As I was running at the gym the other night, I had a medium hard workout, and it lasted about an hour. As I was inputting comments into my run diary, I had almost nothing to say. It was...just a workout. Nothing exceptional about it. It was a 6 on perceived exertion, running metrics were all OK, and just average. As I walked out of the gym, it was a great summer night in NYC. People were laughing, drinking, eating dinner. And I was tired, a bit cranky, and had just run 6 miles for what? I am not sure. It would be much more fun to laugh and throw back some beers. And I thought... those people aren't doing what I am doing, they aren't in the gym. I wonder why not? This isn't fair.
And then it occurred to me: running is hard. It is work. It is really something that has a lonnnng payoff. Workout today, and tomorrow I am not better, fitter or stronger. Skip the workout and I am not weaker or slower. To push through the average workouts, the unexceptional days, the times when the other path seems so easy -- that is the hard part. That's the hard work. "The difference between goals and accomplishments is dedication and commitment."
I should also add I am dieting, and also training for NY Marathon 2014. So I am literally mindful of everything I eat and drink. And I ponder over every workout, both from lose weight perspective and from a marathon training perspective. That isn't fun. It is mentally taxing, to keep the focus, the commitment, the dedication, over many months. I forgot that consistency -- that every week matters, and I can't just let 2 or 3 weeks go. (I actually let two months "go" earlier this year. It was a health disaster. Added 10 pounds, and set back marathon training by months. It wasn't a neutral, it was a big minus.
I am already looking forward to the marathon day, and its 2 months off. The diet ends. The self induced pressure ends. But the payoff, the long term payoff? That's the prize. Even if it takes a lot of hard work.