Checking in on 2015 Running Goals; Stay Motivated

Source: truemotivation.com

Source: truemotivation.com

The daily grind can get to us. It can cause us angst and all-too-often disillusionment. That’s why I think it’s important to have constant reminders and even accountability; this helps us to maintain focus and stay motivated. Frankly, it’s all happening so fast these days, with so much of our environment, social media, the news, and just about everything else, geared toward our constant striving to stay afloat, it’s no wonder we sometimes feel overwhelmed, insecure, frustrated and dejected. The good news, if you can call it that, is you’re not alone. This fight for survival, for attainment, for our own person glory even, is not yours to fight alone. It may not sound like much, but if you can find solace in that you’ll be well on your way to getting past the first hurdle.

So you’ve taken a look back and you’re either impressed or not with the trail you’ve blazed for the past 4 1/2 months; presuming you’re pleased with what you see, then you’re pretty set for the next few months. What you’ve done has worked and I applaud your hard-work and dedication, you have a soul sister. On the other hand, we know that life can get in the way sometimes causing hiccups; know that it is ok to stop and breathe. In fact, sometimes it is necessary to do so or we risk setting ourselves up for failure. Who needs that? It is the wise person who recognizes the need to stop & reassess and sometimes reorder their goals. In that vein, you’re on the right track and would benefit from spiriting away to a quiet place, away from the clutter and noise that is your life – try a trail run outdoors, where it’s just you, nature and God – and empty your mind of everything but the moment. Revel in where you are now and be thankful. Stay there for a bit and just love yourself. You see, every now then you need to indulge in a bit of self-love, not narcissism or anything like that, but honest, real, love; only then will you be able to be real about your needs and what your plans are. This shift in focus from the worries of life and the world at large will bring you, your dreams, and your goals this year, to the forefront once more, allowing you to revise and better align your plans with your reality. That PR, Boston Qualifier, Marathon, Half-marathon, Triathlon,Iron man, Ultra, Running group, Charity run etc… whether it’s one of these or a few, is still possible. If you’ve fallen ill or something of that nature, then that’s beyond your control but if not then by God’s grace you are able.

You want to realize your desires, you have to be willing to make the necessary adjustments or/ and sacrifices. We, who know about hard-work and sacrifice, know that it will never be easy, if it were, it would not be worth it; that if we fall ten times, we stand up eleven. Failure is never an option. Indeed we have just over seven months to ensure goal realization. It is possible. You are possible.

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Deconstructing The Marathon

how-to-run-a-marathon-finish-it-and-live-to-tell-the-taleEver wondered why 26.2 miles is the standard by which most runners measure their ability? What is it about this race that captures our imagination and incites a ridiculous passion within that causes to us to defy everyday expectation? Why do we seek to stretch ourselves beyond average human endurance to achieve a moment of glory to which we come back to time and time again?

I submit it is the intrinsic desire of every person, runner and non-runner alike, to matter; to live a life of meaning where what we do matters to someone in some way. It gives our lives purpose and direction and motivates us to put our best foot forward in spite of the challenges we face. The Marathon for many runners is a benchmark by which we judge our performance, our competitiveness and even certain aspects of our character such as perseverance and tenacity. Often, it becomes “The Challenge” that is the driving force behind our careers, our passion, our purpose and/or our life’s mission.

Running, I’ve always maintained, is a natural ability that we are all born with, some more so than others. While the advent of time and the changes in pop culture have surely impacted our desires, it has no more made a runner of you than it has me. We’ve always ran to some degree, some are just no longer satisfied with the average 6-13 miles. For most of us who’ve honed and sharpened our skills, a half marathon is no longer enough to satiate our hunger for more challenge, more adventure, more competition – even if we’re competing with ourselves. It’s now a warm up. Mind you, it didn’t start out that way. We have graduated to a secure place in our running from 5 mile short runs to 10 mile tempo runs to 13-15 mile training runs to 18-20 mile long runs to where 26.2 is now “The Run.”

Running a marathon is a dream, goal or, bucket list event for many runners. The actual race however, is no easy feat. No one gets up one day and decides to run a marathon, it involves lots of training and racing prior to “The Run.” While it is a challenge; hardwork, sacrifice, commitment, and perseverance, it is doable. As is often said, the man with a plan can. This is true for many things but it is especially so for running a marathon. A plan is needed for training and for race day. In previous posts I have discussed both butI want to reiterate how important it is to have a race strategy. Obviously, we cannot know exactly what will go down on that day but knowing how you intend to tackle the challenge it is will make for a better run.

The Marathon is easier run in parts. By this I mean that it appears more doable if it’s broken up into segments. The first 5 miles is pretty easy running -nothing we haven’t done time and again – running at a steady easy pace, it can be looked at as your warm up. Miles 6 through 12 takes us into training mode, we have been here; it’s comfortable and so we can up the ante some bringing us up to miles 13-18. Here is where we begin to feel our leg muscles working, pushing, reaching, stretching. Every part is now working in unison; legs pounding, arms pumping, in and out we breathe taking us further and a tad bit faster through to miles 19 through 24. Here the challenge is real to focus on the finish line, the medal, that moment of glory over the pressure to slack off and ease up just a little. Muscles are oftentimes screaming at this point because its breaking down. All the extra cross strength training comes into play here to give the extra push fueling those muscles and propelling you forward into the final leg. The final 2.6 miles is strictly mental. Pain, discomfort, exhaustion exists somewhere on the periphery of reality, one that is filled with the sounds of cheers and shouts of encouragement. You dig in for that reserve of strength and speed that was awaiting this moment.. here it comes.. You can see it now, taste it even, the roar of the crowds give wings to your feet and you’re in. You did it. Aside from the chunk of metal hanging around your neck, take a breath and a minute to absorb it all. This, right here, is why you’ll be back soon.

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