I didn’t want to go to the gym yesterday. I was stressed out and anxious, I had a million things on my plate, and I simply couldn’t get motivated. Make no mistake – working out is hard. Just because I’m doing it, doesn’t mean that I’m always enjoying it or that want to do it. There are mind monsters lurking in the dark and shadowy places that continue to tell me how much I hate it all, how much I suck. Maybe you can relate? I try to tell myself that this is perfectly normal, and what makes it or breaks my success is I fight back. So in case you battle your own mind monsters, read a little about how I fought back yesterday.
Fear and Doubt
The No Excuses Bag – Even though I wasn’t sure that I was going to go to the gym, I packed my gear bag and tossed it in the car when I left the house. Everything I might need to work out is in that bag – water bottles, endurance fuel, ear buds, hair ties, shampoo/conditioner, and a padlock.
Training Buddy Text – I sent a message to the friend that I stay accountable to when it comes to training. She’s doing the half marathon with me and also doesn’t always love working out. “I don’t want to work out today.” I said. “Just do 30 minutes.” she replied. That sounded like something I might be able to handle. “I’m supposed to do 60-90 minutes.” I told her. She asked if I was feeling OK with that time. She’s using a different training plan than I am and my shorter days are actually twice as long as hers are. There are plenty of times I envy her 30 minutes twice a week as I trudge away towards an hour. “Do what you can. If it’s 60, great. If it’s 30, great. Short is better than nothing.” I knew she was right so I drove to the gym and parked.
The Parking Pep Talk – I sat in the car, and sat, and sat. Did I really want to work out? No. Could I make not working out fit into my training plan? Not really. I have learned that need to hit all my training days and can’t take more than one day off or I lose the endurance I have gained. Should I run inside or outside? Hrmmm… It was a beautiful day, but. But ! I had to pee – an there it was.
Fight On and Win The Day
Once Inside – I slung my no excuses bag over my shoulder and headed into the Y to use the restroom. The staff at the front desk greeted me – I groaned back and mumbled about how not into this I was. Their cheerful retort was to cheer me on me for being at the Y anyway. “Aww hell” I thought, I was inside now headed to the restroom a mere 12 feet away from the cardio room. I might as well do this thing.
30 Minutes – I shoved my bag into a locker and grabbed some water and my head phones. begrudgingly I texted my training buddy that I was going for it and I would send them an accountability picture afterwards. I set the dreadmill to 30 minutes, pulled YouTube up on the screen and decided to watch RezRuns 2017 Star Wars – The Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend videos. The next thing I knew the treadmill was switching me into cool down and 30 minutes had gone by. I realized that I felt good, I felt strong, and I had at least 30 more minutes left in me.
Finishing Strong – In that first 30 minutes, that sucky 30 minutes, I had reached my warm up point. As I’ve mentioned before, I love it after I’m warmed up. I was at the point that I really wanted to make it worth my while, so not only did I keep going, but I went for the run/walk/run. I ran for 15-20 seconds, and then walked the rest of each minute. I was able to do about 6 sets and when I was experiencing too much shin pain I took a walk break for awhile, before finishing the last 10 minutes with more run/walk/run sets. For me – this was huge, and this is how I’m going to reach my goal. It was absolutely the most time I have spent incorporating running into my training plan and I felt good about it.
So there you have it! From struggling with every step to feeling great about how it turned out – I fought the mind monsters and won the day. There will be more battles, more struggles and doubt, but as long as I keep moving forward I am sure I will succeed.