Tonight was the fourth night out of the last five that I did a four mile run. After slacking off for most of the Winter, I seem to have found my runner’s legs in the Spring thaw. Yes, the warm, beautiful Maine weather does make running more enticing, but tonight, I used another weapon to inspire me to exercise…
When I got home from work tonight, I had a long phone call with The Girl Who Speeds Up My Heart. Hearing her voice always gets my heart racing, and she always inspires me to be a better person. As I’ve said many times previously, Modern Philosophers, running is all mental for me. If I can distract myself from what I’m actually doing, I can get my body to cover long distances at a decent clip. Tonight’s phone call got my heart racing, and gave my mind something to focus on out on the road.
Another great running tip, that I put to use tonight, is to tell someone whose opinion you value that you’re going for a run. Once you’ve gone public with your intentions, there’s no way you can back out as you’d look bad in the eyes of a person you don’t want to disappoint. If such a person isn’t readily available, post your plans on Facebook or Tweet them to your followers. It’s the same idea…once you’ve put it out there, you look like a failure if you don’t follow through on it.
I told The Girl Who Quickens My Pulse that I was going to run four miles as soon as I hung up with her. Once those words left my lips, I was locked in to complete that distance.
It also helps to write about your runs. When I go a few days without posting about my running (mis)adventures, I usually get an email from a follower asking if that means I’m getting lazy again. Believe me, such emails are definitely motivating. When you know you’re going to write about your run, you can’t half ass it because then you’d have to crank out an article about how lazy you are, and that’s going to make you look ridiculous. I often outline my article as I run, which distracts me from what I’m doing, which means I’m not thinking about how much I hate running.
An unexpected motivator on tonight’s run, and one I don’t recommend you use on a regular basis, was developing a cramp with about a quarter of a mile to go. I was amazed how the pain in my left calf got me to pick up the pace. Sure, I looked like Hopalong Cassidy as I limped along that finally portion of my route, but all I could think about was getting to my driveway so I could stretch out my leg and make the pain stop.
The pain is way worse now, so if anyone has any tips on how to get rid of a cramp, please feel free to share.
Of course, my main motivation for running is to improve my health, to help me lose weight, and to ensure that I’m going to be around a long time to write articles about my ongoing love/hate relationship with the activity. However, once I was done, the first thing I did was grab the laptop and shoot off an email to The Girl Who Inspires Me to inform her I’d not only completed my run, but had done it in my best time of the week.
Spring is the perfect time to develop a running addiction. There’s no better rush than the one I get when I reach the end of my run and check my time.
Don’t take my word for it. Get out there and let me know how it feels…