Well, after all the preparation for yesterday's brick, today's long run seemed like a pretty half-a$$ed affair. Yesterday afternoon was spent in the sun and the pool, we had pizza for dinner and I think I had maybe one glass of water all day - yikes! But I was up and at 'em nice and early this morning in an attempt to beat the heat. (No such luck, by the way, but I tried.)
I took my sons - Big Boy, who is 11, and Little Boy, who will be 10 next month - out with me this morning on the first 2 miles of my planned 8-mile jaunt. Big Boy used to be a frequent running partner (his 5K PR is four seconds faster than mine), but about three months ago he began having migraines, which has dramatically changed his running schedule. Little Boy would rather sprint than run for any distance, so he was on his bike.
We are lucky enough to live very close to a beautiful, paved nature trail near a creek which is almost exactly one mile long. The nearly 2-mile round trip is a really perfect distance for Big Boy's long run. I turned Little Boy loose to ride as fast as he could up and down the trail while Big Boy and I ran. We saw egrets, ducks, geese, and numerous other birds whose names I don't know. It was a really lovely run. Little Boy ended up riding the trail twice for a total of four miles.
As we were heading back to the house, Little Boy piped up, "Mom, you know how I kept riding really fast the whole time? I imagined there was somebody on a bike right in front of me and I wanted to pass him really bad!" Oh, how my heart swelled with pride at those words - that's my kid! Then Big Boy announced that he spent most of the run thinking about what he was going to eat for breakfast! Okay, whatever works.
On the 6 miles I ran by myself, motivation was pretty hard to come by. Between yesterday's brick and this morning's heat (don't ask, it wasn't really that hot, maybe 70 degrees), I wasn't in any shape to run fast, so I kept assuring myself that today's run was about endurance, not speed. My mind wandered through many, many topics and strangely kept returning to the image of the Newton Running Shoes stick figure. Ha, ha! I guess my mind was trying to make sure I kept my form even though I was tired! After the 3-mile turnaround mark, I settled into my main motivational image: finishing strong at my next race. Happy thoughts of running hard and fast through the finishing chute carried me back home. I would venture to say that the desire to race well is what keeps me running on most days.
What motivates you?? Do you reward yourself at the end of a good workout (like my son and his much-loved breakfast)?