Progress · Tips

Motivation Pt 3. – Staying Motivated!

How to STAY Motivated?

While working on whatever journey you have set out to accomplish, it is important to not take on tasks that are significantly above your capability.  There is a phenomenon in developmental psychology called The Goldilocks Principle that describes the ideal routine for maintaining your motivation.  This theory is based on the children’s story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, where Goldilocks finds a house owned by three bears.  Each bear has its own preference of food and beds. After testing all three examples of both items, Goldilocks determines that one of them is always too much in one extreme (too hot or too large), one is too much in the opposite extreme (too cold or too small), and one is “just right”.

How does The Goldilocks Principle apply to your journey?  Much like the size of the bed and temperature of the food in the story, if one of your tasks is significantly below or far exceeds your capability at the time you attempt it, you may find it boring or discouraging.  These feelings could possibly hinder or halt your progress toward your goal. The mind is a powerful tool but often can be our biggest roadblock.  Tasks that straddle the border of success or failure are most motivating for the human brain.  If you find yourself boring or discouraged with a task at hand, sit back and brainstorm how to pull that task back to your level to maintain peak motivation.  Keeping the Goldilocks Principle in mind when planning your tasks is vital for maintaining long-term motivation for accomplishing your goals.

The Motivation “Wall”

Anyone who has run a marathon has heard of the “The Wall,” when I ran my first marathon I experience it right on schedule at Mile 22.  Chances are, no matter the journey, you will hit speed bumps or roadblocks along the way. It is important to persevere.  Even if the tasks you are preforming are within your scope of capability, your mind will likely tell you to stop if something becomes too challenging.  Rather than giving in to this thought, imagine how good it will feel when the task is done and you have accomplished what you set out to do.  You might consider brainstorming new ways to keep yourself engaged in the task at hand in order to finish.

Everyone has heard the quote “Pain is temporary…” and while it may be cliché it is also true.  Say you have 4 reps in your squat set left, your legs are on fire and you feel defeated.  You muster the energy to finish those last 4 reps, you instantly feel better and stronger knowing that you completed what you set out to do.  This quote applies to so many things in life: working out, cooking, cleaning, even just making it through a shift at work.  When I graduated college and got my first job working 12-hour shifts, I would dwell on how long the days were or how slow the time went.  One of my more seasoned co-workers, who always had a calm demeanor, told me: “there’s nothing you can do about it, you have to be here.  The way I look at it is, I get here and I spend 12 hours of my day here, the time goes just like it would for anyone and after 12 hours, I go home.”  I internalized what he told me and saw the truth in the words.  Push yourself to keep going because it WILL end, and when it does you will feel much better knowing what you accomplished.

DownsizingBri_LanceArmstong_PAINOne last sentiment about hurdling over that “wall,” you will NEVER regret the progress you made, but you will regret what you did not accomplish if you quit.  You see the finish line in the distance, and while you might hate every second along the way when you cross that line you will feel fulfilled.  I have never met someone who told me they felt awful after losing 30 lbs. during their fitness journey, and I likely never will.  A large part of our society gets hung up on the goal and not the journey – anyone can dream of winning a gold medal in the Olympics but few people want to put the work in and train like an Olympian.  You want your 6-pack abs and chiseled back, but you don’t want to grind out at the gym 5x week while maintaining a healthy diet.  You can’t have your goal without the hard work that precedes it, that is life.  If you stick to your schedule, put in the work, push through the “blood, sweat and tears” you will see results and you will live a happier and fulfilled life.

Comment on what factors motivate you to achieve your goals!!

If you need to catch up on the rest of the essay:

Motivation Pt 1 – What is Motivation?

Motivation Pt 2 – How Do I Get Motivated?

Progress · Tips

Motivation Pt. 2 – How Do I Get Motivated?

How Do I Get Motivated?

SCHEDULE YOURSELF!  A lot of time and opportunity is wasted on wondering when you will do your next workout (I’ll use exercise as my example, since it is my goal.) If you do not schedule a time and day to work out, you will wake up hoping to “feel like working out.”  Setting a schedule for yourself is fairly painless, and will appeal to your goal-oriented mentality.  Most people, whether they acknowledge this or not, have a goal-oriented mentality.  If I’m doing squat reps at the gym and I set my goal for 5 sets of 7 reps, when I get to that last rep and I’m feeling pretty tired I tell myself it’s “just two more” and I muster the strength to finish.  Some people may jokingly refer to this as their own form of “OCD.”  Either way, set yourself a schedule and stick with that schedule and you will see results.

CONSISTENCY IS KEY!  Once you have your schedule set up, be consistent!  It’s an acceptable practice to have a “cheat day,” just as long as you make that part of your schedule.  I normally reserve my cheat day for Sunday, but if I make an allowance on Tuesday what is to stop me from making a “one time” allowance for Thursday or Friday?  Consistency can become your ritual to meeting your goals.  If your goal is to lose weight, an example routine might be: wake up at 5am, workout from 5:30-6:30, wind down with a shower, head to work from 8:00-4:30, come home, do some stretches or yoga to unwind from work or before bed to clear your mind and “power down” before going to bed early. Rinse and repeat this schedule everyday and it will become normal and you will see the weight loss!

Charles Duhigg notes The 3 R’s of Habit Change in his book The Power Of Habit.

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  • Reminder – The trigger that initiates the behavior
  • Routine – The Behavior itself and the actions you take
  • Reward – The benefit you gain from doing the behavior

Stay Tuned for the Third and FINAL part of my Motivation Series!

Backtrack to Part 1 – What Is Motivation?

Progress · Tips

Motivation Pt. 1 – What Is Motivation?

Motivation:Mountain_MandelaQuote

  1. the act or process of motivating : Some students need motivation to help them through school.
  2. the condition of being motivated : employees who lack motivation
  3. a motivating force, stimulus, or influence :  incentive, drive

Some people are born with fierce motivation, they are unstoppable – for the rest of us, motivation is a self discipline.  Anyone can sit down and write a list of “life goals”, they can even further describe the steps to take which will make their goal attainable, but then what?  The hardest part of getting something done is starting.

How often do you make up your mind to do something: “Ok, this is my last good meal tonight and I’m starting my diet tomorrow, I HAVE to lose 10 lbs.”  Does this sound familiar?  There is a quote from The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield that states, “At some point, the pain of not doing it becomes greater than the pain of doing it.”  At what point of repeating “I’ll start tomorrow” do you realize that you will never start and that you feel worse than the day before?  In this post I want to help identify your roadblocks before you get stuck, and help form a detour to your goals!

Am I Doing This Wrong?

There are a lot of misconceptions and personal setbacks when it comes to getting motivated.  Most people expect to “get motivated” and immediately hop up and lose 10 lbs, get that perfect job, finish that novel or simply clean the house – that is not how this works.  Motivation comes AFTER starting a new behavior or habit, not before!  Almost all your friction or frustration occurs at the beginning, after you have decided to start whichever journey you set your eyes on.

You finally decided on a goal – maybe you want to lose weight, or join a direct selling company and transition to working from home.  These are great goals; they’re actually goals I have myself.  So how do you get started?  Do you look up articles on internet forums or YouTube?  Do you buy books to read and highlight or maybe catch an inspirational speaker at your local theater?  These are all good practices to learning a new trade or how to exercise properly, but more often than not, people get stuck on this phase of their journey.  This practice is called passive inspiration: taking in the advice and ideas of other people.  You find a great video on how to start your business from a successful entrepreneur and you watched the entire thing! You feel empowered and motivated but you did not actually start your own business.  Do not get me wrong, learning is a VITAL part of starting anything new, but equally important to learning is actually executing your plan.

What you are looking for is active inspiration: actually taking your knowledge and starting your business, going outside and marketing or setting up shop at a local trade show to get your name in the community.  You can sit and learn everything there is to know about anything, but unless you get up and do work you will never reach that finish line.

There is some debate on how long it takes to develop a habit.  Plastic Surgeon, Maxwell Maltz, published a book that asserts 21 days is the magic number to develop a habit.  A study by the University College London states 66 days is the magic number to develop a new habit.  No matter the number of days, you will not see results tomorrow, and you have to be persistent with your work and goals to succeed.  The roadblock is getting started.  Once you are well on your way to your goal your body and mind often adapt to the changes you have made.  The progress toward your goal will occur naturally, which often makes finishing your task much easier than starting.

Move Along To Part 2 – How To Get Motivated!

Check Out Part 3 – Staying Motivated!

 

Progress

RunDisney’s Silver Lining.

Epcot_WD_Impossible.JPGEvery cloud has a silver lining.  It’s a cliche quote, but appropriate for this post.  Last week I posted the recap of my first DNF with the Princess Half Marathon.  I need to get an accurate count of my race history, but off the top of my head I have completed: 1 FULL marathon, 18 HALF marathons and countless 10k & 5ks and I have never had a DNF until this year.  To say I was devastated would be an understatement, especially knowing had I not sprained my ankle the day before I would have completed this race with no issues whatsoever.

On Monday March 6th, I received my finisher’s e-mail from RunDisney, which usually thanks you for participating and offers finisher certificates and such.  I am not even going to pretend like I didn’t immediately delete the e-mail without opening it because the memories of that DNF are still very fresh.  On Thursday March 9th, I’m scrolling through this facebook group “Team RunDisney” and I notice someone mention registering early as a past participant for Princess Half Marathon weekend 2018 – which immediately caught my eye.  Registration for Princess Weekend doesn’t open until May, and if anyone has ever registered for a Downsizingbri_RunDisneyPastPartLinkRunDisney race, you know it can be intense and stressful.  I read this post where RunDisney started to offer early registration for past participants and the special link was in that Thank you e-mail I had deleted!  Thankfully, the e-mail was still in my trash and sure enough, there was the registration link!  I followed the link to the RunDisney page where I promptly logged into Active.com and registered myself for the newly re-named “Fairy Tale Challenge” and the “Princess 5K”.  The “Fairy Tale Challenge” is the former “Glass Slipper Challenge” which consists of running the 10k on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday for an extra shirt and medal. This would have been my 5th (and legacy) year for the challenge, except with my DNF this year I will not retain my legacy status.  As another past participant, my mother also signed up for the challenge and 5k, so I will have some support with me next year!

DownsizingBri_RunDisney_Reg_confirmPHMAs I have mentioned in previous posts, the DNF this year still stings and I’m sure it will for a while – but already preparing for next year with this early registration and skipping the stress of regular registration shows good things to come!  Next year, I will be better prepared for the race, more aware of my surroundings and I will finish – faster than I have in previous years and have an amazing trip.  I am working on a training schedule and I just got some amazing shoes – New Balance 860v7 – check out my post about my new shoes!  As disappointing as the DNF was for me, I’m re-channeling that frustration into motivation for next year and I know the results will be amazing.

I want to hear from you guys!  Who will be joining me and my mother at Disney World next year for the 10th Anniversary of the Princess Half Marathon and the 5th Anniversary of the Fairy Tale Challenge?!?

 

Product Review

Road ID Products!

I got my first Road ID wristband in 2013, The Wrist ID Sport in blue!  These products are good to use during athletic activity, but also if you have a medical need to identify!  Road ID has come a long way to provide multiple products!  They have a handful of different wristband styles, shoe pouches, products for your neck & ankle and they even have pet products!  If you don’t read to the bottom, I’ll put the good stuff at the top – I have a Super awesome $5.00 OFF Road ID Coupon for the first FIVE people who use it, if you want to check out the products! (it expires 3/19/17)

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Road ID Wristband Slim

I also have a Road ID slim, which is nice – it feels a lot like those yellow Livestrong wristbands everyone used to wear, but a bit thicker.  I don’t often wear this since I usually have my Garmin Vivoactive on, and if I’m at Disney my magicband is on my other wrist.

The wristbands come in multiple styles and Road Id even offers interactive assistance.  When you purchase Road ID Interactive, you are given 6 FREE months of membership to the Emergency Response System (ERS). Each additional year is then only $9.99 (less than 84 cents a month.)  Your Road Id will have an additional two lines added at the bottom, your “First Responder Section.”  You will create your emergency responder profile with all your medical, and your Road ID will have your serial # and pin # on the back so if you need assistance and cannot provide information yourself the first responder can look up your entire medical profile to begin proper treatment.  I have not utilized this program yet, but I might consider it in the future!

DownsizingBri_ShoePouch.jpgMy favorite product is the shoe pouch!  I keep this little pouch on my shoes at all times, and it’s perfect for Driver’s License, Credit Card/Hotel Key Card, or even a house key (your car key with remote will not fit, unfortunately.)  The shoe pouch comes in 7 different colors, and if you’d like to get an additional pouch without the ID it’s only $6.99!  It’s easy to attach with the velcro strap, and it weighs next to nothing.  I secure it through 2-3 rows of my shoe laces, so that it doesn’t bounce when I run – I NEVER feel this pouch during activity!  Here’s a quick image to show how to strap on your shoe pouch!

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Easy attachment of the Road ID Shoe Pouch

Road ID also has apparel as well as IDs you can add to your current GPS watch bands – for a list of which GPS watches available check out their website!  Road ID has “badges” as well if you want to spruce your band up a bit with some decorations!

Additionally, if you’d like to check out Road ID and their products I have a COUPON CODE for $5.00 OFF!  Follow the link below, and the FIRST FIVE people who use the code will ge $5.00 OFF their purchase – this coupon expires on 3/19/17 so grab your ID!

Super awesome $5.00 OFF Road ID Coupon!!

Exercise · Product Review

New Shoes = Best Day Ever!

Sometimes, it’s the small things that have the greatest impact!  Today I received my brand new pair of New Balance 860v7 and they’re beautiful!  I had previously worn Asics Kayano 19 followed by the Kayano 20.  Regrettably, I did not keep track of the mileage on either pair of shoes, so I never really knew when it was time to replace them.  The last few races I completed in my Kayano 20s, almost every time, once I hit mile 6 the balls of feel felt like I was running on needles for the remainder of the race.  Since I hadn’t kept up with my mileage, I took this as a sign that it was time for new shoes.

After flying back from Disney World, I went to our local store On The Run to have my feet re-evaluated to make sure I was in the right shoe.  About, 11 pairs of shoes later I found the New Balance 860v7!  I have a flat, wide foot so I tried on a B width, since that is what they had on hand in the store, where I usually wear a D width.  This was no a problem, they had special ordered my width and it arrived only a couple of days later.  These shoes feel like I’m walking on tiny little purple clouds, such a difference from my broken down Kayanos.  I also made myself a promise, to keep track of my mileage no matter what with these shoes, so I don’t cause myself unnecessary pain during my races.  It’s a good practice to change running shoes anywhere between 300-500 miles!

What shoes do you guys wear??  Let’s see some pictures! 🙂

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New Balance 860v7 – Women’s Size 8D
Race Recap

Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend – Race #3: Princess 1/2 Marathon

Almost one week ago, I was getting ready to start up my 5th Princess Half Marathon.  I knew that I was slightly under trained and now sporting a (probably) sprained ankle, the though had crossed my head to take a “DNS” (Did Not Start) – but I decided to give it a try anyway!

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Princess Half Marathon Start Line

The morning started at 3AM again, my ankle was still slightly swollen despite my “RICE” routine last afternoon/night.  I headed to the bus around 3:30am and arrived at the staging area about 15 minutes later.  The walk to the half marathon start is not in the Epcot parking lot, like the 5K and 10K were, it’s about a 1 mile trek to the actual highway where the corrals are setup.  The corrals span from A-P, each with one small entrance guarded by volunteers to ensure that you are in your assigned corral.  I was about the 7th person to enter my corral “L”, so I parked myself at the front, sat down and waited.  It’s normal to get to the corrals early enough to have about 1-1.5 hours of downtime before the even starts.  This year a lot of the roadways throughout Disney World were under construction, so they delayed the race start by about 10 minutes to allow more time for people who were stuck in traffic.  Around 16-17k people participate in this Half Marathon and by the time they shot the fireworks for the first corral, people were still piling into the chute!

PRO TIP #1: Use the Disney transportation!  You may have to wait for the line to get on the bus after the race, but you will not be late!

Mile 1-3.1:
The race was scheduled to start at 5:30AM, it actually started around 5:40-5:45AM, with my corral starting at 6:20AM.  I started out of the chute at a small jog and while my ankle was a little cold (as were my legs), which did not seem to effect me.  The first 0.75 mile is on a three lane highway, plenty of room to spread out.  Just before the first mile marker we took a highway exit, a one lane exit.  Looking back on my experience, I should have bailed off into the grass, this one lane exit was really congested with runners which basically forced everyone to a walking pace.  The exit was also banked, so as soon as I hit that uneven pavement my ankles were screaming.  After taking the exit, we hit mile 1 and I was already walking.  The upside is that we were on a 4 lane highway now, with plenty of room to spread out or run/walk.  Jack Sparrow is normally the first character before mile 2 followed by all the Disney Princes.

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Magic Kingdom Gate – Princess Half Marathon

The course took us right under the Magic Kingdom gates, of course I had to snap my annual picture!  This highway also runs in line with the Monorail track, so you’ll see it driving past you with spectators on their way to and from Magic Kingdom – the monorail conductors will often honk at the runners!  The course hits the 5K mark right in front of the old Disney Speedway – I remember running around the entire speedway during the full marathon back in 2013, that was no joke those speedways are long!  My pace was slow, there was congestion and my ankle was throbbing through most of the first leg of this race.

Mile 3.2-6.2:
After passing the 5K mark, the course runs through the ticket and transportation center for Magic Kingdom.  Out of all the times I’ve participated in this race, this part of the course is where someone always steps on my shoe/accidentally trips you and whatever other shenanigans related to the course narrowing to a “large sidewalk” width.  One of my pet peeves about the later corrals of RunDisney races is that “runner etiquette is completely ignored”, you’ll have people weaving back and forth from one side of the course to the other, often bumping into people they cut off.  People will be running on the right side and getting frustrated with the walkers when proper etiquette is for runners to keep left and walkers keep right.  Now not all walkers are innocent, it’s pretty even across the board.  After passing through the ticket and transportation center the course remained a strict one lane roadway until we got into the park, so for the next 1.5 miles.  The drummers from the Polynesian resort were at the exit side of the TTC which is always enjoyable!  The course took us under the Disney waterway where the DJ on the top told us we were “running underwater and kept completely dry”, on the other side of the waterway was the Contemporary resort.  The course took us past the Magic Kingdom bus stop area and into a side gate in front of Space Mountain.  From here the course took us right to a side entrance to Main Street USA.  We entered in and took a right turn onto Main Street and we were running directly at Cinderella’s Castle.  FYI: if you are in a later corral during this race with a slower expected pace – do NOT expect to run down Main Street USA, it’s not going to happen.  People will stop right in front of you with no warning to take pictures, or dart across the runners to get to the sidewalk to take pictures – if anything be on guard while going down this stretch of road.  You have half of Main Street USA to run down, the other half is roped off for spectators.  The course takes a right into Tomorrowland, runs around the backside of the park toward the Storybook Circus area and into Fantasyland.

PRO TIP #2:  If you have to use the restroom and can wait until Mile 6, do it in Magic Kingdom – you can use the restrooms in the parks.  MOST people will dart off in Tomorrowland to use the restroom resulting in long lines – if you wait and use the restrooms in Fantasyland to the right and behind “Pinocchio Village Haus” I hardly EVER encounter lines in that restroom!

The course runs (actually walks at this point) straight through the backside of the castle and as of this year, you can exit down either side to help with congestion.  There are photo pass photographers on each side of the exit as well as stationed in front for a standing picture.  We headed through Frontierland and into a backstage area where the Princess parade float was as well as Princesses like Aurora/Philip and Snow White/Prince Charming (warning – this line is LONG.)  After passing the float, we hit the 10K mark.

Mile 6.3-9:
After the 10K mark, the course exits Magic Kingdom and runs down the road in front of the Grand Floridian. My pace was complete

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Icing the ankle at the Mile 9 Med Tent

garbage at this point, I didn’t stop to look at my ankle but I felt like it was probably twice the size of when I started.  I was really starting to consider not finishing, but I just needed to get to mile 11 and pass the last hard sweep point, so I continued.  The course outside of Magic Kingdom and in front of the Grand Floridian was also a one lane roadway until mile 8.  This congestion was not helping as I was forced to walk most of this stretch, and people would run and stop for their walk interval in front of me, while slowing to a pace slower than my walking pace.  My ankle was really starting to feel the constant pace changes.  I made it back to the highway and the pain really started to increase after mile 7.5ish.  By mile 8 my ankle was the size of a baseball, and I had to make the decision to try to continue or cut my losses and DNF for the first time ever.  I knew there was a medical tent at mile 9 so I told myself I would at least think about it until then.  At mile 8.9 I texted my mother saying I couldn’t continue, and stopped at Mile 9 awaiting the shuttle to the finish.  I was devastated and in pain, this was my first DNF EVER since I started participating in road races, and even more this would ruin my legacy at the Glass Slipper Challenge (as I have completed all thus far since the challenge started.)  Part of me told myself that all I needed to do was complete two more miles and I would technically be “safe” but in those two miles is 0.75 mile of a banked roundabout which was 100% worse than the banked exited i described before mile 1, as well as three overpasses before entering Epcot to the finish.  I knew how my ankle felt now – I could only imagine what it would feel like after those obstacles.  I sent at the medical tent for about 10 minutes and the famous “Balloon Ladies” passed the checkpoint, not much longer the vans arrived to take us to the finish.

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My ace bandage, “Pity” medal and my cinch backpack from the finish.

The shuttles or “SAG Wagon” dropped us off behind the medical tent at the finish, and I got my ankle wrapped with some ice.  They gave us our “pity” Half Marathon medals and I headed back to the bus, I wanted nothing more than to shower and lay down.  With the RunDisney races, even if you get “swept” you still get your finisher medal (but no challenge medals) – it’s nice, but not earned.

If anything, this year has set the stage for next year.  While I will not be getting any legacy perks next year, I set myself some goals today.  I will NOT be in a later corral, the congestion of people was too much for me this year.  I have already begun looking for running events later this Fall that I can use as proof of time to join an earlier corral.
I will be trained and ready!

 

Stats this year:
Time: 2:35:33
Distance: 9.0 Miles

Goals for next year:
Pace: 10-12min mile
Finish: Approx. 2.5 to 2.75 hour finish time.

Gear:
GPS: Garmin Vivoactive