you gotta keep moti-VAT-ed

I’ve got an excuse to not run for every day of the week. It’s too cold. It’s too hot. It’s too early. It’s too late. I’m too tired. I’m sick. My knee hurts. My back hurts. My foot hurts. I just don’t feel like it.

There are just as many things that suck our motivation out of us as there are excuses to let them. Motivation has to change from time to time because it has to overcome different circumstances and obstacles. Motivation is what makes the reasons to do something over-power the reasons not to. When I first started running, I wanted to lose a few pounds and get in better shape. I lost the weight and my cholesterol went down. With the health issue resolved, I needed new motivation. Maintaining my health was not enough for me. I started running longer races and trying to improve my times. The excitement of my new hobby and the challenges it presented carried me for a little over a year. After some injuries from over-training and the resultant slower times, I started feeling too old to improve my times anymore and my motivation began to wain.

I still love running on the trails, but I can’t seem to get up and train. The places I love to run are further from my home and the distances are greater. Both of these require better planning and considerably more time. I’ve added a mountain bike, but the trails for that are the same as the trails I run on, so… not any closer. I also need to spend time with my family so the obstacles are just bigger than they seemed before.

No they’re not! The obstacles are the same! My motivation is weaker! Time for new motivation.

Here’s the cycle…

I don’t feel like running and I don’t. The next day it’s a little easier to not run. After a few days, I get into the habit of NOT running. Then I start feeling bad for not running. My endorphin level goes down and I have even less energy. Depression starts to creep up and I can’t sleep. I’m tired from not sleeping, so I take a nap in the afternoon, instead of running. Because of my nap, I’m not tired at bed time so I stay up watching TV too late. I stayed up too late, so it’s hard to wake up in the morning…

So, now I’m in this funk with a 50K coming up and barely had enough motivation to write about it!

I know sometimes we all need to just take a break, but breaks over! Time to get back to it.

How do you break out of your funks?

Truth be told, I have never had a day when I ran and wished I hadn’t and I have never had a day when I did not run and was glad for it.

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