With two weeks to go until the big race, I’m starting to struggle. I’ve been training on and off for the past 18 months; I’ve been hurting all over for the past number of weeks, and I am so so tired. And I’m still not running fast enough to guarantee making my target time.
A bit of inspiration to remind me why I run was badly needed, so I came up with five good reasons to keep me motivated. And here they are, in no particular order..
Running for health and fitness gives me a justifiable excuse for leaving the house and the list, and getting out into the (reasonably) fresh air. Sometimes it’s very fresh, if I get the chance to go for a run in the park or along the sea front. It’s not a self indulgence, so I don’t need to feel guilty – but I still have to tell myself it’s okay.
It’s easier than dieting. No really, it is. With running you have to be mentally tough enough to resist stopping for about half an hour. And do that 4-5 times a week. With dieting you have to be mentally tough enough to resist eating all the time! Also I do lose weight when I exercise harder, which seems to go against expert opinion. I’m still eating cake, but I’ve lost about a stone (6 kilograms), and that makes me very happy.
Running gives my brain a break: I find it impossible to think about my worries when I’m running flat out, and it’s taking all my focus to keep my breathing steady and my legs moving.
It’s about adding something to your life, which has to be a bonus as I’ve found that getting older and becoming a responsible adult and parent seems to be mostly about giving up things.
I’ve always been competitive, and running gives me a chance to compete, against myself and others too. It’s good to feel you’ve achieved something, especially as there is very little sense of achievement or recognition when you’re a carer.
So there you have it, and if you’re a runner too, I’d love to know what keeps you going and why you enjoy it…