Changing Motivations: Finding What Makes You Lace Up Your Running Shoes

{Insert paragraph about how long it’s been since my last post, so much has happened since then, where has the time gone, blah, blah, blah, here.}

There’s a lot to be said about motivation, especially for endurance athletes. I mean, something’s gotta keep us moving forward as we pound away at the pavement step after step, mile after mile, year after year.  Motivation comes in many forms, and can vary tremendously – mine certainly does, practically every hour. No matter what motivates us, it’s that instrumental aspect of our being that propels us toward our goals and keeps us working hard even when the finish line isn’t in sight.

Sometimes, though, motivation becomes elusive and harder to grasp. It slips out from under us, leaving us feeling a bit lost and unsure of how to progress. Last year, an injury took a toll on the motivational factors that drove me to train hard and run fast. As my times increased and my races become fewer and farther apart, I started beating myself up over losing my desire to run. I felt I’d lost any motivation to run at all.

But, I was wrong. I never lost my love for running. My motivations simply changed. Instead of forcing myself out the door every morning to chase PRs and new distances, I found the desire to keep running from new friends who have become amazing friends that I can’t believe I’ve known such a short time. I discovered the contentment that comes from running without an iPod or a Garmin, to simply feel my feet connecting with the ground and feeling a sense of accomplishment simply from being active and outdoors. I learned that not every race will be a PR.

And while I wouldn’t change the last year of my relationship with running for anything, my motivation is shifting once again. I feel the urge to train hard and run faster once again. I want to cross a finish line with a smile, knowing I’ve pushed myself to achieve a new goal. I’m ready for the next challenge, and I think I’ve got all the pieces in place to enjoy the journey that’ll get me there.

While training for my first marathon, this blog helped me stay on track and served as one of the many motivational tools I pulled from during that time in my life. I enjoyed writing about my experiences with training, and – with some big goals on the horizon – I think it’s time to bring this thing back to life.

 

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