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On Will Power

April 3, 2013

On Will PowerI’m “training” for a half marathon.

I put that in quotations because, well, honestly, I have a lack of will power. Waking up to go for a 6 mile run on a Saturday morning does not please me in any way.

I’m not doing bad by any means but this week I am supposed to run 8 miles. That sounds incredibly daunting to me. It’s like, “Oh, I’m sorry friend, I can’t have dinner and a glass of wine with you tonight because I have to wake up at 8:00 am to run for an hour. Yes, just run.” I just can’t get my mind there. I haven’t experienced a runners high and I get winded after mile 3. I start breathing heavy and slowing down. I never want to wake up and go run.

Now, if I had to wake up and go play a tennis match or softball game, count me in! So why is it that running defies me? Not any other sport, just running. I find it boring, difficult and simply unsatisfying. I find myself, instead of focusing on my breathing or the song in my head, counting every pace and counting down every second.

Running is mental. And perhaps I am not mentally tough enough yet. Perhaps I don’t have the will power yet.

The question is so obvious. Why do I run? Because I signed up for  a half marathon. I signed up for the half because it was the only way to get myself to work out on a consistent basis. Want to know a secret? It worked…

I may not love running but I am working out 5 solid days a week. I am starting to see muscles I forget existed when I was 17. I can do 20 consecutive push-up (girl, because I’m a girl). I can hold a plank for beyond 60 seconds, if asked. I can go to my arms, abs, and assets class for 45 minutes without dying. And I never feel guilty when I eat an entire pasta meal for dinner or an entire sleeve of crackers.

(Because, as I said, I have no will power.)

So I’ll push through and keep running. I’m not promising record-breaking times or that I will keep up with anyone I “should” keep up with but I will run 13.1 miles on May 18th and I will finish.

And maybe, just maybe, one day I’ll have enough will power to say no to the Oreos and yes to an 8 mile run.

Any advice from my fellow runners?

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. April 3, 2013 1:35 pm

    Oh Al…I love you : )

  2. April 4, 2013 9:31 pm

    one of my friends is set on going to the Naval Academy. I think you could probably do your run – you just have to have a goal in mind. Good luck.

  3. Jayne Grebinski permalink
    April 5, 2013 3:11 pm

    I was reminded last weekend of how awesome running can be when you’re exploring a new place. It’s a faster way to see new things and the scenery takes your mind off the run. Steve took me on an discovery run in DC and not only did I get to check out capital hill, the mall, a secret island, and the charming campus of Georgetown, I also enjoyed logging way more mileage than I had planned.

    I encourage you to take the subway somewhere new this weekend and run home! Or there are two great 8 mile loops that we do: one around the bottom tip of Manhattan and one which takes you across the Brooklyn bridge and back on the Williamsburg bridge. I will take you anytime! Steve and I have a plan to take the subway to the top of Manhattan this weekend and run home along the west side, which I’m excited about because it will be mostly new scenery for me!

  4. jordie permalink
    April 14, 2013 12:04 pm

    al, I wake up every morning telling myself I am going to get dressed and head out for a run, but this NEVER happens.. usually the majority of my day is over before I finally decide to go. the hardest part really is putting your shoes on and walking out the door. if you can work it out so that you run at the same time every day, then I think it gets easier and becomes more of a habit. i’m not going to lie to you, I don’t train hard and sometimes I wonder how much faster I could run if I did. I think I am ok at my turtle pace playing yahtzee on my phone to make the time go by! 🙂

    also, I think the first few miles are the hardest and usually are for a long time… trust me, you’ll get there. and on race day none of that will matter…. there will be so much people watching and things to keep you entertained that you’ll be done before you know it!

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