Maintaining motivation and focus

Today on my run, while watching the movie Track Town, directed and starring Alexi Pappas, Olympic runner, I heard the quote by Bruce Lee, “The successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus.” This was the second time in less than a week I came across this quote, just a few days ago I actually highlighted it in a book I am reading for a Realtor book club. Coincidence? I think not. The universe is trying to tell me something.

I knew when I heard it again today it was going to be the quote for the top of my post. Every post I write I choose a quote that reflects what I am currently going through or something that will motivate me in that particular moment.

We are all capable of so much and this is one of the reasons I made the commitment to run my first full marathon this year. I wanted to push my body harder than I’ve ever pushed it before. For some, running a marathon may be a walk in the park, for others, they might not think their body could ever be capable of running 42km. For me, I know I can do it but I am going to be pushing my own limits to get there. Running does not come naturally to me. I am by no means a great athlete. My runs usually consist of me talking myself out of walking breaks the entire run. I hear it gets easier … so I am going to trust the process.

I ran 14 kilometers on the treadmill this morning. My longest treadmill run to date. My longest run for this training period. Last night, to prepare, I spent a few minutes before bed visualizing my run. I laid out my clothes. Packed my gym bag. My alarm clock was set for my first early run of the new year. My internal alarm clock was also set. 5:30 wake up. 6 am start time. These small steps make a big difference for me. Having my clothes ready to go means not having to put clothes in the dryer in the morning before I leave the house because I forgot the night before. It also means having clothes that I know are comfortable to run long distances in, that I feel good in. I’ve had runs in the past where I put on an outfit that doesn’t feel great on my body and I quit my workout early. Maybe it’s superficial but I know, I do my best .. or am less likely to quit when I feel good in what I am wearing. Setting my internal alarm clock means committing to myself what time I am going to wake up at and be the door. If you have never practiced this, try it. It’s a game changer when you struggle to wake up in the morning. More often than not my internal clock will wake me up just a few minutes before my phone starts buzzing and instead of hitting snooze over and over I have the energy to jump out of bed and get moving. Packing my gym bag for today consisted of having my Cliff blocks for energy for part way through my run, water bottle and electrolytes ready to go and Kleenex because my nose is still runny from being sick over the holidays. Lastly visualization before bed, visualization is not something that is new to me, I have had vision boards for years, but I don’t usually visualize my workouts or runs. I am going to practice this as I continue with my training. These seemingly small steps make a big difference in how waking up and getting to the gym goes for me. Getting through the 14 KM on the treadmill, that’s another story.

My 14km run looks something like this

Watching Track Town on my iPhone for 45 minutes before cutting it short.


Listening to a song or two to see if that motivates me.


Hmm let’s watch The Ultimate Beast on Netflix, see if that’s inspiring.

Show hasn’t even started and I’m … bored.

Netflix search – inspirational

Tony Robbins “I am not your guru” pops up, yes I’ve seen it twice, but I am Tony fan and currently trying to figure out how I can see him this year, so let’s watch that

25 minutes of Tony to carry me through to my last mile and then it’s time for some music to pump me up and finish the run.

Seriously, kudos to all the people who can run effortlessly on a treadmill. I am working on being a little more positive about it but I find it just plain boring. Though I am grateful for the perks of not having to carry water or fuel, actual bathrooms instead of a cluster of bushes for a mid run pee break and the luxury of Netflix and YouTube.

I am halfway through this week and I have tackled 31.5 of my 42km.

Tuesday – 10km

Wednesday – 7km

Thursday (today) – 14km

Maintaining motivation is hard for me. I constantly need something new to inspire me. A picture, a book, a YouTube video or a song. I hope as I continue to run and see improvements within myself I will find the motivation easier. Until then, I am going to focus on all the amazing inspiration that is around me and luckily at my fingertips.

Okay, it’s time to stop lazing around and get to work.


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