Staying Motivated (with running)

IMG_0062This year I started a progress jar.  The goal was to add a quarter for every mile I ran and if I did some strength training as well as stretching and rolling I would add a quarter for that too.  The idea is to keep me motivated to keep going as well as save some money to do something special at the end of the 2017.

Well we are officially 3 months in and the pic shows the progress.  I do have to say that there are some flashy bills in there too buried at the bottom (okay the biggest one is a $20 but the quarters don’t tell the whole story).

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For a little perspective, here is a nice roll of quarters just waiting patiently to be added!

I have also committed to run with a running club that meets on Saturday mornings at 8:30am.  To me this is a very doable time.  I don’t mind getting up early during the week but really I want to sleep in a little on Saturday so this is a perfect time for me.  Plus the benefit of this club is that it is part of a running store which is good for several things:

  1. The quick bathroom break before you head out, which is always needed.
  2. Warm place to stretch when we finish and a place to change into warmer clothes instead of in my car.
  3. Oh and occasionally they bring in some guests on Saturdays like today where we got to do some strength training at the end of the run with two wonderful physical therapists.

I also joined the Run the year at the beginning of January.  So basically I have set myself up to run 2017 miles in 2017.  But really if you do the math it is about 39 miles a week, which when I put it that way seemed way more doable.  The progress on that is that I am close to staying on track.  Had a smaller than usual week when we went on vacation but know that when I am training for my next marathon (Marine Corps – Oct) I will be doing way more than 39 miles a week so I can make up for some smaller weeks.

Another motivation tool I use is telling others about this craziness and my running goals whether they want to hear them or not.  I talked about my next goal here so feel free to read it.  This is truly motivating because once you put it out there, unless something major happens, I have to get it done!

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Today’s freezing cold getting it done.  12 degrees with negative windchills btu 6.5 miles done!

Finally I have also been able to be a part of a women’s running group on facebook which is a great support system.  They are all local ladies who cheer each other on and hopefully this summer I will be able to do more with them.

So really it takes a lot to stay motivated. But it is worth it in the end to see those goals achieved.

Is there anything you do to stay motivated? 

Daily Prompt: Oasis: My Sanctuary

Daily Prompt: (from WordPress): “A sanctuary is a place you can escape to, to catch your breath and remember who you are. Write about the place you go to when everything is a bit too much.”

lake1Sanctuary = safety, a place to relax, a place to reconnect with self, with a higher power, with our self-confidence.  When I find myself overwhelmed I use a trick I teach quite a few of my clients with anxiety.  It’s called visualization and using your favorite place makes the visualization that much easier.  Here is where I go….

Our family lake house.  It is on an island so the trek begins via a small boat and short ride across to the island.  As we move across the water, I can see to the bottom.  The water is so clear and you can see the rocks that line the bottom.

Once we make it to shore at the island, I find myself drawn to sit at the edge of the dock.  It is here that you can hear the gentle lapping of the water against the dock and the rocks on shore.  Sticking my feet in the water, I can feel the refreshing coolness of the water.  It is also here that I can see to the bottom of the lake which is only about 3 feet deep.  The small sunfish are swimming around and every once in a while one will be brave enough to approach your toes and even take a nibble.  A gentle breeze blows through the trees and you can hear the rustle of the leaves.  The smell of the wind and water is so clean and refreshing.  lake2

I lay back on the dock with my feet hanging in the water and feel the warmth of the wood on my back as the sun beats down on my face.  Closing my eyes to hear the sounds of the loons and the nearby ducks.

I feel like I am there right now!  This is where I go when I can’t actually go.  And when I can it is that much better.

My other option is for a run.  Another place to just let go of the stress and overwhelmingness of the day and refocus.  Whether it is at the gym on the dreadmill or outside in my neighborhood, nothing beats a good run!

Maybe you can try the visualization next time you need to escape or better yet I hope you can go to your sanctuary!  Where is your santuary? lake