Yesterday I went with my +1 to Cape Runner to get her a fresh pair of running shoes. The salesman asked us a load of questions about our running history as well as our current training. When I told him that I’m planning to run the Two Oceans half marathon after a 10km run some time in December and another 10km this week, his jaw almost hit the floor. He couldn’t believe how far behind schedule I am, and I suddenly realised how little running motivation I have at the moment.
I saw a mate yesterday, the one that always does the Oceans with me, and when the topic of the run came up, his simple reply was “Ah, I don’t really care, I’m so unmotivated. I’m not going to do it this year.”
This actually made me feel a bit better. I realised I’m not the only one struggling and others are in this boat with me. As I sit here, there are 44 days until we have to tackle Southern Cross Drive, which I believe is enough time to get my (and your) ass into gear. It’s tight, but it’s not impossible.
If you’re also lacking in inspiration, here are some things to think about:
THAT DEEP SATISFACTION AFTER THE RACE
You can be as tired and sore as hell, but as soon as you feel the UCT grass beneath your feet, a burst of energy and pride floods your body. Your strides lengthen as you run towards the finish line and once you’ve crossed it you feel invincible. Weeks, months or even a year of training has paid off. It’s a truly phenomenal feeling. Totally worth the excruciating pain that may set in a few hours later for those of us who didn’t train as hard as we should have.
TIME ON YOUR OWN WITH MUSIC
Maybe I’m alone here, but I really enjoy time to myself, and I also really love music. So going for a run marries the two up brilliantly. Very often, when a song plays that I really love, I don’t even realise that I’m struggling with a run.
During this week’s run I was struggling with sore hips and my shuffle decided to throw up the Foo Fighters’ “Walk”. For the next four minutes and 16 seconds, my mind wondered back to my operation last year, and the memory of not being able to walk properly for months. That gave me a new appreciation for what I was doing in that moment…running again after the worst physical year of my life. The song also took me back to the Cape Town stadium and watching the Foos live and how amazing it was. Before I knew it, my pace had increased and I was feeling good again. Music, it’s an incredible thing – use it as motivation.
THE THOUGHT OF SUPPORTING YOUR MATES
If you have an entry to the race and are not motivated, please take a look at the picture above: would you rather be the person in the green top with yellow running shoes, or the thousands of people sitting and watching? Last year the race was six months after my surgery so I couldn’t run. Standing in the crowd cheering on my loved ones absolutely killed me! Watching people I knew run past me, while I stood there with red hands from clapping was the worst feeling in the world. I had a valid excuse that time, but this time I don’t. Don’t cheer, be cheered.
FORRIES AFTER THE RACE – AND THAT FIRST PINT
Forries, or Foresters Arms Pub and Restaurant if you have enough breath, is the only place to be after the race. It’s rammed wall to wall with sore hamstrings, knees, groins and feet. For the next few hours you’ll hear stories of how your mates “hit the wall and managed to get through it”, “only passed a walker after 15kms”, “would’ve run my goal time if…..” and a host of other excellent war stories. On any of the other 364 days in the year, you’d be bored of them, but on race day you love it.
You’ll go to the bar and order an ice cold Windhoek Draught at 10:30am and enjoy every last drop because you’ve bloody well earned it.
Personally, I don’t care too much about the medal – I’m more of a photos man. Whatever your preference, it is motivating to see the collection growing over the years. If you’ve done Oceans before and you’re feeling unmotivated this time around, just think about the potential gap in your medal / photo collection. Don’t let it be a reminder that you just didn’t get it together in 2015. Speaking from experience, it’s not cool.
STRANGERS SHOUTING YOUR NAME
Get your mind out the gutter, I’m talking about the road-side supporters. The great thing about Two Oceans is that they print your name on to your race number, and this provides the thousands of supporters with the ammunition they need to cheer you on. It’s unbelievable how a stranger shouting “Go Bruce!” or “You’re doing so well, Bruce!” can put a spring in your step.
Side-note: Running in a Tottenham Hotspurs top will also inspire thousands of people to shout “Hey Bruce, Spurs are crap!” or “Shame- poor Bruce supports the Spurs!”.
As I write this, I feel the urge to get myself off the couch and hit the road right now. I hope if you are struggling for motivation, that this article helps you in some way. See you at the starting line!