Fellow RunJunkEes™ Sponsored Athlete Megan Caton posted an amazing blog today, which can and should be read here, in which she talks about the struggle she faces some days to get out the door and just run. In that blog she challenged, the people who are out there running for what seems like forever, "to tell us, the ones who are in park or idling in neutral, is there ANYTHING that will help us to find our drive? Is there anything that we
can do to hijack our lives back and push us forward? Are there tricks we can do to help us along? "
As a RunJunkEes™ Sponsored Athlete I promised, after reading the article, to answer the challenge.
As many of you know I began running on June 27th, 2011 - not that long ago really and in less than 3 years have completed 20 half marathons, 10 marathons, and 2 ultra (50K) marathons. I have run many training runs of 16, 18, and 20 miles and even run 34 miles in a day around around a 3.1 mile loop. I love to run. I love chasing the elusive runner's high, which should never be confused with the simple endorphin rush that we experience when exercising, day in and day out. I would rather be running than working out in the gym, spinning, or road cycling. Yet, there are those days, when I get up, get dressed, and then doink about the house trying to just get out of the house to push the start button on the Garmin. But, much more often than not, the button is pushed, the feet move, and 6 or 7 miles later I've completed the run I dreaded and I feel amazing for doing so. What drives me each and every time?
I hate to let myself down. I can, quite honestly, handle rejection from others but then that's not even likely to happen as runners are all incredibly supportive and rather than tearing another down for being unmotivated seek to help that person find his motivation while offering virtual hugs. I know, that whether or not I run, my wife and children will love me. I know that I can raise money for the causes important to me without ever running again. I know that if I never post another run to DailyMile or Facebook that it will matter very little to anyone. Except me. And I hate to let myself down.
Don't get me wrong, there are days I'm just too tired and I've learned to listen to my body and rest those days. But on those days where physically I am capable but mentally blocking I tell myself: Six miles. For you. Nobody but you. Remember how amazing you felt yesterday? Half mile of suck, 4 or 5 minutes, less time than you've spent arguing with yourself over it. And I'm out the door, the Garmin button is pushed, and every single time a half mile or less of suck later I'm feeling it... and the miles roll by... and I feel amazing. And I commit that feeling to memory, intentionally commit that feeling to memory, for the next time I need to to get myself out the door.
Sounds simple, right? Not always, but for me it has always worked. I hate to let myself down because I am worth much more than that to me. Most days I run to train to run races to raise funds and awareness for people with blood cancers, but there are those days I need to run for nobody else but me. Because to quote an amazing friend, Michelle Tomlinson, I Am Worth It. And so are you.