Ways To Get Off Your Ass And Go Running When You Don’t Want To


A couple of days ago, I woke up not wanting to run. I had this whole list of things that I would rather do than go out and run, like setting my face on fire, declawing angry cats, and listening to country music.

We all have days like that. I’m sure that even the most dedicated athletes sometimes look at their training schedules and go, “Ugh. I really don’t feel like it.” I have had enough of those days to have developed a Ways To Get Off Your Ass And Go Running list.

1. Have your running gear laid out in a visible place before bedtime the previous night. There is nothing quite like the guilt induced by a pair of neglected running shoes staring balefully at you each time you walk by.

2. Think of how great you will feel when your run is complete. At the same time, think of how much you will regret it if the day passes by without you going for your run.

3. Think of the reasons you run. Are you doing it for health? Enjoyment? A cause? To win races? You are not going to serve your purpose by letting lack of motivation win.

4. Don’t let yourself make excuses. When I have those days, I’m always tempted to say, “I don’t have time,” or, “I don’t really feel well,” or, “Maybe it’s too hot to go running right now.” Obviously, if you’re coughing up a lung or it’s hot enough to fry an egg on your driveway, you shouldn’t run, but you’ll know if you’re making excuses. If you are, you need to beat down those inner voices and get out there.

5. Think of how missing a run will disrupt your training schedule. Runners live by their training schedules. If you skip out on this today, you will have to run tomorrow. But then you would have to rest the following day, and that would mean missing your scheduled tempo run, or hill training, and… You get the picture. Do you really want to mess up your schedule?

6. Break your run into chunks. Instead of thinking in terms of the whole distance, just tell yourself you’ll go for one or two kilometres and then see how you feel. Chances are that by the time you’re a couple of kilometres in, you’ll wonder why you were reluctant to run.

7. Choose a route with variety. This means different things to different people on different days. Sometimes you may want to combine road and trail, and sometimes you’ll go for a route that offers varied scenery. Variety can simply mean a route that involves a number of left and right turns. Variety keeps things interesting, and it keeps you mentally engaged.

I went out for that run a couple of days ago. Check out today’s vlog to find out how I felt about it.

This is an original post to Running for Autism by Kirsten Doyle. Photo credit to the author.



GUEST POST: Talking About Bulbs

Today we wrap up what’s been a great week of guest posts. So far we have heard from an autism parent, a woman embarking on a weight-loss journey, a mom who suffers from mental illness, and  an Asperger mom who runs. Today’s post comes to us all the way from Spain. Gati Presumida, like my guest writer yesterday, participated in the Health Activist Writers Month challenge. She has Lupus – a condition I knew nothing about until I started reading her blog. She’s not talking about her Lupus today, though. She is talking about her father’s battle with dementia.

Yes, bulbs.

Light bulbs.

You are not crazy. You read that.

I am not crazy. I wrote that.

And, as per mental health, no one is ever crazy.

Because, as crazy as it may sound, talking about bulbs for an hour was the thing that made my yesterday complete.

By the time you finish reading these lines I only hope you can agree with me on this: talking about bulbs can be the greatest thing ever.

My dad suffers a condition called Frontotemporal Dementia. Although God only knows when it started, he was diagnosed 4 years ago, when it was too late for many things.

Dementia has altered our life in such ways that you cannot imagine. However I am not going to tell you another of my “soap operas” today.

I would like you to see what I see. I would love to give you the key of perspective so that you can see how talking about bulbs can make your day.

My dad’s dementia has forced him retire 10 years earlier than what he planned. He is not allowed to have any money nor credit cards or bank accounts and whenever he goes out he gets 1000 questions afterwards so that my mum can be sure he hasn’t done any “crazy” thing like buying a new car or getting a loan on my behalf.

Although my dad can walk he feels under so much  control that he feels house bound.

He gets told off whenever he tries to help and does something. He feels useless and that’s unfair because he may have dementia, but dementia does not have him… yet.

Maybe next year things are different. But nowadays he can do so many good things! And he, nor anyone, should never feel useless.

You see my dad and see a “crazy” person you should not trust. But I see a person that is trying to fight. He knows dementia is meant to have him, but he knows it is up to him to slow the process down.

I know he can do it. That is why I bought him a e-book so that he can train his mind by reading. I ask him for help whenever I need. Not because I pity him, but because I really think he can help me. He is so wise and so capable of doing things and everything. He is worth more than anything to me.

Yesterday I sent him an e-mail asking for help. Do you want to know what he replied? “It comforts me that you think I am capable of doing anything”. It breaks my heart.

He would tell me things like “I am glad you don’t think I am crazy” every time we have a chat.

If I had an idol that would be my dad. Only because I know I would not be able to cope with dementia in the way he does.

Although he sometimes has moments in which he forget things or he does things he should not do without realizing (like buying a car), most of the time he is fully aware of his situation. He knows he is doomed to be defeated by dementia and yet he is fighting. To be honest, had I been in that situation, I would have never tried to fight. And he does. Every single day.

He fights dementia. He fights to show people he can do so many things, and that he can do them right. He really fights to show the world he is still capable of doing things.

People say my dad is crazy. That Dementia is getting worse… Just because somehow he bought a new car. While others see this as an act of dementia I see a gesture of guilt and gratitude. Because he buys that car for my brother as a way to say “thank you for giving up your life, your family, your job and everything to help me out”. I now guilt can be stronger than anything.

I constantly hear “your dad has one of those bad days” just because he forget things. I forget things all the time! Oh, so he is worse today because he doesn’t know which day it is? I rarely know what day is today! What for? My everyday is the same, so why should I bother about what day it is? I am happy being clueless about if it is Monday or Friday because whenever I got something important coming up I set an alarm to not forget. My dad does the same.

My dad’s dementia has got worse because he rumbled about bulbs for like an hour yesterday.

Really? Have you thought about his life?

He has no job, he is not allowed to do anything on his own… He feels house bound like I am.

To tell you the truth, I have one million Ph.D on stupid things. It is what you do when you have nothing to do and the internet is your only window to freedom. So, yes, if that day you need to look for an energy equivalence table in order to get a new bulb, you may take the chance and “surf” a bit deeper into the matter. Well, do you have anything better to do that day?

Oh, so you think you do? Maybe, if it is only one house bound day. But when you are in that cage for 4 years… What now?

Well, there you have it. Bulbs are great thing to get a Ph.D on. It is just a matter of perspective.

Dementia has given my family many reasons to be sad and worried about, but every time we have a family get together you only hear laughter, jokes and that funny teasing that my family knows to do so well. I love that. I treasure each one of those moments.

Maybe during those family get together you see my dad’s upset face at some point. You would probably think it is one of his dementia black-out moments.

I don’t see that. I see guilt and sorrow for having destroyed so many things, for having taken his kid’s lifes away without realizing. I know he wonders how he could not see all that coming…

My dad gets to my mums nerves if he talks about bulbs for an hour. Don’t judge her because we may not know what it is like to be 24/7 with a person like my dad. Like many parents that lose their nerve and smack their kids with apparently no reason, my mum probable loses her nerve. Dementia has altered her whole life, so I guess she deserves the right to lose her patience from time to time.

Light bulbs are not a crazy thing to talk about. I love, I treasure, each one of those “crazy” conversations. Firstly, because I don’t think it’s crazy. I understand my dad and each one of his sudden interests.

I love talking bout bulbs because it is my dad I am having that conversation with.

I will always be up for another bulb chat because I don’t know when that will finish and when dementia will have my dad. Because today he knows who I am, but I don’t know when that will come to an end. So, yes, I am number 1 fan of bulb chats.

You may think that my dad is crazy. I don’t. I see it from another point of view. I only wish people did the same. Not only for my dad, but with many other people that, alike him, have a mental issue.

As you see, Mental Health, from my point of view, is a matter of perspective. So why don’t you give it a go? I am sure you will get surprised by how things can change just with a tiny bit of perspective.

Don’t let yourself get carried away by words like dementia, bipolar or depression. Don’t focus on the wording but on the person you are talking to.

From a different perspective I am sure you will see so many things that were hidden behind those names.

Take this key of perspective I am handling to you today and I am sure you will also tell others how an hour bulb chat made your day.

To learn more about Gati Presumida, check out her website!

(Photo credit: This picture has a creative commons attribution license.)