So today is Transformation Thursday and last Sunday was my 3 year Runniversary. I have been on quite the journey in that time and a lot has changed. To put it into persepective, on May 31st 2012 I got up at 5AM and ran 2.5 hard fought miles. This past Sunday,May 31st, 2015, I got up and ran 21 less hard fought miles lol. My whole mindset back in 2012 was to lose the weight that was starting to affect me in a dangerous way and find a way to be at peace with the things I was, and to some extent, am still going through. Well, with dedication and a change in diet, I have shed 50lbs and am more confident in myself now than I ever was as a younger man. Running is no longer something I do to change who I am. Running is now a part of what I am. So it's fun to look up all the stats and accomplishments on days like these and I even paid the extra $ to dailymile to figure it all out lol. So here goes....
4,160 Running Miles (3 years)
3,399 Biking Miles (2014)
8 5k's, 4 5Milers, 3 10k's, 3 15k's, 1 10Miler, 5 Half's, 4 Fulls, 2 50k's and 1 50Miler
Grand total of 31 Races for 385 Miles (Thank God for Athlinks lol)
If I can do it, anyone can do it. I've had some injuries and time off in that time span but I always figure out a way of moving forward. Never give up on yourself. Decide what you want and figure out a way of accomplishing it. YOU are worth it.
I am currently 10 weeks into marathon training. I've run in rain, snow, ice and single digit temps. I've run at 4:30 in the morning and 6:30 at night. I've run 6 miles one day and 10 miles the next and 16 the day after. So the question is motivation. How do I stay motivated to keep going in this weather? Well first, let's start by defining the word. I believe all too often, runners, and particularly new runners, use the word incorrectly.
1.the act or an instance of motivating
2.desire to do; interest or drive
3.incentive or inducement
Basically, motivation is what I see at the end of my training. Why I am doing this? The goal that gives me my drive. Sometimes we seek from others the motivation to get out the door because we are "just not feeling it". Well guess what? I can't give you motivation. I can't give you the desire to run rather than sit on your butt. The motivation is inside you. You just have to decide what the purpose of your running is and use that to fuel your runs. You either have motivation or you don't. What can I do by continuing to do what I do? One is encouragement and the other is inspiration. I am inspired and encouraged by plenty of my fellow runners that know and understand what I am trying to accomplish. However, I seek no motivation from them. That, for me, is crystal clear.
My motivation is Boston. I made a decision last Fall that despite still being injured, I would train hard enough to qualify for Boston 2016. That is why when I post in the Club, it is always the banner at the top. A constant reminder of why I am doing this. That is why I will head out early in the morning or after a long day at work to get my training in. If it is cold, I adapt. If it is snowing, I adapt. It is pointless for complain about the conditions. I chose the race date and my motivation is clear. In the end I've got my eye on it and I'll keep moving forward until I cross that finish line on April 12th. And that, despite the weather conditions this winter, is my motivation.
Usually with a new year I have a list of races I am going to run. Last year my goal at the beginning of the year was to train for and run my April marathon to a PR. That goal abruptly ended when I injured my knee in February. So fast forward to this year and I am once again training for that same marathon in April. The knee is not fixed and I'm not as strong as I was leading up to training last year but I'm moving forward. This time however, I have upped the ante. Not only am I training to PR, I am also training to BQ. How did I get this goal started? To be honest, I really can't pin it down. Of course as a runner you hear all about Boston but my focus my first two years in running was just getting in better shape, getting faster and running farther. I never thought beyond running locally. But as I was in running groups longer, seeing it talked about when it was happening and knowing several people qualifying and running it, I started to think this might be something I can do. So after coming back to running last fall, I determined if my knee holds up, I will do this. As with all my prior goals (first Marathon, 50k and 50 Miler) I made a decision to do it, trained for it and do it. Basically my goal mantra. Decide on what you want to do and figure out a way of doing it. Never say you can't. As for motivation to complete my goal, maybe I see it differently than others. I don't need motivation from anyone or anything to get where I want to go. I do gain inspiration from others but the end result is my motivation. The feeling of doing what I set out to do is my motivation. Me, myself and I. No one else can push me as hard as I need to push myself. So, I will follow the plan. I will run the miles. I will get up when it's dark and cold and I'm tired and I will run the miles. Anything less and you are kidding yourself. Cheating yourself. Not me, I got my eye on it.
I figured the best thing to do first is give a little history of how and when I started running. Some of it is detailed in my profile but here I can give a more detailed version. For some time leading into 2012 I had been gaining weight and physically feeling worse. My job involves driving in a work van all day and gave me direct access to fast food. Before I knew it, I weighed over 200lbs for the first time in my life. For me being 5'8", this was a big strain on me causing back and rib pain. I started to notice one of my friends posting on Facebook the runs she was doing every morning. I finally talked to her about it, found out why she was doing it and what she was going through, and decided that running was something I was willing to try again. In JH and HS I ran Cross Country and Track so I knew it was something I was capable of. On the morning of May 31st, 2012 I went out and ran about 2 1/2 miles. I ran on the sidewalk in the neighborhood and in a little under 30 minutes, arrived back home huffing and puffing and hurting all over. It would have been easy to give up. To not get up the next morning and do it all again. But I set the alarm again for 5am and did it over and over. The shoes I had were inadequate, the clothes I wore were basically basketball shorts and a cotton shirt. But the more and more I ran, the more changes I started seeing. Times decreased and mileage increased. Finally I discovered something that I was good out. Something that I could excel at. My best friend was so impressed with my determination that he took up running. There is a great local running club in this area and we both joined it and started running in the trail and other races they put on. Within 6 moths of running I had lost 50lbs, I ran my first 5k and by late fall was looking for a Half to run. Not able to find one, I finally decided I was just going to train for a Full the following Spring. I trained over the winter and in April of 2013 I ran my first marathon. I learned many things from that experience and went on to run my first Half, my first 50k and my first 50 Miler that summer. In one year I had come so far. That first year of running changed my life and I haven't looked back since:)
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