Commitment! Now that’s an easy one (for me, anyway). You will never get far as a runner without showing up & doing the work; that’s what commitment means to me as a runner.
And I am a committed runner. I find it very hard to miss a planned workout, even when it’s not in my best interest. Clearly, I might need actual commitment (as in an insane asylum).
I keep telling people I’m not a type A person. I can go to bed with a dirty kitchen (kind of the norm around here anyway). I don’t color my hair because the upkeep is just too much for me, even if I feel older sometimes when I look in the mirror.
But miss a workout? NOooooo!
I keep asking myself Why? Why is it so darn hard for me to not stick to my plan (I am getting better at it, by the way, but there’s still vast room for improvement).
I think some of it is that I want to improve so badly. I want an easy run to be a 10 minute mile, not a 13 minute mile. I keep thinking if I just do all the work, it will happen — even though this is clearly not the case for me.
Commitment is about more than showing up and doing the work (although I think that is one of the most important things about running well). It’s also about being committed to your goals.
That commitment keeps me running. I have a big goal: to run a half marathon in every state. It’s what keeps me motivated. Some people can just go out & run 13.1, but I can’t; it’s imperative that I train for it or it is painful (and sometimes painful even IF I train for it, but thankfully more often than not it isn’t painful).
Perhaps one day I will wake up & think I just don’t want to do this anymore. I am no longer feeling committed to run. 4 years into running halfs, though, I still get so excited by each & every one. My commitment to my goal keeps me motivated.