As I’ve expressed in my Health Philosophy page, I do NOT bound out of bed in the morning looking forward to exercise.
Here’s a typical chain of events for me and runs over 2 miles: Put pressure on self about achieving running goal –> Get nervous about not achieving running goal –> Build up the run until it’s a terrifying obstacle instead of something I’m highly capable of –> Procrastinate until the last possible second –> Potentially skip the run.
That chain of events happened to me today. I’m currently participating in the Charlottesville Women’s 4 Miler Training Program. The group runs are on Saturday mornings (with a few small sub-group runs during the week) at 7am.
This morning I rationalized myself out of going to my group run. Among the myriad of excuses I gave myself, the one that was the loudest this morning was “I never get to sleep in. I deserve my Saturday mornings.”
The reality was that I was kind of scared of my run today. The run was 3.5 miles and since I struggled a lot during last Saturday’s 3 miler, I was convinced I couldn’t do it. This is obviously SO silly because a mere month ago, I was knocking out 6 milers no prob! And I ran a half marathon less than 5 months ago! Just goes to show you how easily you can lose confidence in yourself…
So I slept until 11:00. When I got up, I resolved to eat a carb-y breakfast, drink some coffee, and run around 1:00.
(Speaking of procrastination, you can see all the laundry in the background of that photo that needs to be folded).
All of a sudden 1:00 passed. I hadn’t run (or folded my laundry), so I decided to push it back to 3:00. To be fair, I was busy refurbishing an old desk that I bought off Craigslist this week.
I also did some more settling into my room: rearranging art on the walls, cleaning up my closet, the like. I’m very happy I got all that done, but obviously what I was really doing was putting off my run.
Finally around 5:00 I decided that if I wasn’t going to run then, I was going to keep finding reasons to never run. Or, I would run around 7:00 and by the time I showered and got cleaned up, it would be too late to hang out with my friends.
So I put on my running gear (including my lucky hat that’s been with me on all my best runs)…
…took a look at the inspirational note I have taped up on my mirror….
…turned on True Blood…
…and got to running!
To keep my mind on the run instead of the distance I’d gone, I put a sticky note over the display screen on my treadmill. I even wrote some words of motivation on the note to keep myself from checking my distance too early in the run.
I didn’t pick up the note until I was 3 miles in, and after that it was smooth sailing until the end.
And I even I got in a Body Revolution workout after! I felt great.
Like I mentioned earlier, it was totally silly for me to think that I couldn’t knock out 3.5 miles. But the fear of not achieving the goals I set for myself is so big, sometimes I would just rather not try at all than try and fail. I just have to remember the words of mah gurl Jillian Michaels: “You are so much stronger than you think you are.”
But when believing in your own strength doesn’t work, those tricks I used to make the run go by faster really help:
- Wear something “lucky”
- Cover up the distance on the display screen or Garmin
- Eat something with carbs (even if this doesn’t matter for shorter runs, sometimes doing something intense like carb-loading has a placebo effect)
- Watch or listen to something distracting
- Create motivational sayings or mantras to repeat to yourself when the run gets difficult.
It’s all worth it when the run is over. There’s nothing better than reaching a goal you were nervous about.
Hope everyone has a wonderful Saturday night!