Monday, February 09, 2009

Two minutes of motivation

Did you run in high school? Play football? Basketball?
I get that question a lot, especially after hearing me talk *cough (brag) cough* about running my latest race or half marathon, and every time, I have to choke down a laugh.
Me? Are you serious?
I was never really an athlete growing up. I was picked on quite a bit growing up and as a result was seen as someone with about as much skill as a dolphin on a sidewalk. So this probably influenced my opinion of my prowess on the athletic battleground, aka "recess." I could kick a mean kickball, pin many a snot in tetherball and club anyone in raquetball.
But, yeah, those snide comments were mostly warranted. When we wrestled in gym class, I was pinned more often than the no-named guy in pink shorts who faced Hulk Hogan on "Saturday Night's Main Event." I was one of the more feared runners on the football field, but that was in band football. And I STILL can't dribble a basketball and run at the same time, which sort of limits what you can do on the court.
I was good at things that didn't require talent or skill. I became an accomplished mountaineer because I did it many, many times, over and over, and could learn about things like the weather and nutrition and pace and scrambling. I could bench press 300 pounds because I lifted weights, over and over. And now I'm a runner because I run, over and over.
It's not magic. It's just hard work. There are many, many, many of you out there who could smoke me on the course if you wanted to start. I hope to see you out there, and if you do, wave at me as you pass me by.
It's not the tiger's ability to run with abandon, jump with skill or pull down an antelope with one paw. It's his eye.
*Cue Survivor here*

5 comments:

The Wife said...

Unlike you, the only thing tiger-like about me is my ability to stretch out, lazily in the sun, and lick my paws and purr.

And I am not ashamed of it.

Drizztdj said...

I may get on the running bus, but the weather in Minnesota (not unlike Colorado) doesn't help the cause.

Riggstad said...

I saw a show where a guy lost 190lbs. When he started he was 40 years old and laying on the couch all day.

His motivation was his kids. He couldn't get out to play with them, and it was bugging him.

He had no epiphany. He just decided it was time. He didn't diet. He just started running.

He literally got out of bed, and ran to the corner and back. He said that everyday he would go a little farther.

Today he is running marathons and runs everyday.

I need to start running again but cannot find the motivation. When I was in the Marine Corps we would run ten miles a day. I always did well because of the whole competition thing.

I would get home for the weekend and immediately find it difficult to run even 3 miles. All in the head I guess.

How do I break that? What mental tricks are there? Do you actually like running?

lifting weights and doing circuit trainig isn't doing the trick. Sure, I feel better and such but the lack of aerobic exercise is obviously holding me back.

any advice other than to stop being a pussy, ad just get after it?

pokerpeaker said...

Riggs, you need a goal, something that's important to you. For that guy it was his kids.
Because I am type A and very competitive (with myself, mostly, or else everyone instead of just most people would hate me), races are my motivation. I would love to say fitness, too, and sure, but yeah, it's the feeling I get when I cross that line in a personal best or scale the top of another mountain.

So maybe we can find you a goal. A 5K? A 10k? A race? Or is it weight? I don't like to use weight as a goal because it encourages crash dieting and short-term gains rather than long-term lifestyle changes. It's also possible that with your body, running hurts a bit too much. Running isn't for everyone. It's punishing and not always in a good way.

That's my advice. Find a goal, something, that's important to you. Those races get me out the door when it's -10. What's important to you?

Other mental tips:
• Once I get going, running is easy, and yes I like it. Sometimes I love it. Find a time you like to run, three times a week, and plan your week around it. No excuses. You'll start to mold it into your life and it will feel weird when you don't do it.

• Run with music.
• Run with a partner. Much harder to cop out when people are waiting for you.
• Have runs for different purposes. This is more advanced so modify this for own purposes, but my runs are tempo runs, long runs, intervals and medium runs. All on different routes, courses. This changes things up so it never becomes a daily grind. You might just need to run a mile or two at first, but if you do that, use different routes.

pokerpeaker said...

Oh, and Drizz, I really understand about the weather. If you're serious about it, you can buy tights - yes, running tights - that really help, and there's enough fleece and other clothes out there that basically keep me warm even when the weather's really unreasonable.

And as for snow/ice, yeah, that sucks. There are some spikes you can buy at a running store for like $20 that help grip the pavement.

Maybe that helps.