I find that each time I move somewhere else it takes a long time before I manage to get into a work-out routine. If it happens at all… I am not only referring to big moves here, like moving from Norway to the UK or UK to Malta, even moving within the same city can make the gym you used to go to impractical or add half an hour to the time it takes to get to training.
Now for me I find that working out really is a necessity, OK so maybe I will function without but I am definitely a nicer person to be around when I get in my weekly dose of training. (Just ask my boyfriend aka. the Scotsman) That said, this does not mean that I am one of those persons that is always ready to jump up and do some sport etc… Most of the time I am rather lazy, or let me reiterate, if I have sat down I am lazy if I never get to that point I’m OK.
Moving to Malta threw a bit of a spanner in the works for me, in Edinburgh I had been playing handball (which is something I have done for years growing up), being a part of a team makes it that much easier to motivate yourself to go to training. If you don’t turn up you are not just letting yourself down, and when you are there you are feeding on each other’s energy so you push yourself further. However over here I faced a different problem, yes there are handball clubs (4), yes there are gyms (plenty) some of them even have great classes on offer. The problem is that I work long hours and live a place where in winter the last bus home is 19.00, hardly any gyms open before 9.00 so morning workout is not an option…
So this is where I had to get creative, now I have never considered myself a runner. I have done my fair share of it to make sure I had the fitness to play handball and football (soccer), however it was always a means to an end. Not running to get better at running! There are some irrefutable facts about running though, that I really just could not ignore… It is probably the most flexible form of training there is, you just need a pair of shoes (or maybe not) and the world is your oyster. Although I am a big fan of the change of the seasons, I must say Maltese winter does make it easy for a runner and it is quite refreshing to be able to postpone a run when it is raining as it seldom rains the next day.
Now back to motivation, we have an expression in Norway “dørstokkmila”, the most fluid translation would be “the doorstep mile” although a Norwegian mil is actually 10K. I find that this expression is spot on! Sometimes getting across that threshold is so hard, I know logically that the minute I get out there and get running I will feel great, yet there is that wall…
So how do I do it? How do I manage to get out when I really don’t feel like it?
I have chosen a two pronged attack, one thing I realised early on is that I am absolutely rubbish at motivating myself after work or later in the day. In the morning the doorstep mile is a bit of an effort, but surely doable. In the afternoon on a day off it is closer to a Norwegian mile, but after working from 9 till 18 and spending an hour getting home that 10K is more like the Badwater Ultra…
OK so I might be exaggerating but there is no two ways about it, for me running in the morning is the most effective way of doing it.
The second thing I realised is that I am a very competitive person, and extremely goal oriented. I also remembered that there was one time in my life that I had indeed trained to get better (I was never good) at running, and of course there was a reason for it. We ran 3000 m (not on a track, on trails) in school one in autumn and then again in spring to see if we improved. This was of course to motivate us to work on our running, and as far as I was concerned it worked a charm. So I realised that surely this is the solution, sign up for a race! I am sure the logical race to pick would have been a 5K or something, but I have always been ambitious, as well as having had this itch for a long time to run the New York marathon (without having ever been a runner, yeah not logical I know…), so I decided to sign up for the marathon that I remember from growing up. However as I am not completely crazy (yet) I signed up for the half marathon distance in Oslo marathon the 25. September 2011.
Of course now that I have started I have totally gotten the running bug and I am tempted to sign up for an earlier race… The Edinburgh half or the White Peak half at the end of May is looking good, stay tuned for updates!
Also I have discovered a plethora of great running blogs, honestly these ladies and gentlemen are so inspiring! Below are a few of y favourites:
(never home)maker this was the first running blog I discovered, lots of hints and tips and race recaps, really inspiring in it’s blatant love of running, but with a very realistic angle. This blog is not purely a running blog there are lots of other fun stuff there, definitely one of my all time favourites!
Health on the Run not only is this lady FAST she is also really funny, knowledgeable and inspiring. If you do nothing else make sure you learn how to tie your shoelaces… (Seriously you have been doing it wrong all these years…)
Daily Garnish lovely blog! Combines food and running, with life stories and Emily that writes it was in an accident before Christmas and is training herself back up, which is something I can relate to only too well.
No Meat Athlete this blog is the go to place if you are into endurance sports, vegetarian or not. It is a real treasure throve of tips, interviews with athletes, recipes, recaps, a forum you name it!
There are lots more that I read regularly, have a look at:
I could go on… However this should keep you occupied for a (too) long time!
To round off (not because it is relevant really, but because I like it!)…
While you’re at it check out the book with the same name… Which is relevant and a great read as well!