|My daughter, Abby, smiling for the camera at her latest half marathon.|
2. Run with a friend(s). It's hard to get up in the morning and run alone. Believe me. I can see why people who don't have a running partner call it a "chore." But if you've got a friend who will meet you at the corner, in the dark at 5am, then all excuses for staying in bed just got a little harder to make. A running buddy with a story to tell is solid gold on a long marathon training day. And someone who can push you just a little bit harder on a track workout is the best kind of friend. I've got a great group of ladies who are die hard runners. We usually sent out a mass text about with details of our start time and distance the night before we meet up. If they're going to be there -- without a doubt I will be there too.
3. Run with music. Sometimes those same friends drift in front or in back of me when I'm running. Paces vary, after all. And it's at times like these I push PLAY on my ipod and start listening to my favorite running playlist. I've chosen songs on that list that are upbeat, energetic, and get me smiling! When I turn my Ipod up I stop listening to how hard I am breathing and start enjoying the music. Turning my thoughts away from being tired or heavy footed, usually brings me to a better cadence and I forget all together that I'm exhausted. I save this time with my music for those times I have to be alone, though. Nothing worse for me than people who shut others out with their music when they're supposedly on a group run.
4. Buy a new running outfit or shoes. Retail therapy. It's a real thing. Often all it takes for me to get re-excited about running is a trip to Lululemon. I know, I know, it's a very superficial statement. I'm just shallow enough to know that a new running tank top or pair of shorts will get me out the door a little happier and a little more excited to get outside. I also use Tide Sport for all my athletic clothing. It got a great scent that smells a little different than my other loads of laundry. I love it. And some days that's all I got.
5. Get a race on the schedule. Running without training for something specific is a bit of a cluster for me. I need a goal. I crave a schedule. I love a training plan. Without that - why/how far/how long/ ugh -- there's just too many questions for me as to why I am waking up in the 4's to go run instead of staying in my comfy bed. I need an event to keep me motivated. I need a reason. It's the best way I know to stay consistent with training. "To stay in shape" just doesn't cut it for me. A runner, with a goal, and some friends with that same goal is the key to becoming and staying a lifelong runner.