Here's one of my goals:
I signed up for a Marathon. It's really far away...268 days away to be exact. Running a marathon was something I said I would never do. It never seemed necessary, in fact it seemed kinda stupid. I didn't understand the motivation for me until now, and I think that motivation is different for everyone.
My husband has been out of town for the past FOREVER. I actually can't remember how long it's been. Maybe 10 weeks? I've lost count. He gets nervous when I tell people that he is gone...but I've got a big dog to protect me. I'm sharing this because having him gone has made it very tricky to accomplish some of my goals, especially when it comes to exercise. When he first left, I struggled with many things, but in relation to exercise and my running goals, I was at a loss of how I was going to get all my runs in with out him home to help watch the kids. I don't have a gym membership...too expensive, but I do have an elliptical in my house, and a wonderful double jogger to run with during the day when I only have 2 kids home. I sat down and wrote out a plan to success, since my training needed to begin right away for my first goal this year... a half marathon in March. Most of my training has taken place while he has been gone, so I thought I might share what has worked for me to help me achieve my goals, and what hasn't.
First, find a work out partner. If you know someone is counting on you to meet them for a work out, you will go... no matter what. I have a friend who goes by the name "Mercedes" who shows up at my house every night during the week for a work out session in my basement. (I called her to be sure it was ok with her if I shared her success on the blog. She's very humble about her accomplishments and I told her I wouldn't use her name). In the 4 weeks that we have been doing this she has lost 15 lbs. Isn't that just amazing!!!! She knows I am expecting her, and I know she's coming over, and it guarantees success, for both of us. Plus we get great benefits from having someone to talk to and cheer for. I also have another friend that I run with on the weekends. It makes 12 mile runs so much fun and do-able. Last weekend I had to run 11 alone...it was much harder. Get a workout partner, or 4!!!! The more the merrier.
Next, write out your workouts for the week. I do this every Sunday. For some reason, if it's written down, you'll do it. My kids are the same way, and if I make a visual schedule for them, they will do whatever is on it...even the toilet cleaning. By writing out my week, I know every workout has a purpose, and I can schedule rest days in too so I don't get burned out.
Sign up for a race or a team of some sort. If you like volley ball, or soccer, sign up for a team. My mom just started running a couple days a week. She's in her...oh, I almost told you how old she is. She'd disown me if I did that. She called me this morning for a little pep talk because she started to doubt herself. We talked about how she might benefit from having a race goal. In this conversation I discovered that she has always wanted to do a race, so we committed to meet for a 5k and run it together. She hung up the phone with a renewed desire and a new motivation.
I usually run in the mornings, so another thing I do is put my workout clothes on right when I wake up. It helps me remember what my focus is that morning, plus I am always eager to get a shower in and get ready for the day, so I quickly get my run in so I can move on.
These are things that work really well for me, and pretty soon working out becomes a habit. About every 4 weeks I take an easy week, where I scale back and take a break. I feel like this helps me get more out of my future work outs.
Now, let me tell you what my biggest downfall is...FEAR!.
Fear doesn't help us get any closer to our goals.
I have a lot of fear when it comes to working out. In fact sometimes when I am pushing through a workout, I just want to stop. I'm afraid of pushing too hard...of getting too tired. This is when I have to remind myself that I need to make every minute count, that time is valuable, and that I have goal that I can achieve. Sometimes I even yell out loud at my legs to get moving, or cheer for myself...it helps me focus on the task at hand instead of the fear creeping into my legs and mind. Having a workout partner really helps for conquering fear too...it's priceless to have a cheerleader. It's one reason I'm so grateful for this blog, we have the best cheerleaders whenever we need them.
Thanks for letting me get my thoughts out. There are times when I just plain don't want to work out... but often those work outs end up being my best. Keep up the good work ladies. You are all so amazing and an inspiration to me. Thanks for always being there for me to "talk" to. Now get out and workout!!!!!
Also, if anyone who lives close to me ever wants to join in for a work out, we meet every night at 8:00. Plus, you'll get to meet this mysterious "Mercedes" and have so much fun working out!!!