I love running. Love, love, love it. It makes such a difference in my life. Even my husband notices. If I come home grumpy or stressed about my job many nights he suggest that maybe I should go for a run. When I return I come home transformed. I leave the house a pit bull and come home Labrador, smiling and singing (yes I sing way more than I should). I think I've even noticed this as well with Lulubelle. If she's being overly aggressive with Rupert if you let her out in the yard to run around a couple times she comes back all smiling and tail wagging. This phenomenon of course is biological. I even know this. I tell depressed kids/teens this constantly. I beg, plead, cajole them to go outside to raise those serotonin levels. Sunlight + movement= Smiling faces. So, I clearly know this and preach this on a daily basis. But even I struggle with motivation. It's hot in the Alabama summer and I work LONG hours. I can only imagine all of you other Americans who are overworked and underpaid (Little J included) struggle probably more than I do since you don't get to play Candyland all day or talk about running. So, Here are some things that help me stay motivated. Maybe they will help you too. I don't always do all of these and all of them don't always work but they do help.
1. Some days I just straight up tell myself "You need to go workout."
2. When do art therapy in sessions draw pictures of rolling hills and stick figure girls running. I tell my clients it's what makes me feel happy.
3. I surround myself with running reminders. I have a sticker about running on my car. I have pictures of past races on my screen saver. I have my Disney metal hanging from my rear view mirror. These are little daily reminders to keep it fresh in my mind.
4. I have people that keep me accountable even if they are not quite a zealots like me. I call Little J and chat about it. I tell Mr. C about my intentions to run and I know from experience he will ask me about it and talk about it if I don't.
5. I block off time in my schedule on Mondays to do my long runs. I actually write it down on my Monday to do list and check it off when I'm done.
6. I facebook or blog it. I don't always facebook it but sometimes I do and I know they will keep me accountable.
7. I subscribe to the Runner's World daily kick in the butt. HERE. It's emailed every morning and really is very inspirational.
8. I read John Bingham's blog HERE. John Bingham is one of my favorite runner's. He champions people like you and me who run but will never be Olympians. He is funny and insightful and I admit I teared up over some of the stuff he says.
9. I look at my calendar and schedule out my races just enough to keep me moving year round. I can never slow down because I'm always training for something. Before I even run a race I pick out my next race to always keep me moving.
10. Recently I find causes I believe in and run for them. It really changes your perspective if you are doing it for something bigger than yourself. I've blogged a lot about my upcoming autism run and just today Ron (my father in law) has sent me another one I'm not likely to miss for Mercy Ministries.
So, you are probably not going to sit around and draw pictures of you running but if you are feeling low on motivation try to incorporate a couple of these things and see how they can help. =)