Pandemic Plot Twist – The Alarm Clock Provides Motivation

Before I get into pandemic motivation, I want to share a brief update on my run streak. Due to it not aligning with my longterm goals, my run streak is canceled.

While I don’t know when I’ll get to run another marathon as I impatiently wait out the covid-19 pandemic, I do know that I want it to be a Boston Qualifying attempt. Seeing my average pace range drop from 8:10-8:20 to 8:50-8:40 with what felt like the same effort was my cue to abort the run streak.

I did what I could to make it work with easy runs, short runs, extra foam rolling and extra yoga but every run began to feel like the last three miles of a twenty mile run. I wasn’t enjoying running and how it made me feel. That’s the most important part, it’s got to feel good! Running fast and pushing my pace a couple times a week gives me a greater sense of accomplishment than accumulating daily junk miles. That’s my preference.

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While impatiently waiting out the pandemic and going through all the emotions; mad, sad, unmotivated, excessively motivated, sleepy, hungry, hopeful….I have observed many of us on social media are expressing the same. Specifically the unmotivated feeling, and asking “what can I do?”

In my experience in coping with this “new normal” I recently discovered that setting an alarm clock makes a big difference my day. The alarm clock started with me adapting to new patterns on my regular running routes. The routes were extremely crowded, and I decided that I was not an exception to being in a crowd. I did not join them. Yes, it’s frustrating, it sucks, THAT’S MY ROUTE, but this is how social distancing works. Stay away from crowds.

I started setting an alarm clock to run in the morning and noticed how much more productive, motivated and even positive-minded I was during the day. With this observation I started setting an alarm clock for days when I don’t run too. On those mornings I’ve done yoga, strength training, foam-rolling, dog-walking,… it doesn’t have to be fitness related, but those are the things that bring me good energy. You could wake up and knit, read a book, take a walk, take a bath,…whatever brings you joy!

If you’re unmotivated, I encourage you to set an alarm just one day and see if it makes a difference.

If you don’t know what to do when you wake up, here are a few free online workout resources:

Downward Dog app – Free yoga for beginner, intermediate and advanced. Can set the duration anywhere from 9 minutes to 90 minutes. Has different “boosters” for areas that you want to work on: hips, core, flexibility, back strength, breathing, etc.

MadFit – YouTube channel of awesome 10-20 minute strength workouts you can do at home. I’m obsessed with her core workouts.

Barry’s Bootcamp – 20 minute, equipment free Instagram TV workouts.

Your local gym – Whether you’re a member or not, many local gyms are posting Facebook Live workouts. Go to their Facebook page and take a scroll through the videos tab.

Sträva Challenges – Join a community on Strava with mileage challenges. Just be mindful of joining a challenge that aligns with your current fitness level.

Not free, but supporting small business options:

Virtual Races – Support your local 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon and participate in their virtual race. This gives you something to train for and supports the race organization and charity partner.

Coeur Sports Virtual Tri Camp – I enrolled in this to incorporate some structure into my days. It comes with running workouts, Zwift files for bike workouts, a Zoom call with participants and a coach, and community. The community piece is so important for accountability and motivation. They also offer a yearlong membership to a program called The Collective Beat.

My last suggestion to bring good energy into your day comes from a caring and experienced place. Eliminate alcohol consumption. Try it for two days and take note on how your appetite and energy levels feel different. I will openly admit that when the Safer at Home order was put in place it presented me with a strong urge to drink. I had one beer and the next day I felt terrible, reminding me how much alcohol really doesn’t have a benefit for my body. If your appetite is feeling crazy and you’ve increased your alcohol consumption this is something to consider. I’m not sharing out of a place of judgement, but a place of caring. If you want to privately vent or chat with me on this topic, please reach out.

I’d like to hear from you! What are you doing to stay positive these days?

2 comments

  1. I’m so glad you’ve found some mojo again and are in a groove that works for you! I definitely need to get back into the routine of earlier alarm clocks as I think it will definitely set my day off more positively. Thanks for turning me on to the Madfit core videos! I have 5 of them that I rotate between and incorporate into my daily core routine (with a few of my own core workouts as well). They are amazing! Streaking on the bike is something I have really been enjoying! It is something I look forward to everyday and am already seeing that my biking is benefiting my running after only 10 days. 🙂 I am also feeling stronger and stronger on the bike…bonus, bonus! I’m so grateful our local hot yoga studio is doing free virtual classes that I can do through Zoom and they are recorded so I can do them at a later date as well. It adds good variety to the Downward Dog Yoga and I get to see some of my favorite instructors via Zoom. 🙂

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  2. I’m still working (at home) but had set my alarm later. I fell into a rut of hitting snooze, so I set it earlier again. I’m not get up before 5, but closer to 5 at least!

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