T-minus 4 weeks and some until the 2015 Chicago Marathon! Last year I wrote a NYC Marathon Countdown (Motivation, Logistics, Packing, Fueling, Race Day Outfit) series each Wednesday prior to the marathon. I thought it would be fun to do the same for Chicago now that it is a month away. Today’s topic: motivation!
Compared to last year, I think my motivation is a little better (I just need more hours in the day). Of course I still have those Friday nights in which I start dreading the long run (it has gotten better with the cooler weather) or thinking “what am I doing?” when it starts to hurt during a long run. Using last year’s post as a reference, here are five ways that have helped me stay motivated (with new content of course). Hope this is useful to you know matter what distance or race you are training for:
1. Remind Yourself Why
Back in January I wrote “2015 Chicago Marathon – I Want You!” (yay for documenting everything on the blog). When I begin to dread the long run or feel my motivation is decreasing I usually refer to that post.
- After the NYC Marathon (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) I knew I had so much more room to improve and want to PR at my next marathon. Chicago’s flat course will be perfect. While this certainly motivates me, my confidence level is so-so. My training hasn’t been ideal (mushing it all on the weekend…I still need re-read my training logs from last year). Will I still PR? I know my goals have changed a bit as we approach the marathon and I will share them in a future Chicago Marathon Countdown post.
- Travel and food wanderlust – visiting Chicago and pizza pizza!
- Running another World Marathon Major.
- My mom, younger sister and Cliff are all coming to Chicago as my runtourage. Despite the outcome of the marathon, it will be great having them experience the weekend with me.
- Of course, meeting my run buds and Oiselle teammates will be a plus as well!
2. Official/Unofficial Race Social Media
Like last year, I followed the Chicago Marathon’s Facebook and Twitter accounts (not sure if they have an Insta account). While they have been posting more content this past month, I think I got spoiled by the NYC Marathon social media accounts (high engagement pretty much 24/7….I still follow them which helps). I’m a photo lover, so following hashtags like #OwnChicago #ChiMarathon #ChicagoMarathon have been helpful! I also joined the Marine Corps Marathon & 10K Club Facebook Group and it is amazing.
This group is not affiliated with the Marines, but this nearly 6,000 strong group is super motivating. People share pictures from their early or late training runs, questions, and stories. If all goes well recovery wise following Chicago, I still plan on running the MCM. Even if I wasn’t, I would highly recommend that group.
3. Read Race Recaps/Websites
After I got in through the lottery, I immediately scoured the internet for Chicago Marathon race recaps. These were my faves:
- Lauren @ Breath Deeply and Smile
- Jesica @ Run Lady Like
- Sara (formerly known as Prairie Runner Girl) @ Capitol Runner Girl
- Sarah @ Blonde Bostonian
- Theodora @ Preppy Runner
- Liz @ One Tweny Five
- RunFiestaGal @ Running Fiesta
After reading them… I always think….awesome I get to run here + someone usually has tips on how to navigate race weekend. I’ll probably re-read these (and more) again as we get closer to the race.
4. Read/Follow Others who are Training
There are a number of bloggers I follow who are training for the Chicago Marathon, to name a few:
- Kristina @ Kristina Running
- Alaina @ The Simple Peach
- Helly @ hellyontherun
- Holly @ HoHoRuns
- Amanda @ Shapin’ Up
- Kathleen @ Sister to Sister Running
- Lauren @ Breath Deeply and Smile
- Cyanne @ Run Stretch Go <-def check out Cyanne’s IG account, her training posts are very motivational!
It is nice to follow others because I can empathize with their training (be careful not to play the comparison game) and most people have similar feelings. Since Chicago is held in what I call Marathon Month, it has been great following along those training for Portland, Wineglass, Baltimore, Marines Corp, etc. The Oiselle Team has also been a great source of motivation – it is wonderful having such a large support group.
5. Watch Videos/Movies
I re-watched Spirit of the Marathon I (of course) since it chronicled six runners training/running the 2005 Chicago Marathon (uhh….woah….10 years later….would be interested to see Where Are They Now?) I have watched (probably) most of the Chicago Marathon videos on YouTube. I’ve never been to Chicago, so it is nice to get a preview of the race course.
A few weeks ago I shared this video posted by Abbott World Marathon Majors to their Vimeo Site, it is probably my favorite.
My brother is giving me his old (new) GoPro, so my plan is to create and share my own video for you all!
How do you stay motivated?
Any Chicago Marathon related posts/videos/articles I should read?
Any Chicago spectator recommendations?