Staying motivated

How do you stay motivated to run for so many years? That is a question I am often asked. My first answer would be, it makes me feel better. It empowers me, gives me strength to deal with what life has to offer. It is my passion and it is who I am. I am a runner. Take that away from me, and I would lose a piece of myself.

My second answer would be; it is not as easy as it looks. Yes, there are days I wander the house, dressed in my running clothes, trying to get myself motivated to go out the door. That is especially true on those freezing cold winter days. But once I put one foot in front of the other, that familiar feeling of freedom and joy returns. Some days I trudge through a run, but I am always happier when I get home and proud of myself for doing it. Other days, I feel as though I am floating through my runs on the days when all that training seem to pay off. Both the good days and the bad days have their own rewards. The motivation to run for so many years? Happiness.

Back in The Saddle

Getting back into Racing after a hiatus is not as easy when you are in your mid 50’s! Due to a tough 2 year period with a lot of family heartache, my racing was put on a back burner. But now I am back and trying to recreate the old me, or the younger me for that matter. Speed work is a must, but it is a real love / hate relationship. After all at 54 years old, do I really have to be putting myself through this pain? I dread the days of speed work, but I am always proud of myself for getting through the workout when it’s over.

I no longer run on the track, as I feel the turns put unwanted extra stress on my knees. Instead I run my speed work on the roads, doing a varied fartlek workout. For those of you who are unfamiliar with runners talk, a fartlek run is one that includes a warm up (for me of about 25 minutes) and then I do 12 times about 1.5 to 2 minutes at 5k( or faster) race pace with about a 2 minute easy jog in between. My cool down is continuing on my route back home which is usually about another 25 to 30 minutes. So all in all about 1 hour and 40 minutes of running. The time intervals can change and variation is good so your body is always tested in new ways. It’s a tough workout but oh so good when I get home to a nice cold Gatorade.