Last night on my way home from work I ran into a friend from college and we got to talking about running. Having done several races herself, she was contemplating registering for a marathon. As we chatted about training, shoes and of course eating, I mentioned Bayshore in May and my 5 mile run I had scheduled for later that night. Shocked that I planned on heading out for a run at 8:30 pm in the cold, she asked me how I keep motivated.
Most days running comes easy to me and let’s be real, I run because I love to eat. It’s also become a way for me to clear my head and I’m a much calmer, happier and more tolerable person after I’ve logged some miles. But having trained for my first two marathons in the sweltering hot Chicago summer, winter training can be seriously rough. Having a schedule to stick to has always worked for me but there are days, like yesterday, that I work late and I’m tired and it’s cold out and the last thing I want to do is put on 7 layers and run.
On days like these I think about my dad. Growing up my dad raised four of us pretty much on his own. He worked two jobs and still managed to help us with homework and cheer us on at every activity we were involved in (even if that activity was just 4 somersaults). When I was a freshman in college my biochemistry professor said something that I will never ever forget. In an attempt to get us to come to class, he calculated how much money we were wasting each time we skipped one of his labs. For those of us who were out of state (sorry dad) it was $120 down the drain. That moment seriously impacted my life and on the days that I thought about blowing off class to sleep in or go out, I thought about how hard my dad worked to get me there. Yes I’m an adult now and I support myself but when things get tough or I feel like taking the lazy way out, especially when it comes to marathon training, I think of that day and all of the work that my dad put in (and all of the sleep he didn’t get) to give me the amazing life I have now. Suddenly 50 minutes of running doesn’t seem that hard.
Team LUNGevity is another thing that keeps me motivated. Over the past few months we have lost some amazing people including Mark Beban, Lisa Strada, and Chip Kennett and while I love my job, that part of it, for lack of better words, totally sucks. I work with outstanding people everyday including our most recent Team LUNGevity members Brandi and Dawn, who have lost loved ones to lung cancer and it just reminds me how important it is to keep fighting, running and raising money and awareness.