This is the time of year when people see their fitness begin to fade. They notice a decline in their commitment to get out the door. They seem to miss runs and cut runs short more often. It's getting cold (well, in San Diego, its not quite cold yet, but it's also not toasty warm at 5am). It's getting dark earlier, and it's staying dark longer.
I've had a lot of "Ugh!" thoughts lately as I head out for a run. The workouts remain easy to be motivated for, but just the workouts won't get me to my goals. The easy runs that start before dawn. The weekday long run that start WAY before dawn! The day's second run that starts after sunset. These are the run that get us to our goals. They can't be skipped. We MUST get out the door. Once we're out there, they CAN'T be cut short. I consider myself as motivated as anyone when it comes to running. As I begin each early morning run alone in the dark with a sigh, a chill, and two stiff and sore legs, a lot of thoughts run through my head. Eventually, as I warm up, I come to the right kind of thoughts. The thoughts that remind me of what my dedication will get me. That on December 4th, all this will be worth it. On the good days, I get to the even better thoughts that go past December 4th, past CIM or any other race I'll do in the future and just think of how much I love being dedicated. I love being the type of guy that will push past the thoughts of getting out of a warm bed and the first few miserable strides (sometimes miles) just to get to the good thoughts and the good strides.
I think so many people miss out on pursuing something far enough that they get past the bad thoughts. Past the cold air. Past the after work fatigue. Past the darkness. As I write this, I know that tomorrow morning before the sun has even thought of rising over the mountains, my feet will be on the pavement. I won't wait for it. If the sun decides not to rise tomorrow, I'll find out sometime in the middle of my long run.