3 Tips for Finding Motivation to Run or Workout

I've been pretty generic with my blog posts lately.  I've mostly been keeping my posts about race recaps and family vacations.  The truth is that, I've been lacking motivation lately.  We moved across town this summer and as anyone who has ever moved can tell you, life got hectic and all structure and routines went out the door.  Yes, it's been 9 months and I still can't get back to my regular routine!

Actually, I realized early on that my regular routine needed to change.  Where my kiddos rode the bus to and from school each day, I am now driving them to and from school and they each attend different schools now.  This has really altered my daily routine and shortened my work-from-home workdays significantly! With my shortened workdays, soon came the .."do I work or workout? Laundry or running?" Yea, I know that it's not about having the time, it's about making the time. Blah, blah, blah! But, the truth is, I really liked my old schedule.  It worked so well for me and the idea of having to figure out a whole new system has been daunting.  I started trying different options, making myself new schedules, but the motivation was still not there and I wasn't sticking to it.  Well I finally said, enough is enough.  I've feeling sluggish and not to mention, fluffy and I know it's due to the lack of regular exercise. So, I've slowly been implementing some tricks to get me back to running and working out regularly! Here they are!

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1. Get it done early! If I tell myself I'm going to go for a run after lunch or after I check my emails, or before I pick up my son, the chances of me actually going for that run are slim.  I'll end up getting wrapped up in work or making up excuses and I won't go.  It's pure self-sabotage! I know not all of us can workout before work, so my tip for those of you who have to do evening workouts is to do it asap.  If you can go straight from work to the gym or out on your run - do it! Once you walk in to your home, life starts to happen and it will be much more difficult to go back out. 

2. Make plans.  Once I make plans with someone, I can't bail on them.  I'll make myself go on the run even if I'm not motivated to run.  I've also joined a local running groups on facebook and they frequently post group runs throughout the week. I'll rsvp for the run that best fits my schedule and make it a priority.  So, next time you don't feel like running or working out, contact a friend and put it on the calendar!  I'm sure you'll keep your plans with them and it'll be a great run together :)

3.  Sign up for a race.  This one is huge for me and I know I've said it on here before.  Training for for races keeps me on track even if I lack the motivation.  The race date isn't going to change and I don't want to show up unprepared, so I'm going to make sure I get my runs in!  If you're looking for a challenge, sign up for a race, anything that'll challenge you, 5K, 10K, half, full, trail, obstacles, whatever scares you a little bit and will make you work!  BONUS: Sign up with a friend ;)

I'm signed up for the Rock N Roll San Diego 5K and Half Marathon, plus the Rock N Roll Seattle Half Marathon both in June and the Napa to Sonoma Half in July! YIKES!!! Yup, I need to get my motivation back up and get ready for these fun races coming up! 

What do you do to get yourself out of a motivational funk and back on track with your running? Let me know in the comments! I could use all the tricks you've got! XO

Zion Half Marathon | Race Recap

April 1st was my first half marathon of the year, the Zion Half Marathon! I would love to say it started off amazingly, but when your first mile is 18+ minutes, you kinda know it's gonna be a doozy! 

My friend and I took off from Las Vegas early Friday afternoon and the drive took us about 4 hrs. Yay for the S-Town Podcastfor the in-car entertainment! Packet pickup was at Zion Ponderosa Ranch which was north of Zion National Park from the direction we came in.  So, we had to pay the $35 admission to the park to drive across. Seriously wish there would have been some mention of this on the website.  Anyhow, we made it just in time for packet pickup and our spaghetti dinner.  The weather was very cold and it was super muddy.  The race directors had communicated this to us via emails, updates on facebook, and even text messages, so we knew what to expect when we arrived.  As a matter of fact, their communication throughout the evening and race morning was very good.  

We stayed in Kanab, UT which was another 30 minutes north of the start line at the same Zion Ponderosa Ranch.  Traffic was expected for race morning and we were told to plan at least an additional 30 minutes to our drive.  However, the night before the race, we were given notice that the parking area was being moved to their Plan B location due to the muddy conditions at the original parking lot.  This created even more traffic and congestion as there was only one entrance to Zion Mountain Ranch and cars were simply parking alongside of the road.  We then had to walk back towards the main road to where the buses were picking up runners.  This ended up being about a mile away from our car.  We finally arrived to the buses, waited in line, and boarded the lovely warmth of the bus! Kudos to the volunteers for being out there in the dark and cold morning in such good spirits! They rocked! 

Once we arrived to the start line area we found out the race was being delayed due to the traffic congestion caused by the parking lot change.  Once the race finally started it was pretty confusing and rushed so we ended up way in the back of the pack.  I thought we'd be ok once we started running and we found our groove but that never happened for me.  Unfortunately, all the melted snow created some pretty muddy trails that were nearly impossible to run through.  Runners ended up just walking along the edges of the trail or completely around the trail so we just all walked in a row behind each other.  Yup, more congestion.  By the time we were out of the 1st muddy mile, it'd been 18 minutes and I was feeling pretty defeated.  The downhill course that was promised was not really downhill.  It was way more hilly and more of an up and down course.  Add to that the super muddy trails where we were forced to walk most of them and we had ourselves a PR for slowest half marathon!  It was definitely not the race I was expecting.  Having to run past our cars around mile 7 was especially cruel! 

This was right before the finish line! Hardly a downhill run....Ugghhh Thanks @penguincity for capturing this shot! 

This was right before the finish line! Hardly a downhill run....Ugghhh Thanks @penguincity for capturing this shot! 

Clearly, I was not the only one who was a bit disappointed. @gimmeapaw was spot on with her post!  

Clearly, I was not the only one who was a bit disappointed. @gimmeapaw was spot on with her post!  

It hurts me to write this recap because I've seriously loved all the half marathons I've ran.  I understand no one can predict the weather and the havoc it can cause on race day and the race directors did a good job handling it.  I think they did the best they could with the weather conditions. They also gave all this year's runners a discount for next year's race and sent a very well written email afterwards.  However, it wasn't just the weather that did it for me.  I wish I could say it was just the wet, cold, muddy conditions that made it difficult for me to enjoy the race, but it wasn't just that for me.  I was also expecting a much more scenic race and the locations we ran through just didn't have spectacular views.  For this year only, the race was east of Zion National Park, so maybe the regular location is much more scenic, but I'm not sure. Ultimately, I know a race is what you make of it and I am glad I experienced this race.  It taught me that I need be prepared for everything and  sometimes races just don't go as expected.  I need to learn to go with the flow.  This race was definitely a mental game for me and I gave up quickly.  I did not give it my all and I let unrealized expectations, bad weather, and muddy conditions defeat me.  Lesson learned. 

I gotta say, I do love that big wooden medal and now I can mark off running while it snows from the bucket list! Ok, it was just flurries but still...

Did you run the Zion Half Marathon? I'd love to know what are your thoughts of the race.  

Las Vegas Spartan Super | Race Recap

Spartan Races are some of my favorite races ever! I've done more Spartan Races than any other race, with a total of 9 races - 2 Beasts, 4 Supers, and 3 Sprints! I love the Spartan Races because although they are challenging and tough, there is a great spirit of camaraderie and fun too! And you can't beat that feeling of accomplishment when you conquer obstacles you trained so hard for. Plus: free beer at the finish! 

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I hadn't planned on running the Las Vegas Spartan Super this year because I'm a wimp.  The race was scheduled to be at the same location as last year and the course was super sandy and I remember how much I did not enjoy trying to run 4 miles or so in sand. But, when a friend of a friend found out she couldn't run it just 2 weeks before race day, I jumped on the opportunity to have her race deferred to me! I couldn't resist.  The 8 + miles wouldn't be a problem because I've been training for the Zion Half Marathon coming up April 1st.  The obstacles and sand however, were a whole other story! Although I knew I couldn't get myself in top shape in just 2 weeks and I knew my upper body strength was nowhere it had been, I didn't think it would be so hard.  But, yikes did I struggle!  It was especially sad to struggle on obstacles that I don't normally struggle with. I had a lot of help from my teammates and fellow racer on course.  Like I said, all that help and support from fellow Spartans is what makes me love this race series!  My teammates and I finished strong and for 3 of the 5 of us, it was their first Spartan Race ever.  Seeing my friend conquer obstacles she didn't think she could was so awesome and really made that race special for me! 

This race was such a wake up call for me.  Like I said, I finished the race and I had a ton of fun running it but deep down I know I can perform better.  So, what do you do when you don't run your best race? You literally wash off the mud and sign up for another one! In my case, you sign up for the Spartan Beast + Sprint coming up in October in Big Bear Lake, CA and aim to get that Trifecta one more time.  Let the training begin! AROO!


Have you ever ran a Spartan Race or OCR? What's your favorite race series?