on motivation

29.57 miles down.  21 days to go.

i spent the last few days chipping away at my goal of running 20 miles this week, and i’m happy to say that i surpassed it by half a mile as of today.  the week isn’t over yet, so we’ll see if I can throw a few more on top of the pile before the end of today.

while the 100 miles challenge has generally been a great motivator, i have to admit that i acted like a total baby about it this past thursday.  i wandered aimlessly around the apartment that evening, firmly committed to keeping my people clothes on for as long as possible.  my calves were buzzing with soreness from wednesday’s spin class and 4+ mile run, and i was feeling moody. my lack of motivation spiraled into dangerous territory, turning me into a world-class rationalizer.  i did some simple math and realized that i would have to double up on some miles over the weekend if i were to skip out on thursday’s run. no big deal, i thought.  i can totally do that..right?  but do i want to do that?  man, i don’t want to do that. ugh.  

a few minutes later, i found myself flying down the street, my laces tied a little too tight, my arms swinging in time to the beat of REM’s radio free europe.  even though i was finally out the door and running, my bad mood clung to me like a sticky cobweb. determined pissed off, i pushed through that first mile, my legs moving on autopilot, each step slowly bringing me back into my body.

i surprised myself at mile three while ambling past the brooklyn museum of art. i managed to crack a beatific smile, marveling at the museum’s grand architecture, as it basked in the gloam.  by the time i closed the loop back on my block to finish out the fourth mile, i felt like a completely different person.  i was happier, more centered.

it’s corny, and i’m sure that this quote already exists out there, but it turns out that the cure for not wanting to go out for a run is to actually go out for a run.

photo 2 (6)
this is the face of someone who at first didn’t want to do jackshit just 35 minutes earlier. also, want to catch someone at just the right time? start chatting with them after they’ve finished a workout.

aside from publicly announcing that i’m going to run 100 miles in 30 days, how do i get from zero to X number of miles on crappy days like thursday?  first, i have to ignore my factory default settings.  one of those settings is filed under slacker mode.  it’s the part of me that thinks i can get by with minimal effort. then, after i’ve jumped through that flaming hoop, i pull out my running clothes.  the trick is to change into them really fast before i can change my mind. that’s it, really.

also, it doesn’t hurt to have an ultimate end-goal floating cartoonishly around in my mind (like a tall, frosty mojito or delicious banh mi sandwich) while i sprint like my ass is on fire to finish up that last mile.  ain’t no shame in that, whatsoever.


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