No one likes a quitter. Especially me. Especially when I'm the quitter. That really sucks.
Like this morning, for example:
Because I'm trying to get into good half marathon shape, I've been trying to do some long intervals and tempos. They've occurred mostly on the treadmill because I am lazy and don't like being bothered with setting my own pace. That, and I think I can push myself harder there than on a road by myself.
So a 5 miler at 7:08 was scheduled this morning. Except I figured I'd go at 7:12 because I'm still easing back into this "speed thing".
I was a little nervous about this run because I've been quitting tempos halfway through since this summer. And everyone knows that once you start quitting things, it's hard to stop. This would be a challenge given my current speed ability.
I ate some mango chunks and told myself "you won't quit this workout, you'll stick it through". "Yes, I got this." I stepped out the door to warm up into the 40 degree LA weather which if you didn't know, feels like -20 degrees to us. I got back and stepped on the treadmill. "You won't quit this time", I told myself.
I put the treadmill at 1.0% incline and 8.3 mph. The first mile was easy. I blasted some old techno song. Crystal Castles I think. Around two miles in, doubt started creeping into my mind again. "How the hell am I going to run for three more miles?".
"I really feel tired". "If I feel this tired now, how will I feel 15 minutes from now?"
And then that same stupid voice started coming into my head. Like one of those cartoon devil versus angel over my shoulder. "Just hit the stop button". "You're tired".
And damnit, 2.75 miles into this stupid tempo run, I looked down at the stop button...tried to stop myself for a minute...but then as I have many times lately, I hit it. The treadmill slowed down and within a couple seconds I was instantly pissed at myself. How the hell am I going to improve if I just keep quitting these workouts? This keeps happening.
Then the cartoon angel (ok, more like a cartoon personal trainer) came back into the picture. "Come on, Margot. The least you can do is try to finish the tempo".
I decided to get right back on the treadmill and go another two miles (cutting off one quarter). I cranked the inclined down to 0% which I guess is cheating but whatever, I need all the help I can get.
Somehow, the tempo didn't seem to mentally hard when I could think of it as two miles left without already having mileage down. That, and the 60 second break helped.
I finished the two miles at 7:12 and got off the treadmill, still annoyed with myself. And very sweaty. But at least kind of happy that I tried to finish the workout.
There is no inspirational end to this blog post, because it hasn't happened yet. How do you stick it out? I've thought of some ideas...
1) Allow myself to take a 60 second breather during one more tempo, then cut it down to 45 seconds, then 30, and then it's so small I must be able to just keep going right?
2) Adjust the treadmill speed up and down every half mile to avoid boredom and get a sense of achievement every 3-4 minutes.
3) Get someone in there to workout with me. I don't know about you, but I workout way better when there is someone there with me. Essentially, I don't want them to think I'm a total loser and that is motivational enough.
4) Chop stop button off and build cage around treadmill so it is impossible to escape.
How do you get yourself to complete workouts? Have you ever had the same dumb issue as me where you just stop because you don't feel like running any more? And it's easy to do because you're in a pattern of quitting?
I gotta find a way out of this pattern. Or in the words of Daniel Bedingfield, I gotta get through this.