Motivation

Recently I alluded to my flittering attention span when it comes to hobbies. I’ll pick something up and be, like, totally into it for a while and then it fades to a second tier status. I’ve made inroads in the past few years to cut back on this tendency, attempting to set aside those things I know I’ll never get back to, disposing of the corpse, if you will.

There’s been a few things in the past year that I’ve made a strong commitment to and am attempting to keep up there on top level priority status. This blog is one, although it slips back occasionally. My Podcast is another, although it, too, slips back. The few things that occupy front and center priority are 1) my wife 2) my job 3) my fitness, pretty much in that order. As things are going, I’m doing fairly well on these three, but we’re about to hit a milestone and/or stumbling block for number 3.

For the past two months, since the triathlon, I’ve been training for the Tulsa half-marathon. I’ve been easing into the mileage to avoid injury, and yesterday I ran 12.1 miles (the farthest ever, go me!). Next weekend is the half-marathon, and then…nothing. The next major race I have planned is an olympic distance tri in late April or early May. Needless to say, it’s difficult to get out and run every other day during the winter time if your only real goal is to maintain fitness. The easy solution to this is to pick another race, and we’ve already done that, planning to run the Atlanta Track Club Resolution Run 10k on January 1, 2008. This doesn’t negate the trouble somedays of making yourself start that workout, especially during the winter when the weather is crappy, or you just don’t want to swim that 1000 meters today. I’m lucky, compared to some of my more northern friends, that Atlanta winter weather is never enough to keep you inside for more than a day or two. As long as it’s not raining, running year round is easy here. But it’s not as easy to get outside on a day when the temperature is 35 F, and the sun went down an hour ago, as it is during the spring and fall when you can’t help by have nice weather.

One bright spot is that now the Half Marathon is almost done, I’m no longer concentrating so hard on run, run, run. I have a more diverse set of potential workouts to draw from so on any particular day, if I just hate the idea of running, I can say, “screw it,” and go swim or do an aerobics class or lift weights (or totally blow it off and blog). I need to maintain a level of running fitness that will allow me to run a 10k, possibly another half-marathon, without much training, but I also get to focus now on increasing speed rather than endurance. I admit that my probable time in this coming half-marathon is likely to be glacial, but my goal was always to finish injury free, not finish in any particular time.

Despite a few slips in the past 9 months, I’ve done a good job either maintaining or building my level of personal fitness. This is personally satisfying because of the obvious dedication needed to do it, plus the narcissistic pleasure in seeing my body in much better shape. I haven’t looked this built since high school, and I was a lot smaller then. In itself, this is a good motivating factor to maintain my dedication.

Hopefully with the continued goad of training goals focusing on races, plus the pleasure of just doing it, the motivation necessary to maintain this lifestyle will continue to imbue me. I guess I have only myself to look to for the encouragement I need, although Jenn is a good secondary goad, just to ensure she doesn’t beat me in the half marathon!

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