Marathon Running
To Run Or Not To Run
By Lisa Ohlson
Aug 16, 2009 - 7:47:46 AM

"There have been many times I regretted skipping a run - but there has never been a time I regretted taking one." ~Anonymous  

MALIBU—Most runners can relate to the statement above.  There are millions of excuses to skip your run: you’re too hungry, too full, it’s too windy, too hot, too cold, or your little toe has a paper cut.  The list goes on and on.  Sometimes you just want to take a sledge hammer to your left foot, rather than go on your daily five-mile loop.  Other times you procrastinate all day long and by the time you actually step out the door you could have already ran a marathon or two.  The most challenging thing about running is not putting one foot in front of the other or the sweating, huffing and puffing—it’s the daily motivation.

This is a struggle for me five days of the week.  I can’t tell you how many days I have sat around head in hand pondering "to run or not to run?"  If I do make it past the hardest step ”“ my door step ”“ the rest is a breeze.  The run flies by and the finish line is in sight.  Accomplishment, exhaustion, energy and peacefulness swell through me as I stretch and cool down.  My body thanks me for keeping it healthy by sending good vibes from my feet through my legs up my core to my brain.  But then the following day when I am lacing up my running shoes, feelings of dread surge through me all over again.  This endless circle both frustrates and amuses me. 

Here are the things I have found useful to give me the motivation week after week to do the same terrible, fantastic activity:

Keep a running journal.  Before you run, write down your thoughts.  After you run, record the mileage, time and comments about how the run felt for your body and for your mind.  The next time you are debating if you should lace up, read over the previous pre/post run comments.  You’ll be reminded of the extraordinary feelings and your excuses will be more difficult to justify.

Train for a race.  Pick a 5K, Half Marathon or Marathon—with the obvious choice being the Malibu International Marathon or Half!  When you are training for a marathon, you are less apt to skip a run because you know there will be consequences. 

Make it a date.  Call up a friend and plan a time and place to run.  It’s more difficult to stand a friend up than your running shoes.

For all those who do not relate to the quote above, we applaud you.  We also want to know your secrets!  Share these with us on Twitter, Facebook or e-mail

Participants in the Malibu International Marathon on Sunday, November 15. Photo by Joanne DeCaro Afornalli

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