Finding the Motivation: Running Truths

Truth: There are some days where I wake up not wanting to run.  I doubt if there is anyone who really truly wakes up every morning with the burning desire to run. I’d say 90% of the time, I’m pretty quick to pop up when the alarm goes off…there is virtually no hesitation on those mornings. But the other 10% of the time is a fight to get me out the door.  I want to go back to sleep or just sit on the floor with the boys while I drink my coffee in my comfy pjs rather than brave the dropping temps outside {did winter not get the memo that it’s only October?}.

But, I’m getting better with dealing with the 10% mornings. Below are some ways I try to fight/deal with them.

Truth: It’s okay to not want to run every. single. day. I used to berate myself every time I didn’t want to run. Convinced myself I wasn’t serious about training or that I wasn’t a real runner. I would end up not running and feeling like crap the rest of the day. Truth: I am training hard and I have the desire to improve. I’m becoming more accepting of these days and not hating myself when they happen. It makes them easier to tackle. Instead of focusing on why I don’t want to run, I focus my attention on how I can convince myself to get out the door.

Ready to start the day way too early

Ready to start the day way too early

Truth: Having some external motivation helps.  So sometimes I bribe myself. It could be the promise of ice cream or a Starbucks frappaccino (this is definitely my weakness):

Little taste of heaven in a cup

Little taste of heaven in a cup

Truth: Sometimes internal motivation does the trick. I don’t think there’s anything worse than showing up to the start line with regret. Regret that you could’ve trained harder. Should’ve done that workout. Shouldn’t have skipped that long run. Trust me. I’ve been in that position before. Maybe the regret doesn’t hit you at the start line. Maybe it slowly makes its way into your head at mile 20 when you have to slow down. Or walk. Or quit. I don’t ever want to go through that again. I want to race with no regret. I want to know that I did everything in my power to show up to the start line ready to give it my all. You can’t always control how your run or race will go. It might not be your day for a whole host of reasons. But you can always control whether you decide to run.

No regret the morning of IMLPL

No regret the morning of IMLPL

Truth: Once I am out running, life is good.  Regardless of how I am feeling before the run, I know that 99% of the time, I will be happy that I ran by mile 2. There’s been very few runs I have regretted going on but a whole lot of runs I wish I had gone on.

Always smiling after the run!

Always smiling after the run!

Truth. Sometimes knowing “everyone” will know I slept in motivates me to get out the door. It’s one of the love/hate relationships with social media. I’ve kind of put myself out there with sharing all of my workouts. I try to be pretty transparent in regards to how I am training for each race.  And while I love it and certainly love the communication that I have with friends on IG and Twitter, there is always that nagging thought that everyone will know I skipped a run. Silly, I know. But it’s sometimes the extra push I need.

Truth: Although I’m pretty disciplined, I have learned that I like the accountability of a coach. There’s something about knowing that I have to “report” to her on a weekly basis. I don’t want to have to tell her that I missed a workout because of lack of motivation to reach my goal.

Truth: Despite all I’ve said, I have become okay with occasionally giving in and skipping a run if I really need or want to. At the end of the day, one run is not going to make or break my performance in Philly and sometimes the extra rest is what my body needs. I know it can become a slippery slope so I try to limit skipping workouts unless I really feel off.

How do you deal with those days when you need the extra push out the door?

Best of luck to everyone racing this weekend! Are you racing? 


I don’t post here every day, but I post all of my workouts (and other happenings) on Instagram on a daily basis {NYCRunningMama}.

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    24 thoughts on “Finding the Motivation: Running Truths

    1. Pingback: Random thought Tuesday | Our Latte Love

    2. Great post!! I think most will struggle with getting out the door some mornings, but its the dedication and the not beating yourself up over a missed run that gets you back out there. When I first started running, I would berate myself over a missed run, and it would mess with my mental game. But now, I’m just like… extra rest day!! :)
      Rachel @ Running Backwards in High Heels recently posted..My Style MondayMy Profile

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    4. “There’s been very few runs I have regretted going on but a whole lot of runs I wish I had gone on.”

      True story! I always tell myself the toughest part is simply getting into my running clothes and getting out there. That, and after my shower I feel like a million bucks for the entire day. That post-workout feeling is usually all the motivation I need- it’s that good!
      Sam recently posted..My First Half Marathon!My Profile

    5. You know I was thinking about this just today. I just may steal your idea for my blog :) Some days I just want to say screw the run I will have another glass (or bottle) of wine.

      Thanks for reminding me that I am not the only one who looses motivation every now and then.

    6. Especially true when you have long cycles, like for IM or the marathon. Everyone has bad days. Hell, after years of early morning running….it is SUCH a treat to just sit around in PJ’s and have coffee, like you said. That is my DREAM morning! But its good enough most days to enjoy some coffee after I have sweated my booty off.
      Crystal@TheFastFitRunner recently posted..The Houston Half Marathon – A Pace PlanMy Profile

    7. Yes to all of these! It kills me when I don’t run and I should have. Especially because I never regret a run. Even when it’s ridiculous hot/humid.

      The hardest running for me to do is on the treadmill and I find social media helps with it SO MUCH. I tweet and then I feel accountable. Silly? Maybe. But I don’t like not following through on something!
      Michelle recently posted..E and Me {5 Months Postpartum}My Profile

    8. Oh man, I think I’ve used all of these. But what you said about getting to the start line with no regrets is what really resonates with me. There’s an internet meme that says “‘I regret that workout’ – said no one ever” and I think it’s very true. Even if it takes a few miles or minutes to get there, I have NEVER regretted doing a run or workout!
      Heather @ Heather Getting Fit! recently posted..Friday Faves!My Profile

    9. All great points! I love the accountability of having a coach. Its the time of year where it is getting harder and harder to get out of bed in pitch dark and really cold temps (in NY).
      Tara Newman recently posted..Five Fall RecipesMy Profile

    10. Yup! Great post. Sometimes once I get out the door I am fine and actually sometimes those are my best runs!!! Sometimes I give myself a break and let myself do an easier workout than I had planned and that is enough motivation to at least get me going and sometimes we just need a break :)!
      Jen@milesandblessings recently posted..If at first you don’t succeed…..My Profile

    11. My races are my #1 motivation. I’m really OCD when it comes to training and I’m really good at making myself feeling very guilty for skipping workouts. So, when I don’t feel like running, I just suck it up and go, because I know too well the way I feel about myself and my training the rare times I decide to skip a run…
      MartinaNYC@runtomakeadifference recently posted..The truth about taperingMy Profile

    12. These are all great tips and I follow most of them as well. The key for me is making sure I get enough sleep and am eating properly, those two things play a huge part in my motivation.

      I agree with Amanda, for those days I really don’t want to get up, I tell myself just to do 20 minutes or 3 miles. Usually once I’m out the door, I finish the workout and am glad I did!
      Jenna (@urbanfitopia) recently posted..Body Weight Workout – Full Body
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    13. I use similar motivational thoughts to get me out of bed on those days that I just don’t want to. I always tell myself how happy I’ll be that I went, and how disappointed I’ll be if I don’t. If that doesn’t work, it usually means I’m due for a rest day!
      Annie recently posted..Thankful ThursdayMy Profile

    14. Great tips. I don’t usually have a hard time getting out the door, especially when I’m focused on training, but there are certainly days when it’s not as easy. I always tell myself I’ll go out and do x miles, with permission to cut it short if needed. Like you said, once I’m out there, I’m happy I am and usually don’t end up cutting it short anyhow.
      misszippy1 recently posted..Friday fiveMy Profile

    15. I’m with you…getting myself to start is the hardest thing. my alarm often goes off in the ungodly 4 o’clock hour frame to workout, shower, and commute to work by 0730. But I’m always so glad I hit the gym, trail or treadmill beforehand :)

      Why is winter here already? Was not prepared for 20-something degrees in the morning yet.
      Karla @ Finding My Fit recently posted..The WeekenderMy Profile

    16. So true, sometimes we just don’t feel like it. Internal motivation is a big one for me, I’ve been running long enough to know that I feel terrible if I don’t move. Sometimes, I allow myself to skip a workout and I realize that one, it’s not worth it, and two that it’s ok to allow yourself an easy week, especially if you’re not training for a big race.
      Lisa @ RunWiki recently posted..Being Resilient…We slip up and then we stand upMy Profile