Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Motivation on the way up


In the last couple of months my motivation to train and race has improved (I wrote a couple of notes about motivation back in August and September).

As I was driving home from today's O' practice, I spent some time thinking about why my motivation has improved in the last couple of months. I've got a few ideas.

The things I wrote about in September -- in particular seeing Dan, Nadim and James pull away from me -- helped. I don't like feeling that out of shape.

I still haven't settled on some goals for the coming season and years. That's why I'd say my motivation is on the way up, not high.

The weather has been great for training. The summer in KC isn't great for training. I don't enjoy running in the heat. But this fall has been fine (maybe warmer than normal, but nothing like the summer). When the weather is cool, running feels good.

Since the U.S. Champs, I've done a fair amount of technique training. I like training technique. I look forward to it, even when I'm tired. In about 11 weeks since the U.S. Champs I've run 7 races (2 local) and done 12 O' technique practices. That's not as much as I'd prefer to do (I missed some time with a cold), but it is enough that I'm feeling my technique sharpening and I'm running better in the forest.

Since the U.S. Champs, I've run a couple of very high quality races. The three day competition in Hamilton, Ontario, and the 2-day A-meet in Connecticut featured good courses, good maps and interesting terrain.

A couple of weeks ago, Eric S. and Keith L. took the initiative to start up the local night O' practice sessions. I love night O' and having those practice sessions to look forward to helps me stay motivated. It isn't that I'm motivated to train so I do well at the night practices. It is that having the night O' sessions is just fun. Having fun keeps me motivated.

Another factor in my improving motivation is that Dan has been keeping an eye on my training. Some days my phone will ring and it'll be Dan -- "did you train yet today?" Some days I train before the call. Those days I call Dan (usually leaving a voice mail message) -- "just finished running."

I think all of these things (and others I haven't written about) are both "causes" and "symptoms" of improving motivation.

I've still got a ways to go before I'll feel like I'm really motivated...but I'm on track.

posted by Michael | 8:13 PM


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