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March 25, 2005

Iím Getting Whiplash

Today I had every intention of running at lunchtime. I had a meeting to go to at a consultantís office at 10:00am, which I walked to. It was only about 8 blocks, on the other side of downtown St. Paul and it was a beautiful sunny day for it. By the time the meeting ended and I walked back to my office it was 5 minutes to 12. I still had a little lingering pain in my right inner thigh, but the pain was gone from my left leg totally. I was hungry and talked myself out of running, saying maybe if I feel better tonight Iíll run.
So after work I rode my bike (the SUV of Bikes) back home, and then stood there talking to my wife about work, and about her day, then I had to decide what to do about running. I plan on riding my bike to work and back tomorrow, which is 40 miles round-trip, so I knew I wouldnít feel like running tomorrow night. Then on Sunday we are going to my sisterís house right after I get done with work to eat dinner and hang out with my parents and siblings. We probably wonít get home until later and Iíll be full from dinner, so I wonít feel like running then. That would make it so my next run would have to come on Monday, meaning a five-day gap in my running. I didnít want that long of a gap in my running. I feel like Iím just starting to break the barrier between starting to run, and running as a habit and I donít want to give up that momentum and have to start over with running at a later time, climbing up from the bottom. My intentions are to keep running all through the year. At the end of April Iím doing a duathlon and in August a Triathlon so I have to be prepared for it or I will suffer, or give up the idea.
Between the thoughts trying to talk myself into running tonight, I had competing thoughts like, ďIím hungry,Ē and ďMy leg still hurts from that race. I should give it another day to heal.Ē I told myself that I needed to let my muscles recover, which is true, but itís been 2 days since I ran, that should be enough. I also donít want to get a running injury that will take too long to heal and ruin my bike-racing season, which has not even started yet. At the end of next month all the action starts for me. Iíve heard of people having to sit out a season because of injuries. But when I ran on Wednesday, it only hurt for the first mile, and now the pain in my left leg was completely gone and the pain in my right leg is less than it was on Tuesday.
So there I was in the kitchen talking to my wife and I must have been thinking all of this out loud, because she said, ďIím getting whiplash listening to you go back and forth!Ē We laughed. I know sometimes itís very difficult to motivate myself. Sometimes no amount of self-talk can change my motivation level. I use logic to help me, I use fear of losing something to help me, I use rewards like, ďyou can eat a lot of good stuff when you get back home!Ē hehe. Most of the time I can make myself do something if I have enough time to talk myself into it.
But at lunchtime today, I got back to work 5 minutes before 12 and I felt like the lunch hour was already started and that by the time I got down to the locker room, changed clothes and got out there it would mean getting back to work late. I felt pressured for time, which was just another nail in my motivationís coffin.
So tonight I pulled out a map and tried to figure out a 5-mile route from my house. I have only run short distances from my house before and I know a couple of mile and two-mile loops that are fun, but I was having a hard time judging how far 5 miles would be and which route would be good so I donít have to run over the same road twice. I like loops and donít like backtracking. Itís more interesting that way and prevents me from turning around too soon.
Once I had the route planned I was psyched enough to run. I put on my clothes and headed out the door. It only took 4 blocks before the pain in my legs totally disappeared. I had a good steady run, not too strenuous but hard enough where I was breathing at a moderate to heavy rate. I was in a groove and the route was absolutely beautiful and challenging. Now I have a good 5-mile route to run from my house and I did not have to have more than a two-day gap in my running. I ran that 8k (5-mile) race on Sunday, ran 5.5 miles at lunch on Wednesday and 5 miles tonight. It feels good!
What motivates human beings to do anything? Itís very fascinating to me and I know these sports are a good experiment to help me gain insight into this area of thought because they provide so many opportunities to need motivation.

Posted by carl1236 at March 25, 2005 9:40 PM | motivation


I like the sound of your SUV of bikes. I think I might find one of those old Schwinn or Raleigh cruisers and install grocery pannier baskets on it. It would be fun to carry 2 bags of groceries on a bike.

Posted by: Jim at March 26, 2005 12:00 AM

Hey, I'm still looking for some cheap, large, retro-looking Newspaper carrier baskets for the back end of this bike, If you see any let me know.

Posted by: John at March 26, 2005 10:32 PM