It's the start of a new week, and for me the start of my challenging 12-week training regimen leading up to my first half marathon. This is it, no turning back. I'm set and ready to go.
Now, before I get to the motivation part, I have to fill you in on Day One of the training: today I have off. Mondays just happen to be a rest day, along with Friday, so today is a bit misleading. However, I'm taking it seriously today and am already in a training mood.
Even though the training will come fast at me, I think that I'm ready for it. I know I'm ready for it. I've been running not even a year now but I feel excited at the opportunity to really stretch my legs and get out there and run. I've been trying to get more organized in my life in general, from cleaning out my garage to organizing my kitchen to planning meals... pretty much all aspects. Running is right up there with it.
When you start something new, and this training thing really is new to me because I've not been so organized in this way before, it's easy to harp on the negatives. It's easy to see the challenges that lie ahead and feel as if you've bitten off more than you can chew. To me, running 10 miles seems like a challenge, let alone running 13. And if I think about 26.2... forget it. I'll never run more than three miles in my life again.
But I'm focusing on the positives. I can run several miles at a time. Running five miles does not seem mentally challenging to me like it used to. Running seven miles doesn't seem like something I can't do. Even the double-digit barrier is one I'm looking forward to tackling.
It's easy to get down on yourself and doubt yourself. I remember having those sorts of feelings when I first thought about signing up for a trainer. I remember the conversation precisely, as my wife called me and suggested it to me back in early 2006. I was scared and I knew it was a recipe for disaster. I just knew that it was going to be a waste of time and money and that we'd end up right back where we started, eating fast food five times a week.
But I didn't know that I had it in me all along, that I just had to tap into that part of me that is motivated, that wants to succeed, that thrives when facing challenges.
I may be a bit of an optimist but I know we all have that part in us. I know we all have that drive and that motivation somewhere. Maybe we're not all motivated to run 13.1 miles but motivation exists for all sorts of different things.
You have to be true to yourself and commit to yourself, be accountable to yourself because you ultimately reward yourself by succeeding.
You just have to want it.