June 10, 2006
What 52 minutes of running feels like
Tonight I really did not want to run. I spent all day at the bike shop scrapping bikes and helping people and repairing bikes and cleaning/organizing. So when I got home I was tired and did not feel like it. But I had set a goal on Friday for my weekend and there was not any room for rest in it. I am participating in a team fitness program at work though and we have a goal to reach a combined total points to circle Lake Superior. Each type of exercise is worth a different number of points. Anyway, I told my team members that I would do the most I've done in the 8-week program if they increased theirs a little each day. This is the last week and my goal was pretty high.
Friday I swam for 30 minutes, but that wasn't even half of what I needed. But I was tired and had other priorities so I was short on points for that day. With two days left of the program, I knew I had to make it up today and tomorrow or I would let down my teammates. This was my motivation. I did not want to go to work on Monday and tell them I didn't feel like doing it. I was motivated by a fear of not letting someone else down. We want to go all the way around Lake Superior and I think we will make it. Tomorrow I will swim and bike. The other motivator for me today was a fear of not being ready for my Triathlon on August 20th. I know that it takes a long time to build up endurance and stamina, and this is my base training now. I know I can't get into shape over night so I did not want to let my training slip too much now, when I'm just completing my fourth week of the triathlon training program.
So tonight I ran for 52 minutes. My goal was fifty minutes. I decided I'd run to a park I had never been to, just to see what it was like, then turn around and come back. I decided that regardless of where I was that if I went back the same route I came I could turn around when I reached 25 minutes. I started. The first quarter mile was agonizing. My muscles were stiff, I had wierd aches and pains in different parts of my body; knee, ankle, stomach, toes, fingers, etc. Eventually I warmed up and started breathing steadily. I did good though. I felt good! I kept running. I decided it was not healthy to keep thinking about how far I was running or had to go yet. I just concentrated on enjoying the run and feeling my blood pump through my body and air go in and out. After running all the way back home, I realized that I had met my goal for this run by running for 52 minutes. It wasn't until I cooled down that I realized that I could have run for another eight minutes and I would have run for an hour! Holy cow! An hour of running without stopping! Less than a mile more and I would have done it! I even did two sprints during my run! that was hard though. My body did not like that.
When I was about a mile from home I was feeling a cold-sweat as I was being cooled off by the wind. Oh, funny thing happened on the way back home. Twice I was verbally communicated with by people in cars. Very strange. I was on the sidewalk running. The first one was a car of four young girls that were driving the same direction as me. They honked at me and yelled something out of the window. Then they all started laughing. hmmm. Then a couple of guys in a mini-pickup truck were driving toward me and they yelled out the window, "Hey man, you're running a long way!" I waved at them. They must have seen me going and couldn't believe I was still running when they saw me again. I'm only speculating.
when it comes to motivation, I know that I will feel good about it when I'm doing it and when I've done it. But man is it hard sometimes to stick with a training plan! I probably needed a slow rest day on Friday so I'll take it. Now I have an ab workout in the living room to do tonight. Then I'm off to bed. Tomorrow is another day for good training, and fixing my bike. I got tri-bars by the way. So I'll put those on when I change out my handlebars. Then I'll be ready for monday nights "Brick" training; biking and running in one workout.
Based on all your posts, you seem like the last person on Earth who has problems getting motivated!
Posted by: Елизавета at June 14, 2006 10:46 PM
It took me a while to respond to this. I can see how I seem to have no problem getting motivated because I am constantly working on something. If it's not languages it's exercising, helping people, writing, working, doing yard work, cleaning, reading, or sleeping haha. I am hyperfocused when I'm doing something and motivation usually is not a problem with a lot of focus and energy devoted to it. However, while doing so I often leave other things go and am not motivated to do other things. Mainly it's a matter of priorities.
We can look at it this way: Motivate means the stuff that moves me, that gives me purpose in doing something. I set goals, I set intermediate steps, I push myself. Not for the goal itself, but for the process of doing it. For me the reward is in doing not reaching the goal, though that's an added benefit of doing.
I was discouraged by my swimming on Monday night, but didn't quit. I had a swimming lesson on Tuesday night and went to the pool today. Yes, I felt like quitting and giving up on the whole idea on Monday. On top of it I left my 35 dollar swim suit hanging in the locker room and it was taken (One of my classmates found it after I left and gave it back to me tonight, which I'm really happy about!) So Tuesday I was not real motivated to face the water or my teacher. Tuesday was a running day on my schedule so I ran before swimming and pounded my frustrations out in a hard run. It was good. Then I had my lesson and faced it like I should, as a learning experience. I did learn a lot. All of this adds up to doing something even if we've lost heart and hope.
I also found out that chemical imbalances effect my motivation. If I'm feeling run down, tired, etc. I will be less motivated. For instance I run into this a lot with running, more so than swimming. Sometimes I just have the hardest time trying to START running. Once I'm doing something of course it's a whole different story. I usually can enjoy doing things once I get started.
It took me a long time to clean the bathroom last week, but I did it. It was grueling at first. I kept taking breaks.
Anyway, Motivation is a problem for everyone in life because eventually you will find something you have to do but absolutely don't want to do. It just won't 'move' you into action like something else will. And that's one reason why I study my own motivation or lack of motivation and have an entire category designated to it here.
Being very busy though, even more of a problem for me is setting priorities because even if I'm motivated and want to do something I may have to take care of other things.
I wish there was an easy answer but mostly It comes to working at something until I'm motivated to do it. What moves me to want to do something in the first place? There is no one answer and it's different for each person. For studying Korean and Russian, I had to dig back into my enjoyment of just learning languages to get remotivated to study. Instead of focusing on goals, I had to focus on the practice of it, on the doing, which I really enjoy. I like experiencing things and do many things just to experience it. A lot of what motivates me is the desire to understand other people and myself. Motivation itself is very interesting to me.
Posted by: John at June 21, 2006 11:03 PM