As I’ve stated in multiple blog posts and many, many posts on my Facebook page, I don’t love running. I find it hard. I rarely get into the “zone” that I hear runners talk about, where they’re elated and it’s just easy. Long runs are almost easier mentally, because I have to psych myself up and I have a set distance or time to achieve…plus I typically arrange a destination where Mr Awesome will pick me up so I have something to work towards.
But I DO love the feeling of accomplishment and the feeling in my muscles when it’s over. I know I’ve worked hard and I’ve come through the other side better for it. If I could just bottle that up and take a little sip BEFORE my run, training would be a heck of a lot easier!
The other thing I love is race events. There is an amazing energy at races – from the participants, the supporters and spectators, the volunteers – that buoys you up and keeps you motivated through the course. The spectator signs with motivational quotes or ridiculous phrases to make you laugh, it’s all part of the spirit of a race that makes running that particular day less than awful. The water and refuelling stations give you a boost every few kilometres and even the mile markers themselves help move you along.
And, the money thing. Once you’ve registered for a race, you are committed. You have made an investment in the event and in yourself. You’ve made a personal and financial commitment to actually show up on race day and get it done. Whether it’s $20 or $120, the act of registering for a race makes your training REAL.
You now have a deadline, a target to work for. It might be a distance you’ve raced a hundred times, or it might be your stretch goal to run your first half or full marathon, but you now have a finite amount of time to get your body ready. I have no illusions of WINNING these races, and depending on the race I don’t even push for a personal best – it’s more about having something on the calendar to work for and something that will keep me getting out there with no (or fewer) excuses.
If you’re thinking about starting to run, or you’ve been out of it for a while and are trying to gear yourself up to get back out there, sign up for a race. It can be a 5k with friends, a mud run, a half marathon (give yourself six months)…just register and make it a reality. You can ask your local running store, google races in your area, look for a destination race to give yourself the added motivation. (Destination races are basically a whole other blog post because they are a HUGE motivator – case in point, my upcoming runDisney Wine and Dine half marathon in Orlando!)
So find a race, register and commit. Find a training plan to follow and DO IT! If you need some support or accountability, I’d love to help. Send me a message on Facebook or email me and let’s connect!