When Struggle Runs Strike

 

When I ran past Josh the Nike photographer this past Saturday during my 4 mile “long run,” I told myself to smile big and make it look like I was enjoying myself.  The weather was mild, I was with a new, very friendly pacer, and everything should have been fine in that moment.  Except that it wasn’t.

When I woke up on Saturday morning I really wanted to stay in bed and skip my run.  Jay had already left since he was working the run that morning.  The bed was warm and I’d just had a really good, fast run on Thursday night, I told myself.  I deserved to sleep in. Ahhh…. snugly peace.  Nope.  I didn’t allow it.  Instead, I forced myself to get out of bed and to Nike.  Still bargaining internally once I was in the shower, I settled on a 4 mile run instead of an 8.  I felt tired and as if I just didn’t have 8 in me.  I convinced myself that I could make it through a 4 miler, which I did, but it was anything but easy.

Every step of that run hurt.  It felt like I was running a super sexy (slow for me) pace.  I fully expected my run app to pace me at 9:30’s.  Shockingly, it didn’t.  Instead it told me that my average pace was 8:13, which is speedy for me.  While I was pleased with my speed, I was not happy with the run.  The entire thing felt like a struggle.  My legs felt heavy, it was a effort to swing my arms, and I had to remind myself to have a “proud chest” roughly 18,000 times.  I was more than thankful when the 4 short miles were done.

The struggle bus pulls into my life every now and again, much to my chagrin. It shows up when I don’t get enough sleep.  It shows up (apologies for the upcoming overshare) at that time of the month.  It shows up when its hot out, and it shows up when I don’t expect it to.  During moments of irrational thinking, it makes me question why I run and it detracts from my motivation.

Thankfully, I know better than to simply rely on motivation to lace my shoes up and head outside once again.  I’m not always motivated, in fact some days I’m flat out unmotivated.  But what I always am is dedicated.  I am dedicated to the idea that I am a runner and for me, that supersedes motivation.  I run because it’s something that I do, because it makes me feel great, and because there are people in my run club who would worry if I wasn’t there.  (Accountability is a witch).

Dedication is what got me past my somewhat defeating run on Saturday, and it’s what got me out the door on Sunday to join my Beacon Hill Run Club.  It’s what keeps me going when nothing else wants to.

Here’s the handsome fellow who is part of the crew that holds me accountable and keeps my dedication at the level where it needs to be so that I can reach my running goals.  This was taken pre run on Saturday.

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When it comes to your fitness goals, do you differentiate between motivation and dedication?  Are they different or the same to you?  If they are the same to you, can you draw a line between them and use them as different tools in your training?  If it’s helpful to you, use it!  I’d love to know your thoughts!

Hill Help:  If dedication isn’t the jam to your peanut butter, think about what might be.  What, besides motivation helps get you to, and through your workouts?  When your motivation goes missing, what do/can you rely on?  Having a plan here is crucial to fitness success in my book!

 

 

 

 

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