Where My Motivation Has Been Coming From Lately

triathlon_motivation_inspirationI consider myself to be a self-motivated person.  It doesn’t take a lot to get me to move when it comes to training.  I know I want to be better and that is motivation enough.  The numbers motivate me.  If I run a 7:26 mile with a HR of 168 my next thought is how do I run that same pace with a slower heart rate or a faster pace with the same heart rate.

I also have my goals for Puerto Rico and Texas which will then help shape my goals for Maine and Arizona plus another 70.3 in there which is most likely going to be Austin again (I have a score to settle with that run course…..motivation right there.)  I have the license plate cover that KC gave me for Christmas right above my medicine cabinet in my bathroom.  I have my goal times for Puerto Rico and Texas written down (on 12/26/2011) in a ziploc bag that is in the book Iron War and whenever I read the book I stare at the goals.

I have focused my eating and my training to have purpose and each set is done without thought of the second session.  My focus is solely on that training session and I have a goal for each session.  I am motivated but when I came across this post I was hit with an anvil.  Sure I was doing all of these things to reach the ultimate for myself but the words resonated in a different way.

If you don’t read Maria Simone’s blog Running A Life then stop what you are doing here, head over there and subscribe then come back.

The title of the post is:  Becoming The Athlete I Have To Be.

The first words of the post are: “Be the kind of person who does the types of things to have the results you want.”

This is not Maria’s quote but one she heard from somebody else and they stuck with her.  The same way that Becoming The Athlete I Have To Be has stuck with me since I read this post.

Maria discusses staying healthy, eating clean, being brave, being grateful, having fun and finally race goals.  I cannot tell you how many times I have read this post because I lost count the first day.  I kept staring at it over and over again and reading and re-reading.  I finally told myself that having those goals is great but what am I going to do to get there.  Am I going to go through the motions or am I going to push myself?  Am I going to do the things I need to do.

I then read a post by one of my favorite authors Susan Lacke on No Meat Athlete about how we should express our goals to make them more real and to hold ourselves accountable.  I started doing this for Puerto Rico with Greg Larsen and once I get past Puerto Rico I will have a much better idea of time goals for Texas.

That all being well and good I am letting the cat out of the bag for Puerto Rico and my goals.  I have two months exactly before the race and I want the readers of this blog to hold me accountable to these numbers and push me to become the Athlete I Have To Be.

Puerto Rico Goals:

  • Swim:  35 minutes (current best in HIM: 40 minutes)
  • Bike: 2 hours 45 minutes (current best in HIM: 2 hours 49 minutes)
  • Run: 1 hour 44 minutes (current best in HIM: 1 hour 48 minutes)
  • Transition 5 minutes (current best in HIM: 5 minutes 11 seconds)
  • Total:  5 hours 10 minutes (current best in HIM: 5 hours 28 minutes)
I have been pushing my paces in the water and getting stronger.  I have been running with a purpose to achieve the 1:44 in the half-marathon by setting goal paces out of the gate and then adjusting on the fly depending on heart rate.
The Athlete I Have To Be is a 5 hour 10 minute Half-Ironman so that I can be a sub-5 Hour Half-Ironman in 2013.  Vegas is the ultimate prize!
To read Maria’s blog post click [HERE]


What Are You Doing To Be The Athlete You Want To Be?



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  1. great ways to keep focused and keep your eye on the prize
    MilesMusclesMom recently posted..Veggie-liciousMy Profile

  2. Jen says:

    I set definable, definite goals as well, I follow training programs, I keep connected to this community of runners and endurance athletes and I have changed the way I eat, workout and live.

    Food isn’t the enemy nor is it my best friend any more. I have worked at looking at most of my food simply as ‘fuel.’ Don’t get me wrong, I still love food and look forward to a good meal, but I’m much more in touch with choosing foods that will provide me with energy, good health and the nutrients my body needs to thrive.
    Jen recently posted..DNF and the success of "failure"My Profile

  3. marlene says:

    You are becoming that athlete more and more every day!

    I feel a little ‘lost’ these days with no concrete goals… my goals are all completion-based at the moment. I want to run Boston for the experience, I don’t have to have time goals for my first HIM b/c I don’t quite know what I am in for. Am I wussing out? I’m not sure yet. Once way or another, I think I need to get some goals (time, or otherwise) on the table to keep my focus. I miss that tunnel vision to BQ I had last year.
    marlene recently posted..WIAW + Weigh-In WednesdayMy Profile

    • Maria Simone says:

      FWIW – I think completion goals for a race you’ve never done, or a distance you’ve never tried, is a pretty significant goal. so, I wouldn’t say that’s wussing out at all.

      In addition to completion, you can also think about goals that relate how you want to finish. For e.g., “I will finish my IM strong.” This will help you focus training sessions on proper pacing, and working and an even tempo – or even practicing negative splits.
      Maria Simone recently posted..Wait, how many feet is that? Previewing IM Mont Tremblant on the CompuTrainerMy Profile

      • CTER says:

        I agree with Maria and the thing about setting the 70.3 goal is going to be based on how your training is going. If you see that you are swimming 1600m in 45 minutes then setting a goal of 35 minutes is absurd.

        The goals need to stretch you but be realistic at the same time. As your training progresses your goals will become clearer.

        In the end always remember to SMILE because we are doing this for fun.
        CTER recently posted..Where My Motivation Has Been Coming From LatelyMy Profile

  4. kc says:

    with that mindset, i don’t see why you wouldn’t meet or surpass the goals you have posted. if anyone can do it, it’s you! rock on bro!
    kc recently posted..baby steps …My Profile

  5. Christina says:

    Thanks for sharing! Will definitely check out her blog. I love the way you push yourself and hold yourself accountable to your goals. I probably don’t do this enough. I’m still somewhat uncomfortable with just exercising regularly and while I have some goals that are bigger than I would have imagined a year ago, they are still focused on just getting across a finish line and not worrying so much about time. I foresee that changing over the course of 2012.
    Christina recently posted..Quick Dance WorkoutMy Profile

  6. Matt Oravec says:

    I will admit, it is more fun for me to watch my average HR lower throughout the season than it is to see my splits lower haha.

    My motivation last year was fear of the unknown. I knew nothing of 140.6 distance, hell it was DOUBLE what I had done before. I trained every day out of fear. There was an uneasiness that hovered over me every day I trained.

    After completing it, I have no motivation to workout whatsoever now… it really ain’t as scary as I initially thought ;)
    Matt Oravec recently posted..Running INTO the wind…My Profile

  7. Maria Simone says:

    Thank you so much for the shout-out, Jason.

    I know how scary it is to put your goals in writing, in public, for others to see. But, there is also something really liberating about it. Here it is. Here is what I’m going for.

    You are going to make this happen – you are doing what you have to do in order to be that athlete who has those incredible results. I cannot wait to see you do it!!
    Maria Simone recently posted..Wait, how many feet is that? Previewing IM Mont Tremblant on the CompuTrainerMy Profile

  8. Pulling motivation from the actual sport is obviously key and very effective. That said, it does strike me that over time, at least for me, that continued motivation will need to come from elsewhere. Keeping motivation insulated in endurance sports will have somewhat of a cannibalizing effect on me think. I actually worry about this quite a bit.
    Patrick Mahoney recently posted..A Music Review On An Endurance Sports Blog? Yep.My Profile

    • CTER says:

      I agree with you on the worry aspect of endurance sports being the only motivation but like you I have outside passions. I love to cook, and you love music. I draw a lot of inspiration and motivation from cooking as well as from my job and those passions are also fueled by endurance sports. I guess its a large circle of the motivation from one to the other.

      At the end of it all though it has to be fun. Once it stops being fun then it is time to take on the next challenge.
      CTER recently posted..Where My Motivation Has Been Coming From LatelyMy Profile

      • you should start the tri-state vegetarian grille. Get it?
        Patrick Mahoney recently posted..A Music Review On An Endurance Sports Blog? Yep.My Profile

        • CTER says:

          You know since I read this last night I can’t stop thinking about it. How awesome would it be and this is what I’m talking about. There is inspiration/motivation there that is not about training/racing and goals.

          Plus did you read this from Chrissie Wellington. I thought she said it very well:

          But I believe that racing cannot always be the axis around which my life revolves. It should not be an end in itself—never the be all and end all of my life. Never define me. It is just one branch on a tree that I hope is as big, rich and varied as I can possibly make it. I want to inject some variety back into my life, some balance and some spontaneity. I want to be freer to explore and seize other opportunities. I would like to spend more time in the UK, and with my family and my friends; to work more closely with my chosen charities, to attend different races around the world, to work with my sponsors, and to try and inspire as many people as possible. Yes, I could do this whilst training and racing full time, but not to the extent and with the energy and passion that I feel is necessary.
          CTER recently posted..NFL Championship Sunday PredictionsMy Profile

  9. Beth says:

    If there’s no goal (time, process, etc), then there’s no point. Way to put it out there and really work towards those goals!
    Beth recently posted..Cycling ProgressMy Profile

  10. Jeff Irvin says:

    Aggressive Goals — Way to put it out there!

    You know what sucks about time goals? The realization that shit can happen despite your training – long swim course, lots of waves, a volunteer sends you in the wrong direction on the bike, crappy road conditions, rain, wind, unexpected heat. So much shit can happen.

    Anyway, I am just rambling!
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..Olympic Trials & Houston MarathonMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      That is so true, and here is the thing about those elements that I love…..everybody is going through the swim course, waves and crappy road conditions.

      When I am out there I focus on me and what I can do. Everything else is out of my control and I have to accept that.

      I will say that endurance sports has taught me to be more zen like in my focus and picking up on yoga again has really pushed that mind set even further.

  11. katie says:

    maria’s blog is great!!! and i love how methodical you are about your goals. you’re gonna get there, and then more.
    katie recently posted..wordless wednesdayMy Profile

  12. jess says:

    I am doing Longhorn again too. I want to conquer that course!

  13. Chuck says:

    Yo J- Just so you know, I don’t comment a lot because you get so many, but I read every article. Just wanted to let you know.

    See you in Austin!
    Chuck recently posted..Let’s rock it!My Profile

    • CTER says:

      Appreciate Chuck. I read every comment and do my best to respond back so fell free to say hello or leave your opinion.

      Have seen your work on Twitter. Keep it up you are going to have a rockstar year in 2012.

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