Friday, March 6, 2015


About once a year I write a post asking who stole my motivation. To date nobody has fessed up to it. As I was thinking about my current lack of motivation I started thinking about running the way I used to think of it - as a fickle mistress who warrants my desire despite her capricious nature.

Ultimately being motivated to run comes from the desire to run. I am forced to examine what I get out of running that makes it worth it. On days when I'm exhausted and days when it's cold and windy, what makes it worth it? What makes it worth it to get up early on a weekend and drive an hour for a race? What makes it worth it to log hours of training each week? What makes it worth it to have achy muscles and crash on the couch in the middle of a Saturday afternoon after a particularly harrowing run? defines desire as "a longing or craving, as for something that brings satisfaction or enjoyment." Let's be honest - running doesn't always bring satisfaction or enjoyment. Sometimes (even often) it brings frustration or disappointment. But even on the worst days I always feel better going for a run than I did skipping it. Yesterday I was going to go for a run with my coworker, and my lingering cough made me skip it. I moped around the rest of the evening frustrated that I let a relatively warm, sunny day go by without running. I know it was the right call to give my lungs a rest, but logic isn't something that always applies to how something makes you feel. Desire is not necessarily logical.

Back to my earlier question: what makes it worth it? I don't always crave going for a run, but I crave that feeling of accomplishment that comes from pushing myself. I crave the adrenaline. I crave the triumph of shrugging off the doubts and making myself better. I may finish a run that felt sluggish or unsatisfying at the time, but I will always feel accomplished knowing I pushed myself.

This weekend I will do a long run, and I will run my second 5k of the year despite this nagging cough. This is the weekend my motivation returns even if I have to find it somewhere in the deep recesses of my psyche and wrestle it out. Beverly Sills said, "There are no shortcuts to any place worth going." Good advice. Now where did I put my running shoes?
Sometimes when you need motivation most, the universe responds unambiguously.

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