Week 5: Yes I can!

“Ask yourself: ‘Can I give more?’. The answer is usually: ‘Yes’.”
-Paul Tergat, Kenyan professional marathoner

August 31, 2009: 54 days to the 2009 Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon

Ashamed__2214532_992711722.jpgI am very ashamed of myself. So ashamed that I almost didn’t write this blog this week… but when your Editor is cocking an eyebrow at you while demanding your submission -what do you do? See, the problem is… I didn’t train even ONCE last week! All my plans to do my 5-days in the gym plus Sunday running outside were shot to pieces.

I have several excuses. 1) The Public Holiday on Tuesday confused my system for sure! Spending the day at home made it harder to resume gym the next day since it felt like a weekend! 2) Water is back at my house so unlike previous week’s I wasn’t desperate to go to the gym in the morning for a workout and free shower and 3) I am not seeing “instant” results so I am not as excited as I was the first month of training.

Excuses aside, my next assessment is just a couple of days away on September 3rd and I have no clue how I will fare in my fitness and endurance tests. I am beginning to think I should just give up any hope of running the 21K marathon… and instead opt for the 5km children’s race!

I am definitely in need of motivation to continue this program, so I venture into the world wide web for tips from the exercise gurus. Here are my top finds:

1.    Don’t think of exercise as punishment (Shine.yaho.com). – I actually don’t think of it as punishment but it’s no pleasure either when you are so unfit and trying to run on speed 10 on the treadmill.

2.    Keep a journal to record when you worked out, how you felt and include pictures of your body (xav.com). – Yaay!  I do keep a journal (consider this series of articles my journal), but there is NO WAY in hell I am going to include pictures of my body! Just who do these people think they are? They want to de-motivate me further? It’s hard enough keeping the lights on during… ahem, and now they want me to post photos of my unfit body? Maybe after my plastic surgery (an option I am weighing seriously!) In fact, bodybuilding.com states that “at least 95% of people are not too good to look at naked”. I rest my case.

3.     Run with buddies (running.about.com) either informally or through a local running club. I am pleased to say that my gym (The Stanley Health Club) has a running club. It’s a pity I have never participated on their weekend meets. Note to self- sign up for this Sunday’s run!
4.    Reward yourself – Who doesn’t like a reward? It could be a 30 minute massage, a new pair of running shoes, or a day at the spa. But the reward should match the hard work! (You can’t, for example, indulge in a piece of chocolate or cake… or chocolate cake, for that matter, when you’ve only spent 20mns running gently!) No cheating!

After putting down these motivating tips, I actually feel better and will resume my training workout today. Hope I have a better week!

The writer is a 30 something year old Kenyan, who is passionate about being online, but can’t stand Facebook! She is currently employed by the Capital Group Ltd and resides in Nairobi with her two children aged 10 and 2 yrs.

Editor’s Note: Are you training for a big event, marathon or race? Share your experience on what it takes to run a 10K, 21K or a full marathon. Post your comments below.

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