Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Layers of Motivation

I have been pretty vocal about needing a goal in order to keep me motivated. Working out JUST for the sake of fitting into my jeans, seeing a certain number on the scale or the very important but broad idea of "being healthy" gets me to hit the gym, but I lack the passion, determination, excitement and frankly, the commitment that I have when I am training for a specific race.

Training and racing gives me a sense of accomplishment and purpose that I just don't get while "working out" and it gives me extra motivation to log the miles. Heck even with this motivation, sometimes, it takes every ounce of willpower that I have to get out of bed to go for a long run before work. I just LOVE to sleep!

So, this is where I have learned that having what I will call "Layers of Motivation" help. For example, here are my current "Layers" ... with the one on the bottom carrying the most weight, or put another way, it is getting me out of bed in the mornings!

Layers of Motivation
1. Be Healthy for myself
2. Be Healthy for my family - set a good example for my children
3. Me time - decompress, try not to think of the many things on my "to do" list
4. Ensure I continue to fit into my favorite David Khan jeans
5. Stay within my "happy range" on the scale
6. Have the fitness and endurance to finish the race
7. Have the fitness and endurance to RACE the race and hit my goals
8. Find out what happens next in my audio book!

Ok, I am sure there are other layers I am missing, but as you can see, #8 is tangible, which is so helpful when you are having a tired and not motivated kind of day.

On a day when all of the bigger goals in my layer of motivation can wait, I go for my run because I want to see what is going to happen next to the characters in my audio book! I ONLY listen to my audio book while I run (or when tri training, cycle) and when the workout stops, the book stops. So, essentially there is a mini-cliff hanger encouraging me to get back into my running shoes every morning. I am actually headed out shortly for a lunch run and I can't wait to find out what happens to Katniss and Peeta in the Hunger Games (no spoilers, please)!

So, what are your layers of motivation? Any book recommendations?

... and seriously, if you have never tried running with an audio book or podcast, try it! And no, I am not sponsored by Audible! :)

Safe Training!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I'm In Love

You know that feeling?

You feel light as air. Every step feels effortless. You glow. You can't wait to go out again. You tell everyone in your inner circle about this new development.

Well, consider yourself my inner circle.

I am in love with running skirts. My last few long runs (16, 18 and 20 milers) training for the Rocky Raccoon 50K in this still stifling Texas heat have been glorious in my running skirt. I love the way it breathes. I love that despite the fact I am soaked, my running skirt does not cling to me like wet shorts. I find myself always looking for it in my workout drawer, so I am putting two more skirts on my wish list for my upcoming Birthday and Christmas. If you have one you love, please leave a comment recommending it!

Sorry, guys, you are totally missing out on this one - unless you are brave enough to try one! I hear they make running kilts for men ...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

16 miles and LASIK

My long run this week in preparation for the 50K was 16 miles. Normally, I would do this run on Saturday or Sunday morning, but I had LASIK planned for Friday morning, which means 3 days of no workouts.

This meant running Friday morning before LASIK - which ended up being the perfect distraction! One of my favorite things to do on long runs is to listen to a captivating audio book. I vary the topics from fiction to business (and everything in between) and recent favorites include The Help and Outliers and I just finished Ken Follet's The Fall of Giants.

I am always sad when a good audio book ends, especially long ones that I have been listening to for weeks. The characters almost become friends and I miss them when the story is over. I finished The Fall of Giants earlier this week so I was at a loss as to what to listen to for my long run this week, but knew I needed something other than music to distract me for 2.5 hours or I would stress about the surgery.

I ended up choosing Tina Fey's Bossypants and it was the absolute perfect distraction. The book made me laugh out loud on my run and I didn't spend a second of that 2.5 hours thinking about lasers in my eyes.

The other benefit of doing my long run before LASIK is that I was pretty worn out (more on that in a minute) and being tired made less stressed. The good news is that my tired state coupled with the valium they gave me right before surgery made me totally relaxed during the procedure. It has only been 36 hours since surgery, but so far so good!

The not great news is that my 16 mile run was exactly half the distance I will running in less than 2 months and I was totally spent after 16 miles. This is when I have to remember that I have not tapered, I am still fighting cough / cold / congestion crap and that I didn't follow my race day nutrition. I am looking forward to my 18 mile run next week to see how I feel and hopefully I will finally be rid of this cough!

Good luck to all those racing long tomorrow ... yes, I am a wee bit jealous.

I couldn't end this post without mentioning 9/11. Ten years later ... may we never forget.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Cold Front

For the first time in weeks, temps in Houston were below 100 degrees, coming in at a cool 93 degrees today. It is amazing what a difference of 10 degrees makes! I did my long run of the week, 14 miles, and despite not feeling well because I am coming down with a sore throat and cough, I made it through the miles without as much trouble as expected thanks to the lower temps.

Now that I have had a taste of the "cooler" temps, I am ready for Fall! For those of you in the Northeast, I am not envious of your winters, but I am sure envious of the cooler temps you are experiencing now.

Hope you all are enjoying the long holiday weekend!