Monday, February 18, 2013

Step Back and Bounce Forward

While laying in bed last night I found myself thinking about how I was excited for workouts this week, ready to go log some miles and hit the gym a few times, meanwhile I had just ran 10 miles on the treadmill less than an hour prior to this. I was extremely happy to feel motivated for this week because last week I was pretty sure I left my motivation at the airport when we came home from vacation. All week I struggled to get my workouts in, with scheduling issues, lack of motivation, and lack of will power and energy, it just wasn't happening.

Last Week
Monday: Was SUPPOSED to come home from vacation. No workouts.
Tuesday: ACTUALLY came home from vacation in the evening. No workouts.
Wednesday: Back to work after a week away: CRAZY hectic day at the office. But I did get 6.5 miles in.
Thursday: Decent day at work, got 6.6 miles in, then went to the dentist....spent all of Valentines night in pain, looking like a chipmunk and being bundled up on the couch.
Friday: Woke up still looking like a chipmunk, in a lot of pain, and no desire to do any pounding or sudden movements. Worked all day, called in sick for my night job ( hard to smile and be nice to people at a restaurant when it hurts to move your face in any way shape or form)....Spent most of the night being lazy.
Saturday: Pain, exhaustion and migraine finally took over, spent most of the day setting up my new laptop and being a bum. 
Sunday: Promised my mama (yes I still call her mama!), I would help her go pick out some new clothes at the outlet mall and then go to lunch, was gone most of the day. Spent the evening packing my bag for the week and packing more of my apartment up for the move. Finally got on the treadmill at J's around 7:30 for a so-so 10 mile run.

There are so many chances I should have taken to run or go to the gym. But I made excuses and I allowed myself to be lazy and be irresponsible with my training. I'm not happy about it, but at the same time, it might have been just what I needed to get myself ready for some bigger better weeks to come. Which leads me into....

The Penultimate Step
The more I thought about it last night I began relating this to my High School and College Track & Field days when I was a Long Jump and a High Jumper. Now before you ask where the hell this is going, I promise it will tie in. I was a natural at jumping, it came easy and I improved quickly once I really got into it. But none of my improvements ever surpassed the ones that came after I learned the penultimate step. Penultimate is a word that means "next to last", in long jump and high jump this is particularly important. The penultimate step (next to last step) is key to getting the most out of the jump, you have a longer higher step then the last step is lower(height) and shorter(in length) making it so you don't have to force the jump, biomechanics allow you to get off the ground maximizing your velocity and distance. Basically what I am saying is, you have to shorten the last step, get a little lower or back off a little in order to maximize the physics for the big jump. Same holds true for training, sometimes you have to back off a little or have an off week (like I did last week) to help lead you into a bigger better week and get back on track for training. Last week was my step-back which allows me to be more rested and ready to go for it this week.

Although I am still not feeling 100% (I am still rocking a little bit of a chipmunk cheek from my dental work), I am happy to feel motivated again, happy to put my schedule together for the week which will force me to get back on track. I can sit here and dwell on my disappointment in myself for being lazy last week, or I can use the rest and recovery I got to give me more energy for this week.

Some Tips to Getting back on Track
  1.  Don't beat yourself up: easier said than done, but dwelling on it isn't going to help. Use it as motivation to be better in the future.
  2. Talk to someone about it: confide in a friend or someone you trust. Figure out how and why you got off track, see how far off track you really did get, and put together a way to change it and get back to where you want to be. Telling a friend about it will help you stay motivated and hold yourself accountable for your actions.
  3. Look at the community: Pay attention to your Dailymile friends (or other sites you may be a part of), seeing people post workouts should give you motivation to have things to post as well. Look to message boards and blogs to have support about people going through the same things, stick together!
  4. Get outside or to the gym: Nix the home workouts for a few days while trying to get back on track. Being surrounded by people who are doing what you're doing will help push you, and a little push can go a long way. 
  5. Re-evaluate and Re-commit....I don't track my food all of the time, at least not like I track my workouts. But I have found that when trying to evaluate where I am at, tracking everything even for a week can be helpful. It will hold you accountable and help you be healthier going back into things. Keep a log of what you're taking in and what you are doing to burn it off, seeing it written down or in an app can really help. There are so many ways to log what you are doing, if you want suggestions just ask!
  6. Set small goals: set a few smaller goals, such as "I will get to the gym 3 times this week" or set a mileage goal, or perhaps set a goal to log all of your intake and activity for a week. Setting small attainable goals can help you build the confidence to get back where you want to be. Write the goals down, or share them with a friend...and set a reward for each of the goals, working towards something is a great way to stay motivated!
  7. Ask for help!  This is an important one. Whether it be asking for help at home with chores or to-dos so you have a little more time to dedicate to working out, or asking a friend to accompany you for a run or gym session to hold you accountable and be there for support. You don't have to tackle everything alone, training for a marathon or any race is a lot of work and requires time, sacrifice, responsibility and it requires support. Make sure you have someone to help you, someone to talk to and be there, it makes a world of a difference!
Those are just SOME of the many things that can help you get back on track, no one is perfect and we all need a little boost sometimes!

We all get off track sometimes, if you have any suggestions or things that have worked for you, speak up!

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