Coping with Low Motivation
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Saturday was a bad motivation day for me. It was a struggle to get my usual morning exercises in, and I didn't do the kettlebell TGUs and snatches I usually do on Saturdays.
Sometimes I can't tell why motivation leaves. This time, it was pretty clear. Motivation had been low for a couple of days because I wasn't getting enough sleep. So I turned off the alarm on the weekend; but I still didn't sleep much past when the alarm should have sounded. The problem is, I need to get to sleep earlier instead of staying awake to read.
I've read a lot of blogs where people wrestle with the urge to binge eat. I have that urge at times, too; but it's not like other folks describe it. For me, the self-destructive behavior of choice is staying awake late to do whatever kinda sorta has my attention, even if it's not all that much fun. I thought I had that licked with a bedtime goal; but now I see it's going to need periodic attention, probably until I retire from the working world.
So on Saturday, I was up a little late and still tired. Went through the morning routine in a leisurely fashion, as I usually do; but wasn't motivated to put in extra exercises like I usually do on Saturday. The lawn needed mowing. I had a noonish appointment for lunch with my daughter, and probably some chatting in the afternoon. I need to get my 10K steps in. What to do?
A bit before 10, I decided that a day of low motivation was the perfect time to do the limited quantity of run/walk intervals that I had planned for the weekend. If motivation is low, it will be less of a disappointment to stop at 6. So I did that. I did some other stuff, too. Turned on the 5 minute warmup for RunKeeper, so I would walk 5 minutes before starting to run. Concentrated on running easier, which ought to mean slower, since just running seemed to be an issue. Got through 6 cycles of run 1, walk 3, and then kept walking while ignoring RunKeeper's interval prompts.
That came out to 2.83 miles in 35 minutes, with only 6 minutes of running. Average pace is 12:28, which is faster than I can walk for that long under the best of conditions; but it still felt more like a walk than a run.
Check the RunKeeper stats. The pace isn't terribly accurate for the running intervals, both because of the short time and because I don't really start and stop on the dot very well; but it's a guideline. RunKeeper thinks my pace in the six one-minute running intervals was 8:03, 7:48, 8:03, 7:34, 7:59, and 7:53. Look back at the last set of intervals. RunKeeper thought the pace for the running intervals was 8:05, 7:19, 6:51, 6:43, 7:17, 6:48, 6:55, 7:09, 7:01, and 6:53. The app may not be totally accurate, but it looks to me like I did a better job of controlling my speed this time around.
It remains to be seen whether I can figure out how to run slow while doing intervals, which are usually promoted for working on running faster.
Then Saturday afternoon I was mostly sedentary, and mowing the lawn in the early evening was just about enough to fill out my 10K steps for the day. Did a better job of turning out the light early, and Sunday arrived with better motivation. Fancy that.
So I did the kettlebell work this morning, and got to the gym to lift weights this afternoon. It's been 5 days since the last time I got to the gym; that's been a casualty of lack of sleep and the resulting sub-par motivation. Got to watch that going forward.
Oh, and the foot. Yes, I can tell I did intervals yesterday and shouldn't run today. But it was good enough to support one legged calf raises. You usually think of calf raises targeting the large calf muscle, the gastrocnemius; but the PT wants me to do them to strengthen my arch. If I can't do them on one leg, do them on two to work on it.
So there's my weekend with fitness and rehab. It wasn't a gold star weekend, but I think I did a decent job of coping with the results of some poor bedtime decisions from earlier in the week. Next up, try not to get into this position again.