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The Bullhorn, Issue #044 -- Monthly Motivator for November 2009
November 15, 2009

Just the right push to succeed!

The Power of a
Running Buddy

I’ve long been a believer of the strong influence of the mind on our physical abilities. Our high school cross-country coach used to tell us that running is 90% mental…and I’m starting to come to the conclusion that this was a conservative number. That’s not to say that a positive attitude or sheer willpower can override physical neglect, but it sure can help in ways that no training plan or pace chart can account for. I was recently reminded of this on a long run with a friend…

A few weeks ago, I was out-of-town on a business trip and had a scheduled 24-mile marathon training run to do. In the meeting, a friend offered to run 10-12 miles with me that evening to which I gladly accepted the company. We had a great run. It was a crisp evening and we had a good discussion that made the miles fly by. At the 12 mile point, my friend peeled off and jogged back to his car and I turned to run another 12-mile loop…and what a painful loop it was. I looked at my GPS watch every quarter mile and I seemed to take note of every physical ache and pain. There was nothing that could occupy my mind except the end of the run itself. It took all the willpower I could muster just to keep running.

It’s not often that schedules and ability-levels match up for a group long run, but it’s clearly worth the mental smokescreen. The mind is powerful and will bombard you with negative messages if you tune in. You don’t have time to tune in if you’re already occupied with socializing! Keep this in mind…especially if you’re discouraged about the perceived effort of your solitude running workouts. A running club or partner may be all that you need to stay positive and help get you through the longer workouts.

Running is mental…but we have the power to override those pesky dashboard lights! Happy trails.

Sign a Fitness Contract

It seems like all of our life's important matters involve a contract of some sorts, but when’s the last time you signed a fitness contract? We’re all committed, at some level, to getting in shape, or staying in shape, or improving our health to some degree…but where’s the commitment and who holds us accountable?

May I propose a simple idea? Sign up for a race, a walk-a-thon, or a fitness class. This simple commitment puts your money where your mouth is and puts you on the hook to do it. I’ve been using this method for the past 5 years and have come to rely heavily on it for the last 3. What do I mean by that (you ask)?...

Ever since I qualified and ran the Boston Marathon, my motivation has shifted from stop watch to longevity. I just wanted to keep doing this. But how do you keep up that momentum? Even Forest Gump eventually just stopped and went back to “Greenbo, Alabama”. I don’t want to stop – I want a sustainable activity. I like the way it feels being a distance runner…so I just keep signing up for races. I know that by signing up, I’ll be committed to train for it, show up and run, and each race I’ll learn something new: racing and training techniques, injury prevention ideas, and some valuable self-reflection insights to boot. Something as simple as a race fee and application are enough to keep me going. It’s a commitment…a contract…and has served me well as a motivational tool to keep doing it.

Whatever your goal or fitness aspiration is, solidify your commitment with some action. Go ahead and sign up for that 5k, 10k, ½ marathon, marathon, or multi-day walk…Do it. When it comes to health and fitness, most people regret inactions...not actions – sign your contract with yourself today!

Product of the Month:
Road ID Wrist Band

Road ID Wrist Band

The Road ID wrist band is a fashionable and very practical gift idea for any walker, runner, or biker on your Christmas list. These laser-engraved plates have your name and contact information and could help save your life in the event that you need assistance. I’ve run for years with my old military dog tags, but Road ID’s solution is more practical and holds all the emergency contact information that you need. You also have the choice of a sturdy Velcro wrist band, a shoe pouch, or even the traditional dog tag style.

If you or someone you care about runs without an ID…this could be a great stocking stuffer or gift idea. They cost approximately $20, depending on the style. Check out for more info. Also, be sure to check out the Gift for Runners page for the latest product reviews and other great gift ideas.

Exercise of the Month:
Oblique Crunches!

This type of crunch targets the oblique muscles, or the area where our infamous “love-handles” reside. You’ll start from the same position as the standard crunch. Raise your back off of the ground taking your elbow to your opposite knee. And just like the standard crunch exercise, you’ll want to do the movements slowly, exhaling while you do the crunch, and inhaling while you lower yourself back down. Add these to your daily mix and you’ll notice some results in an area that we all seem to want to trim down!!

Sound Off!

If you have any feedback (positive or negative), success stories to share, or suggestions for future articles, please feel free to drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you and we take all feedback, suggestions...and yes, even criticism very seriously. We’ll use this information to improve our newsletter and The Fitness Motivator site to help you and others like you attain your fitness goals.

Encouragement to Succeed!

P.S. - Please feel free to forward this to a friend!

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