Motivation to Run in the Winter

Posted on January 22, 2008. Filed under: Running, Take Care of Yourself |

Tuesday is about Taking Care of Yourself

Photo by Powi winter.jpg

I can now call myself a runner. I started by walking three years ago. Then I began to run for one minute at a time, then three minutes, and then five minutes. I kept going until I built up my stamina and clearly remember the first time I ran for 30 minutes without stopping. So now I am a runner.

Although I enjoy the benefits that come with running—like feeling less stress, it’s easier to lose weight, enjoying time alone–I do find that it is harder to run consistently in the winter. The cold outside, and the fact that it is still dark when I get up to run, both make me want to roll over and stay in bed when the alarm goes off.

Then after Christmas I got on the scale, and saw how much damage I had done with all of the eating and drinking over the holidays. I needed to recommit myself to my running. So I called a friend (who had also just gotten on the scale) and we agreed to run together and keep each other motivated. However, in our enthusiasm, one thing led to another and we talked ourselves into registering for the More Half Marathon in April.

A Half MARATHON? Thirteen miles? The longest I’ve ever run was six miles.

The following day, I jumped out of bed when they alarm went off and went out for a run without thinking about the cold. I have discovered that fear is a great motivator. I am afraid of not being able to finish the race, afraid of coming in last, afraid of embarrassing myself in front of the crowds, and afraid of the pain I may experience on race day. All of this fear motivates me to run and train for this race. When it is cold, when it is dark, when I am on the treadmill and feeling bored, I keep going. Not because I am committed, but because I am afraid. Afraid of performing horribly at this race.

After we signed up for the race, we went out for a long run on the first weekend and did six miles. Last weekend, I ran nine miles, and I am getting in early morning runs before I go to work during the week. I think I will be glad I did this. I am already glad that it has motivated me to stick with my running this winter. However, next winter I will be looking for motivation to keep me running that does not involve fear.



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2 Responses to “Motivation to Run in the Winter”

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[…] program. I mentioned before that I am training for a half marathon as a way to stay motivated to run through the winter. Most of my running has been indoors on a treadmill, and my longest run was 12 miles a couple of […]

Great post. I too am motivated to run by fear-fear of gaining too much weight, fear of my clothes fitting tightly and fear of failing my Army Physical Fitness Test, which we take twice a year. Here’s to winter running…. 🙂

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    Musings on how a disorganized woman with a full time job, three kids and a real need to relax is trying to make life simple.

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