The best running motivation: My friends
There are times when everyone hits a low in their chosen sport. It could be due to injury, general ill-health, a lack of goals or the wet and cold weather of winter. My greatest difficulty during November, December, January and February is stepping outdoors for exercise.
Once I am out there and running or cycling I am usually fine. I find it’s the getting out, rather than the doing, that is the hardest.
So there have been days when I have set myself a time limit: Go for a run by 9am. Get up from your desk and go for a run at lunchtime. I will run by 4pm. Sadly, on some days, I find myself still at my desk at 7pm and not in any way motivated to run.
And when I do not exercise regularly I get down. And then I get depressed. And then I don’t want to do anything at all. Which feels wretched and horrible.
Thankfully, this winter, I discovered the power of setting dates with my pals.
If, at the start of the week, I know that I will be meeting a friend on Tuesday at 10am for a run; on Wednesday at 8am for a brisk walk; a spin session one evening; on Thursday at 1pm for another run; and then on Saturday and Sunday I have activities in the diary, such as a Glasgow Triathlon Club Rugged Run, a TrailFest Social Run, a Craig’s Route mountain bike ride or a mountain hike with a pal, I actually do go.
I rarely let a friend down, and they haven’t let me down, so I make all my exercise appointments.
This winter has been going very well this year thanks to a fantastic timetable of lovely running, mountain biking, spin, dog walking and hiking. And it is all thanks to a great group of friends.
So I want to say thanks to my friends for helping me to stay up-beat and motivated this winter.
Thanks to my friends
Thanks to Jo of TrailFest for telling me at the start of each week what time you have available around work and family to run. You have been kind enough to let me run with you on every occasion I have said I can make it and even on an epic 13-mile trail run this week when I know I slowed you up towards the end.
Your running motivation has significantly improved my speed, distance and mojo over the last wee while. Your chat is excellent.
Thanks to Moira who thanks to semi-retirement now has time spare in the day-time to run. I have known Moira for many years and I used to run with her and two friends on early mornings when my daughter was too young to be left on her own.
That changed when a) my marriage split meant I couldn’t leave H on her own b) I was really too lazy to get up at 6.30am two days each week.
It has been great to rekindle the chat and friendship for our weekly runs. Plus Moira and Jo have become running buddies through me.
Thanks to Craig for his regular MTB ride along the West Highland Way and the Pipe Track. I always know that if I fancy a bike ride on a Saturday or Sunday he will be going out. Your enthusiasm for that route is unnerving but fabulous.
Thanks to Glasgow Tri Club for so many brilliant people who offer regular coached sessions, eg winter spin, and non-coached rugged runs. It is great to be able to timetable these into my diary and know I will always have a friendly face to spin or run with – and some good chat.
Thanks to David and Jan P for sharing lifts to yoga. I know I have been doing a circuits class (HunterFit, excellent motivation, too) the past wee while but having people to motivate me to do a stretching and relaxation class with Mark Russell Yoga has been ace.
Thanks to various other friends, who are also up for a dog walk here and there and a more adhoc run – and because they don’t seem to mind my prattling chat when I have just spent many hours on my own at my desk.
Thanks to my friend Rob and to Wispa The Wonder Whippet for being brilliant mountain walking buddies. Getting out in winter conditions can be testing but you have both shown great enthusiasm.
And thanks to G for letting me be his Plan B or C and sometimes his Plan A. The Plan A this winter has been reserved for ski touring. That skiing trip to Ben Lawers was superb. Plan B (or was it C?) saw us head up a snowy Munro making use of our snow shoes and alongside other friends.
Actually, a big thanks to G, too, for not minding when I am motivated to meet other people for a run or a mountain bike ride because I know that your knees and hips won’t let you do the same.
All in all, this winter is turning out to be a great one with plenty of friends.
My apologies if this all seems a bit sentimental and gushing but winter motivation can be very hard – and I know I am not the only one.