I have a confession to make. I haven’t run in over a week. My last run was a 5-miler in Dallas last Friday, 11 March.
That wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have a half-marathon in four weeks. So what’s going on? Why am I not running even though I know that I need to be? Why am I lacking the motivation to get my runs in, to log my miles, to put some time on my feet in preparation for this half-marathon? Who unplugged my motivation machine?
I don’t think my motivation machine has been unplugged. Most mornings when my alarm goes off I lie in bed and think about going for a run. My clothes are already set out. My Nike+ sensor is tucked into the pair of running shoes that’s next in the rotation. My Garmin Forerunner is charged – just in case I’m in the mood for an outdoor run. My MP3 player is charged and cued up to my running soundtrack. Mentally, I’m ready to go. In my mind, I see myself hopping on the treadmill or heading outside for a quick spin around the lake. In my mind, I can feel my heart pumping, feel my legs moving, feel the sweat dripping down my face. Mentally, I am eager to run. Physically, not so much.
This past week my excuse has been exhaustion. The leadership retreat in Dallas was exhausting. Not only was I “on” for more than 12 hours each day, I had difficulty sleeping so most nights so I ended up only getting 4 or 5 hours of sleep each night. When I finally got back home, there was a lot to catch up on both at work and at home so I ended up choosing an extra hour of sleep instead of going for a run. I know that exercise boosts energy but sleep is also an important element of a healthy lifestyle.
The other problem is that I’ve run several half-marathons before. I know that I can grind out the distance despite not having a lot of training runs under my belt. To be honest, I think the longest run I’ve done when training for a half-marathon is 8 miles. Once. So knowing that the distance is manageable is another excuse for passing on my training runs. But I also know that I enjoy the race so much more when I’ve logged regular runs leading up to the race because I know that I’m physically prepared for the race.
This week, my goal is to sync my physical self with my mental runner, to put my mental motivation into action. What’s your goal for the week?