I guess I was feeling ambitious this time last year when I decided to register for an Ironman and a marathon in the same year. I’m now on the back side of the ironman and feeling less than enthused about the marathon. Of course, the NYC marathon is always amazing. It’s a party for about 26.2 miles (and if you haven’t done it and a marathon is on your list, you should absolutely consider it). But I think I’ve made my mind up that I probably won’t PR this year because I haven’t been doing enough tempo and long interval workouts so I’m just feeling “eh” about my training.
Actually, short (60 minutes and under) runs are super appealing to me, but slogging it out in the heat and humidity for 3 hours just has no draw at the moment. Why would I do that when I can choose not to? That’s my mindset lately. haha.
I had a rough night of sleep Sunday night and was at home with the kids on Monday feeling exhausted. Michael surprised me with a box of vegan donuts and pints (plural) of vegan ice-cream. Accompanying both was a note that said, “GIOOYS – get it out of your system” and maybe he’s right. During ironman, Michael was in the midst of a very busy time career-wise so we didn’t exactly celebrate over too many beers like we did when he did his ironmans (pre-kids). Maybe I did need to chill out and savor my accomplishment more. Of course, I felt pretty ridiculous doing this almost 6 weeks later, but then I tasted a Dun-Well Doughnut and decided that some celebrating was absolutely in order. 😉
I was able to get in 10 miles last night after work, which at least somewhat makes up for skipping my long run entirely last weekend. The only reason I got through that workout is because I was listening to an inspiring interview on the Rich Roll Podcast. He was interviewing Micah Risk, who appeared on the cover of Runner’s World sporting “vegan” compression socks a few years ago. She’s a nutritionist, a speedy runner who is also vegan and looks strikingly similar to Kate Beckinsale. Together with Alexis Fox, she started a company called Lighter, which I am now obsessed with. Their vision for the future is one in which Doctors will be able to write prescriptions for disease reversing foods (plant-based), which the site matches with recipes (based on the Doc’s orders and also patient’s preferences: serving size, availability of kitchen appliances, allergies, desired prep time) and automatically generates a grocery list for the patient. These groceries can then be delivered to the patient, all through their app. The grocery delivery part is still in testing, but if you’re looking for help with meal planning and automated grocery list creation, this app does that seamlessly. Plus, I love that I was able to put in 20 minutes as my max prep time and it still spit out tasty recipes. Thank you for the inspiration on my run, Micah. It is always fabulous to hear about women who are doing what they love AND changing the world. Can you tell I have a bit of a crush on her?
To put my running woes into perspective, we all go through changes in our motivation for exercise, including running. While it is unfortunate when this happens in the midst of marathon training, it’s also an opportunity for me to learn about myself. So, if this topic interests you, stay tuned as I work through it.
For now, I’ll share a few things that I’m trying, which I don’t normally do:
- I signed up for an introductory month of CLASSPASS, just to encourage incorporating other non-running exercises. CLASSPASS gives you access to all sorts of fitness studios by way of an easy to use app. The intro deal was just $19 for 5 classes (in one month) at a variety of NYC studios. So far, I’ve only tried a new spin studio, but I’m certain changing it up a bit will help me appreciate running more.
- I’m running with headphones. Usually reserved for long runs that I’m dreading, the timing seems right to lean on them more for tunes, podcasts & books.
- In terms of content, I’ve been catching up on the Rich Roll Podcast, but I think I’ll invest in a new audiobook soon, something I can look forward to coming back to. Who knows, that might even inspire more frequent desire to run.
- I’m looking for my community. I trained for Ironman with a group and I’m transitioning back to solo training, which might also be having an impact on my motivation. In the Rich Roll Podcast I referenced earlier, Micah, who runs with the November Project, talked about her running (and her work) like it was a complete joy. She mentioned how great it was to “be with her people” several times. In running, because it can be done solo, I think we (or maybe it’s just me!!) have a tendency to forget how important it is to feel part of a group and to surround yourself with runners who inspire you or help you develop in some way. The good news, for me!!, is I’ll be leading group runs for The Humane League starting on September 20th in Central Park. After these runs, we’ll be heading to a vegan-friendly restaurant for dinner and / or drinks! I’m super excited to connect with more of my vegan athlete tribe. If you’re local and want to join, check out our Facebook page. The runs are open to vegans, vegetarians and omnivores who are just curious about a plant-based lifestyle or want to learn more about where their food comes from.
One thing that doesn’t work for me is buying new gear, though I do have my sights set on a new watch (mine died less than 3 hours into the marathon during IM). In fact, when I get new stuff, I think maybe it is because I wait so long to purchase it, that it is more of a reward than a motivator. I find I am LESS motivated to use it. I just want to stare at it and appreciate its newness 🙂
I’ll check back soon. In the meantime, I ‘d love to hear from you. How do you fight through times of low motivation?