So I guess Motivation Monday is going to be a regular, weekly thing. And since I’ve had a week of good thinking time, I can’t
really blame the cheesy, alliterative title on Office Space-esque case of the Mondays. That’s OK — if we’re ever gonna survive marathon training, we’ll get a little cheesy.
So! Here’s what’s motivating me this week:
- My taper for the Marine Corps Marathon on Oct. 25. No joke! I’m actually motivated by my taper! I know I’ve only just begun it, but rather than feeling jumpy and antsy, like I usually do when mileage winds down, I feel rewarded. It officially started last week, but with workouts including a 16-mile long run and 5X 800s on the track with a 2.5 mile warm-up and cool-down, it was still a pretty tough week. This week, though, I really start getting into rest mode. I’m planning to get a massage (note to self: schedule massage!), and I’ve been upping my carb intake here and there, which has been pretty delightful. Yesterday was my total off-day, and today, I’m just going to put in 30 minutes or so on the stationary bike. Saturday’s long run was 13 miles, and this weekend, I only have to get in 10. Ten!
- Having a post-marathon goal. I think it’s helpful to know what comes next after a big race, to handle the inevitable post-runner’s-high letdown of the Big Day being done. I already knew I’d want to run the National Half Marathon again in March, and I’m excited about the Bay Bridge Swim in June. But now, I have something brand-new lined up: The Blue Ridge Half-Marathon April 24. It’s along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke, Va., and with wide views of the cool green-blue mountains, it looks to be the prettiest race I will have ever run. It also boasts a total elevation gain of nearly 1,400 feet and an elevation gain/loss of 2,779 feet. (Gulp).I see this as sort of a test-run for the Big Sur Marathon. I *say* I’m totally cool with how hard it is, but this will tell me whether I’m still cool with it during a 1,400-foot climb.
- Running parts of the Baltimore Marathon with the guys from Back on My Feet Baltimore. The story I’m writing about these guys for Urbanite magazine climaxed on Saturday, with the two homeless runners I’ve been hanging out with for months running (and finishing!) their half and full marathons, respectively. I’m saving details for a separate post, but their experiences exhilarated me and inspired me. Seeing thousands of other runners accomplish the goal I’m looking to achieve two weeks from now had a similar effect. While waiting to meet up with one of my guys for the last few miles of his marathon, I cheered for the other runners passing on the course. It was just before the 25 mile mark, and spectators had thinned. I yelled obvious stuff at first, telling runners they looked awesome, strong, etc. Then, I started getting kinda personal, telling them to dig deep, and to make their training count. Those simple cheers led to at least 10 runners picking up their speed, or running again when they’d been walking. Nice reminder for me: When things get tough, just remember to dig deep.
What’s motivating you this week? Let me know by posting a comment — all the interesting and thoughtful posts last week really pumped me up!
P.S. – This isn’t a motivator, per se, but I’m excited that my first-ever Running Times story, which ran in the magazine’s September issue, is now live on its Web site! It’s about how protein can help runners recover from hard workouts, and I got to talk to Kara Goucher and a bunch of fancy sports dietitians for it. One of those sports dietitians told me my own personal protein shake recipe sounded like “just about the perfect post-run recovery food.” Even more reason to enjoy its milkshakey deliciousness post-run!