I thought about how running is a gift we give ourselves. It can take a lot of time away from other stuff — family, work, books, social time. We need it though. The physical ordeal opens the door to a room of our own and a clarity of thought that can’t be accessed any other way. Running is more than a hobby, or a diversion, or a way to keep ourselves from getting fat. It feeds us, body and soul, in ways nothing else can. You know what I’m saying? It’s a vital goddamn nutrient.
~ Sarah on the subject of life/running.
Anonymous asked: I don’t know how you stay so motivated all the time. Don’t you ever just want to say to hell with it all?
This was asked a while back and I thought that I would save it for some time when I felt it was appropriate. After the run I had last night…
To answer your question, of course there are days I want to say ‘to hell with it all’. I have many of those days. I work some fairly ridiculous work hours: 12+ hour shifts and I do this about 6 times a week with only two days off every week. It’s not an ideal situation. I get home most days around a 6-7pm and I’m like everyone else in the world. I want to sit on the couch, eat some food, watch some television, & decompress. But, I force myself out there at least 3 times a week.
The days that you feel at your absolute worst, those days where you want to scream and throw your equipment across the room, those are the days that you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO RUN.
My run was terrible last night. My mind, my heart, my body, just wasn’t in the game. I was about two minutes slower than where I normally pace myself and I found myself shuffling through most of that run with the worst form.
I didn’t feel that much better after my run, probably a little crankier but this morning I woke up happy that I had forced myself out there. There’s just something in you that nags at you and forces you to get out there.
I’ve given the following advice in the past on this blog, but I’ll share it again for new followers.
Ways to stay motivated on days you feel like quitting it all:
- Dress the part. - Put on your running gear, shorts, shirt, shoes. Now stand in the door. If you turn around, you’re kind of a dumbass. I mean, why go through the motions, why spend all this effort dressing up and then not take a step out of the door, you could be on the couch. But seeing as you’re already dressed and ready to go, you might as well get on out there.
- Break it up. - Run to end of your drive way. Now to the end of your street. Now run the next four houses. Now run until you hit that street lamp that is bent weird, etc. Run small bits and pieces. Run for a small and easily achievable distance, run for 10 minutes, now run for 10 more.
- Talk about it. - Tell someone you’re going for a run. It’s one reason why I tweet/blog about my running so much. It makes you accountable. If you say you’re running to stay fit and you’re not. People will know. They’ll see that you’re out of shape or that you’re gaining back some of the weight you lost. That just makes you a lazy lying asshole. No one wants to be that.
Good luck, enjoy the pavement.
Mandy asks: @amandalea_b @theGsayeth how does this push-up program work? My upper body strength is pretty much non-existent.
One hundred push ups. It works pretty well. Highly recommended. And if you’re a runner, even more so. Many studies have proven that a strong upper-body is conducive towards a better run, overall fitness level.
When you start the program you will take a test which will determine at what level program you should follow: one, two or three (one being the most basic, three being the most intense). The test consists of doing as many push-ups as possible until your arms give out. After you figure out how strong (or not) your arms are, you just follow the recommended program level.
Three times a week you perform a series of push-ups with 90 - 60 second breaks in between. For example, level 1 week 1 consists of the following: 2, 3, 2, 2, 3+ The last set you perform, you go until your arms give out doing as many push-ups as possible.
As the weeks progress, the number of push-ups increases and the break times reduce. You can modify as necessary, as I’m currently repeating week 2 in order to build up a bit more muscle.
And yes, I’ve noticed a big difference in just two weeks of this program. I can do about 20-23 push ups non-stop before my arms give out. I’ve noticed some definition in my arms, it feels good & it also has the added benefit of looking good. Last night I managed to do 73 push-ups total, 22 of those in a row without stopping for any breaks. It gets better and more intense.
Oh and the great thing about this is that you only need about 5-10 minutes out of your day. I usually do mine right before bed. It’s a great way to end the day and you usually feel so wiped out that you crash right into the bed, really knocks you out. A great drained feeling.
Don’t forget that it’s also completely free and available online. There is even an option to print out weekly program sheets from off of the web. You can also choose to spend $1 on the app if you have access to a smartphone. I went ahead and did this. It’s a handy tool that keeps your program organized and tracks your progress.
Definitely worth doing my friend. :)
I just wrote out this rather large rant on people who make unhealthy choices, but I’m not going to post it. Fuck it, you do what you want to do. You live with the choices you make. Eat right, exercise, feel good. Or don’t. I’m not you, you’re not me.
The dark scissors of his legs
cut the moon’s
raw silk, highways of wind
torn into lanes, his feet
pushing down the shadow
whose patterns he becomes
while trucks, one by one,
pass him by,
from his pace, his eyes
cracked as the Hudson
wraps street lamps
in its rippled blue shells,
the summer’s thin, thin veins
bursting with dawn,
he, now suddenly free,
from the air, from himself,
his heart beating far, far
good stuff ! I have a “100 push up” app but i haven’t given it a go yet. I’m still getting used to this “map my run” thing…
What app/site are you using to map your runs? I’m on runkeeper myself and I love it. I got tired of Nike+ and all of their web issues. The worst site to use, I go out of my way to tell others to avoid using that site.
And yes, the 100 Push Up program is good. Being sweaty at the end of 7 minutes of exercise is a great feeling.
I finished Week One of the 100 Push Ups Challenge. 57+ push-ups with only a minute break in between the sets. And the last set I maxed out at 21 before my arms gave out and I collapsed.
My form isn’t perfect but it’s getting better. I think I need to record myself so I can see where I need to improve. When I started this program, I would have sore arms the day after each push-up program day. But, this morning I have no pain at all in my arms or shoulders. I think this is a good sign. I also recognize it’s only the first week and I still have a long way to go before I hit 100.
I may not be running as much this spring, but I am doing many different types of exercise/strength training and I like it.
Tweeting with a friend (someone who helped encourage me early on when I was struggling) and I feel the need to share some unsolicited commentary on running and the way it changes you as an individual.
I stumbled into this sport. Couch to 5K for purely health/economic reasons. It was cheap (not requiring a monthly gym membership) and I needed to do something to change my life. A year and a half ago I did that. I lost the weight and discovered that I enjoyed being on the road. A very weird feeling for someone who had not exercised in more than 10 years. I really wish that was an exaggeration. Sadly, it’s not. But, we move forward…
When I first started to find the passion, that zen, that place where you enjoy the movement of your body - it was about challenging myself. My first 5k. My first 10k. My first sub-30 minute 5k. My first half. And on and on and on. I still hit those marks.
“Running changes as you change.” Can I quote myself!? :)
I don’t have as much free time as I did last year. I’m working longer hours. This has impacted my running in a number of ways. I mostly run in the evenings. I mostly run 5k distances as I don’t often have the time or the motivation to go beyond that mark. I’m trying to change this but it’s been very difficult. And as frustrating as these changes have been, I run more for my health. Not so much about those personal challenges. Oh, they’re still there in the background and I’m not trying to say that I lack motivation or vision. I simply look at running from another angle. This year I’ve started to work on my upper-body. Maybe I should just look at it as a form of base-building for future competitions.
I have no doubt that this will change as I grow older. I’m still learning how to run. I still consider myself an amateur. This is a fluid sport. Your body changes, your mental health, the way you approach every aspect of the sport is constantly in motion.
Speed, distance, time, health? Which metric do you use? Do you race for a loved one? Do you race for a specific goal/charity? All of the above, none of the above.
Just enjoy the pavement.
And remember to kill it.