Happy Wednesday! I have some really exciting news (a give-away!), but first an update on Philly half-marathon training: I’m more or less following my training plan. However, some days I end up running less (such as Monday…when I slept in and didn’t go running till 9pm) and some days I end up running a little more (extra mile today!). Last week I cracked 50 miles – even with taking a day off. I felt pretty good about that!

My legs are still feeling fatigued from the relay,so the remainder of this week will be easy mileage. My goal for this coming Saturday’s 5-mile race is to run about 10 seconds faster than HM race pace, hopefully around 6:45 pace. Then I’ll have to tack on 5-6 miles as a cool-down. That’s going to feel AWESOME.

Before I forget, the winners of the Stonyfield Farm organic, Activia give-away are:

Email me your mailing address: runnerskitchen [at] gmail [dot] come and I’ll have the coupons sent to you!

    The topic on my brain right now is…motivation. Bragate 2011 really got me thinking about where we derive our motivation to compete. One reader pointed out that while I might get an extra boost of confidence/speed from wearing my one-shoulder sports bra, someone else might be motivated to pass me because of it. I think that makes a lot of sense. If something is going to make you run faster or train harder, then you need to grab on to that and use it to your advantage (but if you’re going to blog about your competitor’s attire, be discreet!). I really appreciated all of the comments and insight that you provided for my last post. Sometimes when I blog about something, my thoughts aren’t completely formed, but when I hear different opinions I can either 1) articulate myself better or 2) try to see the other point of view. A few readers asked me if I was going to reconsider my stance on running skirts. My answer in short: No, I don’t think I’ll be wearing one anytime soon. It’s just not my thing and I really like the way spandex shorts make my butt look. But, if it makes you feel more bad ass to run in a skirt – go for it. As my girl JWoww says “Imma do me and you do you.”

    The other night I procrastinated on running until after 9pm. Once I finally laced up my shoes and hit the roads, I let my mind mull over my most recent blog post, the comments, and where I get my motivation from. I came up with this list:

    Internal – most of the time, my motivation to run a certain time or hit a specific weekly mileage comes from a desire to beat only myself. I know that the Olympics or a shoe sponsorship aren’t in the cards for me, I just want to become faster purely for my own satisfaction. Will my life change if I run a sub-1:30 half marathon? No, not at all. In fact, besides you blog readers and my parents, no one will even notice. But I will know. And that sense of post-race accomplishment and satisfied exhaustion is one of the best feelings there is.

    External – Sometimes the crowd support is so amazingly awesome that you just can’t help feeling pumped up. The best running moments of my life have involved huge cheering sections. Back in college, I ran my 5k PR at a track meet at Middlebury College. I had trained hard and was having a much better day than I ever expected. I was on target to run a huge PR and seeing my coach and teammates on the sidelines cheering me on pushed me to run a time I never thought I was capable of (18:52). I could see them smiling and cheering and just knowing how much they believed in me gave me a runner’s high like I never had before. Even though I ran the race of my life, I didn’t even feel winded at the finish. External motivation, right there.

    Rivalry – the very premise of racing is about competing, either against yourself and others and yes, we all want to win. Even if this is just a sport we do for fun, sometimes you need to make your rivalry personal. E.g. I want to beat this lady/that guy/this team because x, y, or z. It might be because of what team they run for, what they’re wearing, or how many times they’ve beaten you before. My running club will be competing in the NYRR Club Championships this weekend and you better believe I’ll be running my hardest to beat everyone who’s not on my team. But, I think it’s important to remember…unless you’re an elite, running is something we do for FUN. And it’s a great community. I would never want to become too competitive that I make enemies or lose sight of why I love this sport.

    There are probably a thousand other reasons why people run and compete – to lose weight, for fame and fortune, because it quiets their mind, because it gives them time to their self…whatever it is that makes you run fast and love this sport more, keep on doin’ it. I promise not to be too offended if you set your sights on the girl in the crazy sports bra (me!).

    Speaking of one-shouldered sports bra, have I mentioned how much I love it? Hah, okay, that’s a joke – I know I’ve been talking about it non-stop. The designer/creator of the bra, Zeudy Mars has offered to host a give-away on the blog. One RK reader will win the infamous one-shouldered wonder. All you have to do is comment and tell me where you get your motivation from. I’ll pick a winner on Friday, August 5th by noon.

    [photo source]

    Note: Like I said, this bra held up for 14 miles (no chafing or bounce!), but I’m an A cup. If you’re a little more well-endowed, you may want to save the bra for low-impact activities, like yoga.

    **If you think this bra is cool, you should hop on over to Fit Activewear’s Facebook page and “like it” and/or follow Zeudy (the bra’s designer) on Twitter!**

    • this bra is kind of adorable but even better that it’s functional too.
      I get my motivation from not wanting to stab mirrors in dressing rooms when I’m in good shape… 🙂

    • peter_bbt

      Would make a good present for my wife if Canada’s not too far away.

    • peter_bbt

      Sorry, hit “post” and can’t edit on account of old computer. Would make a good present for my wife if Canada’s not too far away.
      I could give a really long answer, but right now I get motivation from remembering where I used to be, where I am now, and where I’m headed.

    • Samantha Thierry

      a good playlist motivates me!! I would love to try this bra! 


    • I run because I never want to stop challenging myself. I casually ran once in awhile for years (and did other stuff for fitness) but finally, and the encouragement of a runner-friend, I signed up for a half marathon last spring (2010), even though I’d never run more than 3 miles at a time. And I’ve been running ever since. I ran a 10mi race this past spring and will do my second half in 10 days and my third half probably in October. I always want to know that I can still surprise myself. No matter how old I am. (I’m still getting up the guts to challenge myself to train for and do a full marathon.)

    • Lena

      my running motivation comes from my memory of the running aftermath. i like to run to vent frustration and the feeling i get after a run when i am destressed and feeling productive and like i’ve done what i said i’d do, is the best. 
      it is very good to know i am not the only person in this world who is an A. what a relief.!!!

    • Dani

      Great post Meggy!  I get my running motivation from various places as well.  Definitely from within, always wanting to do better than the last time and to believe I am capable of so much more.  From my amazing teammates who inspire to me to do better when they do better.  From my amazing coaches who always believe in me.  And lastly from my family and friends who support me and tell me how much I inspire them.  I need to live up to their expectations and most importantly my own!! 

    • Jenny

      I run so I can have the same stomach as the lady in the picture! Ok totally kidding but I run because I can. I run because I want to live til 95 and celebrate a 60 year wedding anniversary. I run so I can have children someday and so I can have great grand children too! I get motivation from my grandmother who at 89 years old has won the senior Olmpics in tennis more times than I have fingers. She is now “so old” that there is no one left to play doubles with her and has to email across the country to try and find someone to play in her age bracket so she doesn’t have to play down. 🙂 (I don’t know if she’d like a one shoulder sports bra though so I think I’d keep it for myself).

    • Pingback: Simple Summer Dinners | The Runner's Kitchen()

    • I’m always down for cute free stuff.  My motivation comes from having a constant itch to….oh gawd, this is going to sound bad….to be in the “upper echelon” of whatever I try to do.  If I run, I will try to always be in the top % of runners.  If I go to law school, I will try to be in the top %.  I guess it is also competing against myself — I am always, always striving first and foremost for a PR — but I am also competing against others.  I refuse to perform averagely.