We're closing in on 6 weeks to marathon weekend. Sometimes motivation wanes in and out, but developing a strong sense of PURPOSE can help you keep your motivation.
What is your purpose?
Are you a first time marathoner? Has the marathon distance been on your "bucket list?" Are you part of a fund raising group such as Team in Training? Are you a veteran marathoner looking to improve your personal best time in the distance? Are you a parent wanting to set a positive example for you kids? Are you running simply for you (that is OK, by the way!!), and your training time is your daily sanctuary?
Creating a sense of meaning or purpose changes the way we think about training, our goals, our reasons for running the marathon/half marathon. For each person, purpose will likely have a different meaning. Defining your purpose will give you an environment that is conducive to personal growth. It will also serve as an extra source of motivation.
In some of my toughest training runs, I would think of the people that got me to where I was as a runner. Part of my purpose when training was to achieve what others believed I could do. That gave me mental strength to press on, despite fatigue. That gave me the courage to reach beyond what I thought possible. Extending to new boundaries. I always wear a ring that my grandmother gave me after the first time she saw me race. I look at that every day as a source of purpose. As a coach, I have purpose too. My student-athletes are my mission, my passion, my purpose. My daily goal is to help my athletes achieve their personal best within the lives - running, academics, community, etc. When it's a rough day, I remind myself of my purpose -- my "why".
I challenge you to define your purpose. Right it down. Carry it with you. Tuck it in your running shoe to look at before each run. You'd be surprised at how this little step can change your outlook!
And, of course, enjoy your purpose AND run!