What’s Your Motivation?

4 04 2012

I’m less than four weeks out from my marathon, and I’ve been slacking on my workouts. Not because I’m super busy at work, or my schedule hasn’t allowed me the time to train. No, it’s my own fault. For some reason, I’m seriously lacking in motivation to get my long runs done. Some days, I’ll feel really good, and go out and run 10. Last weekend, my plan called for 14, but I convinced myself I could run 20. Unfortunately, my mind and body got the best of me and I struggled to get through ten.

Sunday’s run:

It might not look too bad, but here’s what I had done the Monday before:

Monday’s run:

Um, big difference.

There were no huge elevation differences between the two runs. Conditions were roughly comparable. I think the biggest problem was in my head. Sunday, my plan had been to run 4 x 5 miles. I’d stop at my car at mile 10, refuel, and go out for my last ten. I was HURTING on my last two miles (as you can see by my splits), and after stopping at my car, I found it SO HARD to go back and run ten more. So I got in my car and drove back home.

What I think I’ve been struggling with is the mental part of running. My mind just isn’t in it. I don’t know if its that I’m on a high from my half marathons and really want to see what I can do in the half marathon distance, or if it is that I’m ready to start training for tri season. I just get bored on the runs, and let myself give in and quit.

The other day, I was talking to my boyfriend about how I’ve been feeling on these runs. He asked me, “What’s your motivation? Why do you want to run a marathon?”

I had to stop and think about his question, because it wasn’t something I really had put much thought into. But it is SUCH and important question. Why am I putting my body through these long runs? Do I want to do this, or and I just forcing myself to do it because everyone else is running a marathon?

Mama Pea wrote a post recently about why she stopped running. One of the things that caught my eye is that she had a whole list of the wrong reasons to run, and only one right reason: “Because you love it.”

When it comes down to it, I do want to run the marathon. I want to see how far I can push myself. I want to feel the accomplishment of running 26.2 miles. But, no, I don’t love running. I enjoy how I feel after a good run; I enjoy the friends I’ve made. But training for a marathon is hard. You’ve got to log a lot of miles before race day, to make it to the starting line.

Callie wrote an encouraging post yesterday on this same topic. And I totally relate with her reasons why she runs. I need to remember these reasons as I attempt to log my longest run to date this weekend- 20 miles. YIPES! I know I can do it, I just need to get my mind and body to agree.

So friends, I ask you – how do you stay motivated during your long runs? How do you beat the boredom? What motivates you?