Let’s talk about motivation today…


(more awesomely funny stuff like that image from here)

For an early runner like me, getting that first step out of bed can be a challenge.  In order to insure a successful early AM run a couple of things need to happen:  1)  I get to bed at the right time the night before.  For me, that’s by 10:30 for a 5:30 wakeup.  2) Set my running clothes out for easy dressing.  They are sitting on my bathroom counter, in the order I put them on.  Socks (the tile floor is cold!), shorts, bra, shoes.  Right next to that is my watch (for steps and HR!), hair ties, towel and my charged phone.  If those items aren’ t ready for me, I can pretty much call it a day right there because I’m wasting valuable time trying to figure out where everything is when I’m only half awake.

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Phone, hair ties, towel and watch are close by!

But what about on the weekend when I run outside, not tied to a strict wakeup time or time schedule?  I will not lie, I need some serious motivation for me to get outside and enjoy that *cold fresh air!  Call me crazy, but in the winter I get very used to just hanging out in my climate controlled, cozy basement on the treadmill, with everything I could ask for within arm’s reach!  Unlimited entertainment?  Check.  Water bottle?  Check.  GU?  Body Glide?  Bathroom?? Check, check, and check!

The treadmill basket of goodies!


Most of us run for the health benefits – physically and mentally.  We plan our day, tackle a problem, or just zone out and forget our problems.  But what other things motivate you?  Right now a lot of us are on a training plan and reaching a goal is a huge motivator to get out there.  But what about those little things that get you out there?

For me it’s a random collection of things.

1)   Iced coffee!  As silly as it may sound, I reserve (mostly) my coffee drinking for a post run treat.  If I’m going for a long run I will make sure there is a Starbucks or McDonalds on the way home so I can indulge in a treat afterwards.  I know there’s a ton of calories in some of my selections, but that doesn’t make me feel guilty!

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2)  New running shoes and clothes!!  My poor husband.  He tells me he’s “all set” with just two quarter zips and several running shorts & tights.  Guys just do not have the awesome array of choices the women have in this department.  In my basement it’s mismatched clothes, but the lure of wearing something new and pretty will get me outside every time.

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3) New songs or podcasts.  I do look forward to spending time listening to podcasts when I run.  It’s like cracking open a new book (except I don’t read books, so I can only imagine that it’s the same feeling!!!  haha).  Nothing better than a new tune to put a pep in your step too!

4) A new trail or running path.  Seeing new sights and new areas is a great way to keep the motivation up.  One bad point – thinking a new route is longer than it really is… and you end up running back and forth past your car trying to get the right amount of miles done!!  Ugh.

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5)  Friends!!  Arranging a running date with a friend or two is a great way to stay in touch.  You learn so much about people when you run with them.  Hours of flowing conversations!

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Ok, that wasn’t really a picture of my “friend” meeting me for a run, but Alan is my “BEST friend”, so that counts 🙂  And he got me to the track one early morning, for the win!!

Q: How about you?   What gets you out the door on a run?


14 thoughts on “Thursday thoughts… What motivates you?”
  1. Knowing that someone is sitting in the parking lot of the forest preserve or arboretum or wherever we are meeting just waiting on me to show up is what gets me out the door. A few winters ago on a particularly cold snowy morning, I drug myself out of bed and, against all my better instincts, went to meet a friend for a run. The whole way there I kept hoping I would receive a text saying he wasn’t going to make it. I pulled into the parking lot and he was there waiting. When I got out of the car, he said, “I was hoping you weren’t going to make it!” We both laughed, turned on our watches, and took off on what turned out to be a great run.

  2. All the things you listed are definitely what keep me motivated…. however, I must admit, I usually have to have a race scheduled to train for to keep me really motivated. Well, that is motivated to do speed work stuff….. otherwise, I don;t need much motivation for easy steady runs….. I need running in my life to keep me sane!!! LOL!

    I am with you about the treadmill….. I tend to love/hate it….. but love it more to keep from running in the heat here in the south….. plus, so convenient with holding water bottle, iPad, gu, and I get to keep a cool wet wash cloth in order to wipe my forehead when I get hot…… I seriously think I could;t live without my treadmill!! Especially since I have to run my weekday runs at 3:45-4:00am….. no way would I run outside at that hour by myself!!!

    1. I do get spoiled by the convenience of our treadmill! I might not even be a winter runner if I didn’t have it!! Long run tomorrow… predicted “feels like” temp of 7. Trying to keep my motivation mojo going!!!! must. go. outside.

  3. I am sharing your treadmill love this winter!! We were given one by our friends (so nice of them!!) and it has been wonderful to have!! I have become addicted to a TV show and only let myself watch it while I run on the treadmill. That is great motivation!!

  4. I’ll be honest, it’s hard for me to stay motivated without a big race (usually a marathon) to train for. I always wished I could be one of those people who gets out the door every day because they simply love to run, but I am who I am and I just have to accept it. It seems there are two types of runners: those who like to run, and those who like to train. I mean, we all LIKE to run. But some people really just don’t want the structure and pressure of training, while others among us thrive on it. Eventually I realized there’s nothing wrong with needed a goal to train for to stay motivated, because it still beats the heck out of sitting on the couch!
    Hanna @ minimal marathoner recently posted…Month in Review: JanuaryMy Profile

    1. I fall in the “thrives on a schedule” group for sure. I like someone else telling me what to do, because a lot of times it really challenges me, which I wouldn’t do on my own!

  5. Beer motivates me to run! And well the group of friends I run with are one of the few ways I can get up as early as 4:40am someday. Nothing beats a 5:30am track workout in the the dark with good friends!

      1. I think they do that to discourage us! Luckily we are able to just move everyone away from the first few lanes.

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