This month I celebrated my one year running-versary- running consistently at least three times a week every week. Having babies makes your body do weird things- mainly make the fat shift to places that it wasn’t before. places like everywhere. After visiting one of Dave’s friends from Cornell last summer who had found a new love for fitness (and dropped a lot of weight) through the couch to 5K plan I was inspired to integrate exercise as a daily part of my life. The nice thing about this program is it’s designed for people who don’t like running, need a way to stay on track and not injure themselves.
For many people, myself included exercise is a mind game- how can I motivate yourself to block out time, get sweaty, make my body sore and temporarily ignore the other urgent things in my life? When I started couch to 5k some of my motivation was cost & ease- I didn’t want to pay for a gym membership because I travel a lot & it felt like it would be a waste of money. The other reason was that I didn’t want to need to go somewhere to NEED to work out- again the travel factor. I could pack my shoes no matter where I was going & just make sure to get up and go or find the treadmill in the exercise center if the weather was crappy. The fewer excuses I had- the easier it would be. All I needed was a good pair of running shoes. And the right running clothes.
Since my goal was not to spend a lot of money finding the right running clothes was one of the biggest mental barriers for me. I wanted to look like this when I ran:
So, maybe I wanted to have my thighs look like hers more than I wanted the outfit, but sometimes half the battle with exercise is “what do I wear?I have to have the right gear!” Finally I just said eff-it. If I was going to be hard-core then running wasn’t about looking like I stepped from the pages of Runners World. It was going to be about running. So, I got out my old shorts from college and started plodding around our neighborhood- catching a greasy whiff of the fried chicken shack on the corner, running past the kids playing roller hockey on the tennis courts of the park, watching the light filter through the green leaves under the canopy of trees in the Garfield nature center as I trotted along. And before long I didn’t care how I looked (so vain right?) I cared more about that amazing feeling when I was finished with a run when I stretched out on my porch on the cool cement to sprawl out and stretch my muscles. Even though I told myself that I’d buy myself some cute running clothes once I had run consistently for a year, a year later I just don’t care! I just care about getting out there whether I’m wearing umbros (anybody remember wearing those in middle school gym class? :)) or a cute coordinated outfit from Gazelle sports
It’s been a year, two pairs of shoes later and miles of concrete logged in towns across the midwest and the change in my body that’s started to crave breathing in the cool air of the morning while I move. For most people, they need different ways to stay motivated- for me it was wanting to shed the extra 20 pregnancy pounds and develop healthy habits that would stick with me for the rest of my life and hopefully prevent adult onset diabetes which runs in my family. On a daily basis it’s a great excuse just to listen to music on pandora while I run. What are ways that you get/stay motivated to exercise? Any things you’ve found that you’re able to stick with? Or new things you want to try? I’d love to do a triathlon next summer, now I just need to get over the desire to spend a chunk of change on a sweet bike to ride!