Thursday, October 13, 2011

What's Your Motivation?


When I started running 13 years ago, it was still considered somewhat of a "fringe" sport in most circles.  There weren't a ton of road races or marathons to choose from in Ontario.  There were a few "big" ones (and by big, I mean well publicized).  Around the Bay was a big one as was the Toronto International Marathon (which is now the Good Life Marathon) and the Waterfront Marathon (which is now The Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon).   It used to be that you could decide last minute to enter one of these races as they hardly sold out.  How that has changed.  The running industry has grown exponentially over the last 20 years and shows no real signs of stopping.  This growth has meant that more and more people are testing themselves at races.  This in turn means that more and more races are filling up quicker.  It's not unheard of for some of the more popular races to sell out months before the actual event.  The Chilly Half Marathon, Around the Bay and The Toronto Women's Half are popular ones.  Coincidentally they are 3 of the races that I'd like to do next year.

It's crazy to think that my racing year hasn't even ended yet and I'm already thinking about what races I'm going to do next year so I can get my registrations in early.   I do see this as a positive thing though.  To me it means that more and more people are stepping up to the plate and making the choice to lead a healthy lifestyle.   They are following a plan and sticking with it to the end.  That is no small feat.  It takes dedication and perseverance.   The sense of accomplishment one feels after completing a marathon, or any race that you've put the training in for, is something you will always have.

For me, the accomplishment is only part of the picture.  I enjoy the process of training as much as the result.  I am always learning and to me that is a big part of the process.  A race is where you put your knowledge to the test, along with your endurance, stamina & guts.  You put what you've learned into practice.  That's what keeps me motivated, that's what keeps me coming back to the start line.

What's your motivation?
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