Monday, September 10, 2012

Mild Confessions From An Amature Runner

Growing up, I never really enjoyed running. A year or two ago I took up the Couch to 5K plan, which completely changed my perspective. I learned how to pace myself, how to breath better, and that I'm capable of far more than I ever imagined. 

A year ago I ran in my first 5K race and found it to be very anti-climatic. In fact, I would say it was one of my least enjoyable runs. I'm sure the heat and humidity had something to do with it but I have another theory. I have a tendency to compare myself to others. Mr. Honeyspoon is an avid runner and I've found that running with him makes me feel slow and therefore lowers my enjoyment. I believe the same thing happened when I ran the 5K. Even though I met my goal of jogging the whole time without walking, I had a hard time not comparing myself to others and overall felt slow. In comparison, some of my most enjoyable runs have been when I've been by myself and pushed myself to obtain a mini-goal.

My Motivation

Working in prosthetics, I see both ends of the spectrum when it comes to patients. I have patients who need a lower limb prosthesis because they didn't take care of themselves. They are obese, smoke like a chimney, and failed to see a doctor when they acquire an ulcer that just seems to get worse and worse. These patients motivate me to take care of myself. I truly believe one of the factors to a long, happy life is to stay active both physically and socially.

On the other end of the spectrum I have patients who lose a lower limb due to trauma who accomplish so much. It is hard work learning to use a prosthesis. Famous athletes who are amputees make it look easy but it's not. It requires more energy and it takes practice. Lots of practice and exercises to strengthen each of the muscle groups. And sometimes they fall. But then they get up and keep working at it. These people make me realize we are capable of far more than we ever realize. Mental hurdles are often our biggest obstacles. 

I really like that I have motivation from both ends. I have situations I would love to avoid and situations I'd love to have. I suppose this is just another example of finding balance.

For those of you who exercise regularly, what motivates you? What keeps you going?


  1. I love this! 2 years ago I tried the couch to 5k program and was also amazed at how my view on running changed. To keep myself motivated when running with those faster than me (in 5k situations) I pretend they're all gooroos out to get me - makes me run faster ;)

    Good luck with the running! My motivation has gone down dramatically with recent RL craziness, biggest motivation lately was seeing a flyer for a 10k that I should have been physically able to run but I've been a slacker - got me outta the house and back on the road!

  2. I hear you. I've started getting back into jogging. I'm not in as bad of shape as I was when I first started Couch to 5K but I don't think I'm exactly where I was when I stopped jogging either. I also find it more difficult to do push-ups and sit-ups. I used to be so much stronger! It all went downhill when I moved for grad school. Before moving I had a personal trainer I really liked. Sigh.