Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Why do I run?

I am running 52 miles this week. I have my schedule planned out between now and my 2nd 50 mile run. I will run if it is pouring down rain, sunny, snowing, Tsunami, etc. Nothing will stop me. If I have to run, I do. I'll get up to running 56 miles in a week and I will run 50 miles in 3 days as training.

As a result of all this running I will eat a ton, keep my pain killers near by, gain a few blisters, suffer during training runs, walk like it hurts and sweat like a son of a b****. I will carry bear pepper spray as I run through the Redwood Forest and just hope with all my might, I won't encounter any cougars.

I started this training period afraid to run. See my previous blog.

My 2nd 50 miler is scheduled for 7/30/2011 and I am excited. It is the Mt. Hood 50.
I am running a training marathon on 6/25/2011. I am actually scheduled for 31 miles that day, so I'll an extra 5 miles.
So why do I run? Why do I train? I can list all the little things, like it keeps me in shape, I care about my health or I'm setting a good example for my family. But, I don't think those things are enough for me to run all alone, 50+ miles in a week and in unpredictable weather conditions. I do it because, I love it. There is such a huge satisfaction in running huge distance for me. When I was training for my first marathon, every higher distance was that much more satisfying than the last. I would come home and say with excitement, "ask me how many miles I just ran!" Having moved to a small coastal town, I don't have anyone that wants to run with me. I run alone. (Well I admit, I had only a handful of folks that were willing to go with me when I lived in Portland.) Sure I'll bring my dog most times. But it is usually just myself and my IPOD and I'm not complaining. This past weekend, I ran 20 miles. I was alone in the woods, no dog, no IPOD, just me, myself and I for 4 1/2 hours. I think you really have to be at peace with yourself to be able to do that. You know and it really is peaceful. Have two little ones at home, it's sometimes the only time I can think without interruption.

I read an inspirational blog the other day and in the blog were these words:

“Find a race that you think is out of your league and sign up before you have a chance to talk yourself out of it. Next, tell all your friends and family about it to make sure you won’t back out!”  

I am running the Sunriver marathon on 6/25, the Mt. Hood 50 on 7/30 and I will run my first 100 miler 9/2012. It is the Rio Del Lago. You see, I am careful in deciding which runs that I choose. I train well and I train hard. The runs get inside me emotionally, I become very emotionally connected to all of them. I believe because of these reasons, I am successful. 

I am told often by others that they just can't seem to find the motivation to exercise. I try telling them to find something that they enjoy and make it your thing, become good at it.

Now while, my husband has told me that he has seen ADHD qualities in me and he may be right as at times, I can just feel the adrenaline inside me and I have this burning desire to exercise. I have found a website that lists 31 ways to motivate yourself to exercise.

My first marathon 10/2005. Man that first one hurt! Funny how 26.2 is now a training run
  1. How you feel after a workout. I always feel great after a good workout. It’s a high. And I let that motivate me the next time: “You know how good you’re going to feel, Leo!”
  2. Time for you. While many people make time to take care of others (kids, spouse, other family, co-workers, boss), they don’t often make time to take care of themselves. Instead, make your “you” time a priority, and don’t miss that exercise appointment.
  3. Calories burned. If you count calories (and it’s really one of the most effective ways to lose weight), you know that the more you exercise, the more calories you burn — and the bigger your calorie deficit.
  4. Having fun. Exercise should be fun. If it isn’t, try a different kind of activity that you enjoy. As long as you’re moving, it’s good for you.
  5. How you’re going to look. Imagine a slimmer, fitter you. Now let that visualization drive you.
  6. Magazines. It motivates me to read fitness magazines. Not sure why, but it works.
  7. Cover models. Sure, they’re genetically freaky, and probably Photoshopped to look perfect. But for some reason, looking at how good a cover model looks helps motivate me to work harder.
  8. Blogs. I enjoy reading blogs about people who are into running, or losing weight. It can show the ups and downs they go through, and you can learn from their experiences.
  9. Success stories. I find the success stories of others incredibly inspirational. If a fitness website has success stories, I’ll almost always read them.
  10. Forums. Do the monthly challenge on the Zen Habits forums, or join another forum full of like-minded or like-goaled peopled. Check in daily. It really helps.
  11. Rewards. If you exercise for a few days, give yourself a reward! A week? Another reward. Do it often in the beginning.
  12. Fitting into new clothes. Wanna look good in a smaller size? Work out!
  13. Being attractive. That’s always a good motivator, as I’m sure we all know. Edited to correct language.
  14. Adrenaline rush. I get a rush when I exercise. Ride that rush to complete the workout.
  15. Stress relief. Wound up after a long day at the office? Get out and work off that stress. It makes a world of difference.
  16. Time for contemplation. I love, love the quiet time of exercise for thinking about things. Most of this post was written in my head as I exercised.
  17. A workout partner. Best thing I’ve done.
  18. An exercise class. Sign up for a class, perhaps with a friend, and you’ll be motivated to get there and work out.
  19. A coach or trainer. Worth the money, just for the motivation.
  20. An exercise log/graph. For some reason, writing it down is extremely important. Really. Do it for a week and you’ll see what I mean.
  21. Your before picture. You often don’t realize how far you’ve come. Take pictures.
  22. A 5K race or triathlon. Just sign up for one, and you’ll be motivated to train.
  23. The dread of feeling “yuck” from not exercising. I hate how I feel after not exercising. So I remind myself of that when I feel tired.
  24. Living long enough to see your grandkids … and play with them.
  25. The scale. It’s not motivating to weigh yourself every day, as your weight fluctuates. But if you weigh yourself once a week, you’ll be motivated to have it keep going down, instead of up. Combine the scale with the measuring tape, and measure your waist.
  26. Reaching a goal. Set a goal for weight, or your waist measurement, or a number of days to work out, or a number of miles to run this week. Setting and tracking a goal helps motivate you to complete that goal. Make it easily achievable.
  27. Posting it on your blog. Tell people you’re going to lose weight or exercise daily, and report to them. You’ll make it happen.
  28. Motivational quotes. I like to print them out or put them on my computer desktop.
  29. Books. I just bought a strength-training book as a reward. It makes me want to hit the weights!
  30. Others commenting on how good you look. When someone notices the changes in your body, it feels good. And it makes you want to work out more. 
  31. An upcoming day at the beach, or a reunion. Nuff said.

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