I am lazy. No ifs, ands or buts about it. I know this about myself. This is precisely why I run half marathons. Having that set date on the calendar when I have to be able to run 13.1 or more miles keeps me running. That race date is the carrot on the end of that stick of training runs. That race date interferes with the lingering urge to skip a long run or take a week off here and there.
This is why the summer is not such a great time for my running. Most of the races are early in the spring and in the fall. If I am not working toward a race, it is so much easier to procrastinate and rationalize my way out of a 3 miler. It is very easy to get into a rut and fall out of a groove. “I can just get back into the groove when the training schedule for the next race begins,” I tell myself. It is so easy to skip a run when those summer temps hit the 80s and the humidity is stifling. As I write this, I am dangerously close to a rut, but alas, there is an 8 miler scheduled for this weekend, thanks to the Dumbo Challenge. Thanks to summertime, there are also some lovely 90 degree temperatures scheduled for this weekend.
I am not sure what to make of the lack of motivation currently. When I first started running, 8 miles seemed like a huge deal. Now, not so much. That is progress, I suppose. I never imagined I would think 8 miles was routine. I have certainly come a long way. Yet, even though I have been running going on two years, and I still find that I require the motivation of an upcoming race to keep me going. I do not want to crash during a race (again), and that is my motivation. I have yet to make running a habit, although I do get a bit antsy if I don’t run for a few days. I know that without the “threat” of an upcoming race, that edginess is easily overcome by laziness.
The real victory will come when it can’t be. When I can finally call running a habit. When I can finally say I run simply for the fun of it, for the health benefits. Until then, I’ll take what I can get. If it takes 5 or 6 half marathons a year to keep me running, so be it. The races are a blast, and I have a great running partner along for the ride.