Tuesday, January 1, 2013

How To make It Happen

Time. Where do you find the time? It is too cold out. It is snowing. I slept in. I have family/work obligations. We can find so many reasons why not to run. We can convince ourselves something else is more important. In the end it is really all about finding balance in your life and having a plan to find time for your running. Not only do you need long term goals you need everyday goals to keep from missing your training. My plan will be different from someone else. What works for me or your friend will be different. It is important to customize your own schedule.
I have found that running in the morning works best for me. I have three children and there is something about waking up before everyone and going out the door for a run. When I walk in the door the kids have usually just woken up and the day begins. I do not have that run in the back of my mind all day that I need to get in. It is a really good feeling. The down side to the early morning run is having to wake up at 4:40 a.m. so I will be at the meeting spot at 5:30 a.m. for the run. It takes a few mornings waking up and going to bed at 9:30 p.m. to get your body use to it. So how do you motivate yourself to go outside and run? You run with a friend or group. That is the key. I do not hit the snooze button because I know I have to meet people on the run. I know I will feel worse if I decide to skip it. I have run in the evenings but usually only in the summer. It gets dark out too soon in the winter and too many activities with my kids after school.  
The next thing I find helpful is to have everything ready to go in a certain spot. I set out my running outfit, Garmin, and shoes the night before I run. I also get the coffee and any food ready. It is very hard for me to eat that early so I usually do Cliff Blocks and drink a little coffee to get me going. All of this makes it very easy when you are tired and do not want to wake up the whole house.
I felt this was a good topic to start with since I am writing this blog post as I am trying to think of a reason why not to run this 5K on New Year’s Day. I really want to run it but now I am thinking about all of the excuses I just told you about. It might be windy, hot and a slow course. Maybe I will want to stay out late and party on New Year’s. My legs are feeling a little tired from running and doing all the activities with the family while on vacation. You are not alone when thinking of excuses not to do things. I still do it. I hope that when this posts to my blog that I am running this 5K. I need to remember that every race is not about the finish time. 


  1. Very good, Tammy. Running with friends is always good because it keeps each member of the group accountable to each other member. However it's good to remember that running alone has benefits as well such as building mental strength and focus. Keep up the good work and enjoy your "vacation race" experience.

  2. I agree - running with friends is a great way to stay accountable. Who wants to be the one who doesn't show up??

  3. Accountability to others can also apply to your racing. I have never dropped out a race that I was officially registered for. In September of 2011 I tripped, fell and cut myself up pretty badly 10 miles into a marathon where I was trying to pace a friend to a PR. I got back up and into the race, but by 24 miles both my calves cramped up so badly I couldn’t run any more. I ended up being taken to the ER in an ambulance and could not walk for the rest of the day. I was angry with myself for not finishing with my friend, thinking I could have helped her take more time off her PR in those last miles.
    My anger stayed with me so that when I ran Chicago three weeks later I felt had something to prove to myself. On a hot morning (64 at the start, 79 when I finished) I ran my second fastest marathon ever at age 52 -2:50:04. The next May I was pacing a 3:30 group in even hotter weather – stating in the low 70s and ending the low 90s. After the first of two loops no one was left to pace, but I felt I owed it to the race director to go on and finish the race. I felt I was accountable and could not complete what I said I would do.
    “And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within.” Accountability starts with others, but in the end it lies with each of us.

  4. yes! my 5:30 am runs are the only way I can get my runs in during the week. I also see it as my "me time" It is harder to do it now that it is colder and dark out