Motivation which pushes you past your perceived limits

I have to preface this entry with a disclaimer – I’m a huge procrastinator! Why do it now when I can do it next week?

I hope the title of the entry isn’t too misleading. 

Last night, Monday, I decided to go out for my first-ish bike ride. And as previously mentioned why go right after work when I can go waaaay later at night, smh!

Around 8:30pm I load the bike on the car rack; drive to one end of Revere Beach; park my car; unload the bike and got going on my Monday night ride. 

I ended up riding for 16.2 miles in 1 hour and 15 minutes. Not bad for my first ride. I’m getting used to gears and the breaks. 

As I’m making my way back to the car, a couple miles away in the distance I see flashing lights, I was able to make out police and tow trucks. I realized that there are different parking rules for the end of the beach where I parked this time. I typically park on the OTHER end of the beach when I run. And of course I didn’t bother to read the signs!

Those last couple of miles I was pedaling so hard I don’t know where the energy was coming from. I was very tired but I had the proper motivation to go beyond what I thought I could do. In this case the motivation was very self serving. I didn’t want to spend several hundreds of dollars to get my car out of the tow yard or pay any other police fines. I simply wanted to avoid  all the hassle of this process. 

What I’m trying to get to is that motivation comes in all shapes and sizes. For me, at the end of my ride my motivation was avoiding getting towed. Earlier in the ride I had a different motivations. I imagined myself fitting in 34″ waist pants. I imagined myself cycling for 100 miles in a day and completing one of those weekend cycling challenges. I imagined myself holding my grand children and playing with them. I saw myself happy and healthy. 

I feel motivation doesn’t have to be something grandiose. It just needs to be enough to get you through today and just enough to try again next time. I’m a terrible golfer, but I enjoy the game. When I’m out in the course I just need to hit one great drive. That is enough motivation me to bring me back. 

My first ride was pretty interesting. Lots of learnings, such as … 1) I need to get a front and rear light, especially if I’m riding at night. 2) I shouldn’t ride on sidewalks, I went over bike to avoid a pedestrian who jump in front of me. I landed as gracefully as a walrus. Thankfully I didn’t get hurt and the bike didn’t get damaged (I think).

I didn’t mean to create a cliff hanger. I did get to my car just as the tow truck was  backing up to lift it. I rode up to the state trooper, out of breath, told the that it was my car. He stopped the tow from continuing and now I have this great story to tell!

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Rest

The week  of May 9th I was active four days in a row, Monday through Thursday. On Thursdays we run our pseudo 5K, it’s actually 2.5 miles around a nice peninsula in Winthrop Massachusetts.

After Thursday’s run I was hurting more than usual. My body was telling I was overdoing it. One of my main concerns is that I’ll overdo it and get hurt or I’ll burn out. Then, I’ll have to start over again and I know how difficult this is… Aaaah!

I’m very proud of my progress and the changes I’ve made. I don’t want to stop or slow down my momentum.

On Thursday’s run I feel that I would have benefited from resting the day before. Next week’s goal will be to shave off at least a minute from my total time, currently over 36 minutes.

I rested for two days, Friday and Saturday. On Sunday I went for a 2.5 mile run close to my house and I didn’t feel terrible; I rested on Monday. On Tuesday I went for a run with my brother and felt better than Sunday’s run. Tuesday’s run was at the beautiful Breakheart Reservation which is a 640-acre hardwood forest with jagged, rocky outcroppings, two fresh-water lakes, and a rambling section of the Saugus River.

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What all this means to me: HILLS! There are hills at this location. I hated going up the hills but I felt pretty good at the end. I plan to go to this location at least once a week.

I’m currently reading a book on being more productive and one of the main principles is to work smarter not harder. I intend to do apply this idea to running. I’ll be doing more research on running; technique; length of run; number of times per week, etc.

Running smarter not harder:

  • Set goals [check]
  • Get started and correct as you go along [check]
  • Correcting; do the minimal amount of work for the optimal results [todo]

My first finding …

… skip a day between workouts to give your body time to rest and build muscle – RedBrick Health

What’s your experience with resting between running/exercising days?