4 and 40: Deriving Motivation from Meaningless Numbers

Spiekermann House NumbersImage by Stewf via Flickr

I had absolutely no desire to run today. After 14 miles on the road yesterday (including a 10 mile race), 2 hours of canoe paddling, dinner and kid-play with friends, and the mental anguish associated with seeing my wife and 3yo daughter head off to emergency room at 9:00 last night with what turned out to be a broken finger for my little girl, I was physically and emotionally spent. I was so tired today that I nearly fell asleep on a park bench while the kids were playing on a jungle gym – thankfully, my wife and sister were there to keep a watchful eye. To say that I am exhausted would be an understatement, and you can see why my desire to run was at an all-time low.

Despite my lethargy, two numbers have been circling around in my head since I woke up this morning – 4 & 40, 4 & 40, 4& 40, over and over. To most people, these two numbers probably have no meaning whatsoever. But if you’re a runner on the last day of your running week, you can probably figure out what they meant to me – it would only require a 4-mile run for me to have my first 40-mile week ever, and for me that is a fairly significant milestone. Two years ago, running 40 miles in one week would have sounded like pure insanity, and the fact that I was so close today gave me the motivation I needed to get out the door and get it done. After a day visiting with my sister (and splurging on pizza and ice cream), we arrived home around dinnertime, I grabbed the dog, and knocked out 4.80 miles. It wasn’t my best run ever, but neither was it the torture that I had expected it to be. The important thing is that I got out there and set a new milestone. I’m still tired, but after yesterday’s excitement, I’m feeling quite fine – on to 50!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
**Featured Running Gear Sale: Shoebuy - 20% Off Skechers Performance shoes and 20% OFF all technical running shoes with code 20APRIL (through 5/1)

Have a question about running shoes? Need helping choosing your next pair? Get help in the Runblogger Forum.
About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.

Comments

  1. Great job and hanks for sharing! I feel inspired to reach my goals for the week, as soon as I am given the clearance from my surgeon.

Speak Your Mind

*


SAVE $$$ ON RUNNING SHOES AND GEAR
If you'd like to support the work done here on Runblogger, please consider making your next running shoe or gear purchase from one of the retailers below - you'll likely save a bit of $$$, and I'll get a small commission to help keep the site running and the blog posts flowing. Thank you for your support!

Running Warehouse - 10% Off With Code RUNBLOG10 (some exclusions apply)
TriVillage - 18% Off With Code RBTri18 (some exclusions apply)
Clever Training - 10% Off With Code RunBlogXJT (some exclusions apply)
Sportsshoes.com - UK-based but ships globally