Last night I worked out for the first time since last Monday. Why? The week went something like this:
Monday: worked out for an hour despite sniffles and scratchy throat
Tuesday: sore throat and stuffy nose and poor sleep
Wednesday: mild fever plus sore throat and stuffy/runny nose and poor sleep
Thursday: sore throat, stuffy/runny nose, cough, and poor sleep
Friday: sore throat, stuffy nose, cough, and ear infection
Saturday: all of the above, only less severe
Sunday: recovering, but lacking energy
Fun times, huh? I haven’t had a cold like that in a long time, much less an ear infection. The ear infection is still lingering, but I’m taking an antibiotic for it and hope it will clear up soon.
I can’t believe I just spent this much space on my health. Moving on!
I felt pretty good on Monday, so I decided to ease back into things with a 30 minute walk after dinner. The weather was pleasant, the sun was still out, and walking outside felt so good that I ended up exercising for 45 minutes instead of 30, and I felt refreshed and energized (which ended up being slightly unfortunate since I was nowhere near ready to go to bed at a decent hour).
I find that I am often able to talk myself into more exercise if I start out with the expectation of a reasonable but not overwhelming amount of time (like 30 minutes). I know I am committing to exercise for at least that minimum amount of time, but I also leave open the possibility that I could do more. Last night, for example, after the first lap around the apartment complex with my dog, who loves to run and thus motivated me to run a bit, I decided I could manage 35 minutes. Then the 35 minute mark rolled around, and I decided that 40 minutes would be good. Then 40 minutes passed, and I thought, “What’s 5 more minutes?” Honestly, anything can be endured for 5 more minutes, and that thought is what got me through a lot of the rough sessions during my Couch to 5k training. When I am dreading a workout, especially if it involves running, I can often use the 5 minute trick to survive, and I end up pushing myself and being more pleased with the results than I would have been had I not gone those extra 5, 10, or 15 minutes. Obviously, I don’t always have the time for an endless amount of 5 minute tricks during a workout (like this morning when I only had time for 35 minutes), but I can always spare at least 5 more minutes.
What tricks do you use to motivate yourself during a workout?