LOTS. And we visited a bit and joked with the volunteers and then got moving again. We came in at 3:01 and considering that we at least killed 15 minutes on all the stops, it wasn't that bad.

My current dilemma: I run here and there, but have not found the consistency that I had previously. And I want to be a runner. I'd love to be enough of a runner to finally have my hard work of running + great nutrition give me just a smidgen of the physique of the runner in the above photo.

But the dark, frigid mornings came back quickly and with a vengeance, and all the other excuses of my life that I could write an entire expose on are my constant challenge. So I guess this just boils down to me sharing that this is an area I am really struggling to wrap some major motivation around. It may be that the most effective way for me to stay consistent is to train for another half marathon. I think I may have learned some lessons to help me stay injury free this time and I know having a goal like that increases motivation.

I do know one sure way that will increase my odds: get my glutes off the bed and my fingers off the keys and put my running clothes on and get out there.

And remind myself the mantra to live by when motivation is the issue: Action precedes Motivation.

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