I did NOT want to run Sunday morning.

I finally got up out of my chair to feed the horses, and decided I might as well get moving. Honestly, I felt better as soon as laced up my sneakers–the decision was made. Not that I wanted to go out there. But I was going.

I decided to do just a couple of miles, and do them slowly, to “enjoy” them. Truth was, I had pushed with every run the past week and my legs were tired. By the second of the seven hills in my route, I decided that hills really suck!

But I made it through, and it even felt pretty good while I was doing it. And then I could go on with my day, feeling relaxed and happy that I had run.

What we have Here…

…is a lack of motivation!

I don’t feel like doing anything today, much less writing an intelligent, interesting post on why you should exercise–whatever your chosen exercise might be. So I am cheating!

I like this one because it can refer to any endeavor, physical or not 🙂

My cup runneth over


It’s always good to remember exactly why you decided you love an exercise. After my break–unintended although it was–from running, I gave some thought to why I enjoy it.  I was disconcerted to realize that while I could go as far, it was more difficult and slower. Thinking about why I was out there helped me get through those runs as I rebuilt my stamina.

These are the things I came up with (in no particular order):

exhilaration: the simple feel of my body working in harmony, the rhythmic landing of my feet on the road, the fresh air,  the clearing of my head as I run. These are things I can’t get anywhere else. And make me feel sooooo good afterwards.

the outdoors: you might have noticed from my other posts that I love Mother Nature. Well, I love the scenery; the tricks with the weather she plays I am not so fond of. I can spin many a moment out during my runs by looking at the clouds, or that perfect tree, or the many ponds I run by.  Fall is my favorite season, but all seasons have their charm: snowy landscapes with mysterious shapes, bright lime green of new leaves in the spring, bright flowers in the summer. I guess it is amazing I don’t trip more often!

weight loss: the reason I started running regularly was I discovered that running is the most effective way for me to lose weight. Years of aerobics and walking did not have the same results. I used to think my metabolism was slow, but at some point I realized that it must in fact be highly effective. I eat A LOT. And I have a hard time sticking to a diet, there always seems to be a good reason why I can break it and do better tomorrow.  Running helps me keep weight off even when I do bad.

satisfaction: oh, the power that comes when a difficult hill suddenly isn’t.  When you beat your best mile by 30 seconds. When your long run becomes your short run. When the race you trained and trained for was easy, and so much fun! All these things build to a satisfaction that is hard to beat.

pushing myself: my competitive side loves running. I try not to compare myself to others, because everyone is in a different place in our journey. Butwhen I see American Ninjas who train extensively to do such difficult feats, I feel the least I can do is a slightly better mile or one more rep. When my nephew runs 16 miles on a treadmill, I feel the least I can do is get out  and run–not 16 miles, but a good run 🙂 Those help with my motivation. I  am even more competitive with myself. I need to continue to improve. I am not satisfied with the same pace and races year after year, so I am always looking for something new to push myself with. It spills over into other parts of my life too, and I find I push myself harder in all the things I do.

i’m impatient: another reason I graduated to running from walking is that it takes so. dang. long. to get anywhere. As I am always in a hurry to get to the next place, whether I am working or driving, running seemed to be a natural fit!


Need motivation?

Watch this!      And what about this

  or   ?

The new season of American Ninja Warrior is here! I love this show. These people are fantastic athletes. They work their full-time jobs, and then train wherever they can. They make their own ANW courses out of whatever they have on hand.

Some have full courses built in their backyard. Some use trees and park benches, or whatever else they can find  to jump and flip over or climb. They are firefighters, graphic designers, farmers, construction workers, ex-military and even the CEO of Clif bars this year. Some are college age, and some are in their 50s or 60s.

The one thing they all have in common is dedication. For anyone who thinks this is a game show, it is not. The only ones who make it through are the ones with serious focus. The ones who go out early often train harder and come back the following year. No one has yet conquered the final course and won the title–or the million dollars.  Right now ANW is moving from city to city for qualifying rounds–the final course is always in Las Vegas.

My favorite contestant in the qualifying so far this year is an autistic 21-year-old. He saw this show when he was 13 and it became his dream to be on the show. His dream took him out of his solitude and into the world. He trained in gyms, interacting with his trainers and other gym mates. Anyone who knows about Autism knows that interacting with others is one of the hardest things sufferers can do. And he went on national tv in front of a chaotic live audience and did his best. He didn’t finish the course, but I bet we will see him again.

I have always liked climbing and obstacle courses. When I saw this show for the first time, I was amazed. The obstacles these athletes conquer! And the ease with which some of them do it. I don’t look at them and say “well, I can never do that!” I look at them and say “if they can do that, what can I do?” I push harder after watching an episode. Last week a man smacked his knee into a mat edge as he landed. He made it 2 more obstacles before the pain made him fall. Turns out he fractured his knee. The determination and bravery the athletes show make me realize what can be done if you only want it bad enough.

I may only want to run a minute faster per mile. Or run 10 miles. Or finish my Urban Raid. I don’t ever expect or even want to be on ANW. But these people, these athletes who use this show to enrich their lives, also enrich our lives. We can look at them and realize the potential we have. Whatever our goals are, to run faster, to walk a bit further, to get off that couch and MOVE; this show can inspire us to do it.

Get Inspired at ANW!

Weekly Rundown

What a week! Been busy busy busy. Until Saturday, when I made the mistake of lying on the couch around 8:30 am and didn’t get back up until 12 pm. Oops. I was very busy Sunday (and today), I think it was guilt. I have nothing against a good nap, but wasting a whole morning was awful. The dogs were no help, they just slept along with me.  More coffee from now on, I think.

Monday: Short run, 2 miles. I took the easy route, which I have been doing more  and more recently. I need to kick it into gear, or I will never be ready for the Urban Raid. The back going out truly derailed me and my motivation. I rode Christopher Robin in the afternoon. He is such a speedy little guy, he just moves right along; he wants to see everything. What fun to ride.

Tuesday: Blah, rainy. I had gotten new running shoes on Monday, so I pulled out the treadmill. Only 23 minutes, and I decided the shoes needed to go back. I have rather square feet and although the shoes felt good and supportive when I put them on, after a couple of miles my feet were “tingling.” So I shut down the treadmill and did some yoga stretches.

Wednesday: The sun returned! Speaking of returning, I traded in my sneakers and got the ones I probably should have started with Tuesday night. Couldn’t wait to hit the road! I did my flat drills, for two reasons. One, I thought it would be a good idea to be close to home in case these shoes didn’t work out either; and, two, as I said above, I need to be doing these things. The shoes worked out very well. And the drills, well, they weren’t as fun. But they did go fairly well. In the afternoon I rode Charby. My hubby has been working on my riding ring. It was a choppy, uneven piece of field. But it was the best I had. He took the plow out to break it up, then started grading. I think he got dizzy out there, going around and around with the tractor. But it came along nicely, and I started riding around the edges. So nice to have flat ground my klutzy mare can’t trip over!

Thursday: I took the day off–mostly. I took Christopher out back and we chugged around for half an hour. I think he was getting a bit bored. I am getting some jumps set up, and I have plans for that pony next week!

Friday: my weekly riding date with Mom 🙂 I thought it would be nice to run down the road to meet her. I told her to call me when she hit a certain town, which should give me a 35 minute run. I think she forgot, and called later. Or she needs to slow down! Because after she called, I got in barely 21 minutes before I met her on the road. On the up side, I was running the 80% uphill route and I did it in my fastest time ever. Which is pretty cool since I didn’t know I was going that fast. After bringing me home and waiting for me to change, we called the beasties in and rode. We had a nice long ride, 45 minutes. The equines were very well-behaved and we went out to the back, back field. Mr Chris has never been back there before and he was on a tear to get to the other end. It it just over a third of a mile, and there is an old logging road surrounded by saplings starting to take over again. Now, Charby likes a trail ride, but she likes to amble along and check everything out. I was doing circles to bring  Christopher back to Charby and Mom. When we get to the end of the logging road, there is rock wall as it is the end of the original field. We had, at one point, fenced that field in so the horses could be out there. Mr. Christopher didn’t believe me when I said that we couldn’t go any further, and he really didn’t want to go back. Silly boy.

Saturday: the day of my infamous nap. I tried to make up for it in the afternoon with class work and yoga. Still felt the guilt, however.

Sunday: the day of making up for my laziness. I went for my first 5+ mile run of the season. It was great, I was worried whether I could go that far (especially without pain), but I did well. Mile 3 was the hardest, but I perked up for the last 2. It wasn’t the greatest time, but we can work on that. After I made breakfast (I am not telling you what I had, there was icing involved) for me and hubby, I went out to plant more in the garden. Pumpkins, asparagus, potatoes, tomatillos: we are going to have a good garden this year. Then I climbed back on Charby, although we didn’t do much besides walk around the newly finished ring (Husband of the Year Award is going to my husband). I just wanted to ride, so I didn’t care what we did. Topped off the day with a movie (the Avengers) and some Orange Leaf with my girls from high school– I think we are going on 30 years of friendship 🙂 By the time I got home some coworkers of my husband’s had dropped by and we had a good time watching the fire, chatting and maybe drinking one or two hard ciders. In all, a wonderful day and a fabulous way to end a terrific week!

Saturday Tip & Trick

Tip # 11: Focus only on yourself. There will always be someone fitter, faster or more flexible than you. Don’t compare your self to them, Endress says. Forget about them. Do not let them deter you from your goal. Your workout time is for you, and about you.                                                                                                                                                       —webmd,  Gerald Endress, exercise physiologist

Saturday Tips & Tricks

Tip # 9: Get dressed! This one works along the lines of getting up and doing other things. If you are dressed for whatever exercise you feel less than motivated for; eventually you have to make the decision to exercise or take off the clothes. It is quite likely you will choose to exercise–you are dressed for it after all! If you combined this one with tip # 1 (get up and do other things to get the blood flowing), your chances of actually exercising double!