Thursday, 18 November 2010

Thoughtful Thursday

Motivation - Part 1

What Motivated Me to Start Running

I've been pondering this question for the last couple of days and have decided the answer is 2-fold: What motivated me to start running and What Motivates me to Keep Running.

September 2009 - my folks returned from The Comrades Marathon 2010 Launch, a gala event held at Monte Casino. They came back talking about all the reasons CMA was putting forward why people should run The Ultimate Human Race.  The marketing campaign revolved around "The Time Is Now" and "Join The Legacy".  I decided there and then that "I have to do this race". 
I joined RWFL, stopped smoking and searched the web for training programs. I started with a 5 minute / 700 metre run on September 7, 2009.

November 2009 - Novice Entries for The Ultimate Human Race opened on Sunday, November 1 and I was one of the first novices to get my entry in.  At that stage, the longest run I had done was 4.2km in 30 minutes. 
I also signed up for and ran my first race, the RAC Tough One 5km.  (Incedentially, I will be doing the Real Tough One, 32km at the end of this month).  I finished the 5km race in 36.53 minutes. Not a good time, but I had done it and was very proud of myself! Now, I was motivated to improve my time while increasing distance. 

December 2009 -  I adopted the Comrades slogan of "The Time is Now" and taking part in The Comrades Marathon was my motivation -
  • to run when I didn't feel like,
  • to run when it was too hot,
  • to run on my own,
  • to run went I couldn't see any progress,
  • to run when I didn't imagine that I could do it
  • to run thru' the pain
All this time I was experiencing a variety of pain, in a variety of places. I was seeing a chiropractor and an applied kinesiologist. I had wedges/orthotics in my shoes that kept changing, brought relief for a while and then transferred the pain to another part of my body.  All the time I'm reminding myself "The Time Is Now".

January/February 2010 - I ran more races, improved my times and increased my distances. I ran thru' the pain, ran with the pain and perservered.  I ran 2 half-marathons, got my time trial pace to under 6.5 minutes a kilometer and did my longest run of 24kms.

March 2010 - My "qualifying marathon".  I needed to run 42.2km in 5 hours. I struggled for the first 10kms and kept reminding myself that "The Time Is Now". By 20kms I knew I wouldn't make my cut-off time and I bailed (climbed into the car, DNF).  Not a moment that I was proud of at the time, but with hindsight, the best thing I could've done. 
At that point I knew I wouldn't run the 2010 Comrades Marathon and I had no motivation to run with my group 2 days later.  It took me a week to get to grips with myself and realise that my motivation had changed and I could now run for other reasons.

What Motivates me to Keep Running (Motivation - Part 2) will follow soon.


Johann said...

Lovely post! In SA Comrades remains the main reason most people run. I must admit that I've moved past that and now run for many different reasons. I'll be back at Comrades but that is no longer the main goal. Looking forward to part two.

Char said...

I love these insights into other people's running lives. Thanks for sharing.