Accountability: A Powerful Motivator

I’m a big believer is accountability.  Whether it’s at work, home, or in sport, accountability can be a huge motivator. Training for a spring race in the Northeast requires some motivation.  I, like most of Buffalo, am not a stranger to winter training.  For the past several years I’ve spent the colder months of the northeast bundled up, logging long snowy miles.  My resume includes a handful of marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 2014, and a full Ironman at Lake Placid.

It’s harder training up here. No doubt.   Darkness seems cinch the day from both ends and the cold, particularly this year, can leave you thinking “Do I really want to do this today?”  There’s been countless runs during my Buffalo Marathon training that I wanted to barter with my training plan.  I thought, “its ok if you miss this one… you’re tired” or “maybe if you take this day off it will be a good thing… you know… recovery.”  The combination of lost sleep, long hours, and a little man who loves to cuddle left me with a little resentment towards my training.  I can’t recall ever dreading training as I have this year, luckily running is one of those sports that induces immediate self-gratification from the instant you hit the stop button.  Even my most dreaded runs were followed by calming aura of satisfaction.

For those of you who are here to simply see an updated picture of William.  Here he is sporting his Nike bib after a midnight feeding.  Who needs sleep, anyway?  Not William (apparently).

For those of you who are here to simply see an updated picture of William.  Here he is sporting his Nike bib after a midnight feeding.  Who needs sleep, anyway?  Not William (apparently).

No lie, there were multiple occasions that stirred internal dialogue regarding my dedication to actually race the Buffalo Marathon.  I knew I was going to struggle this time around.  I knew it would be more difficult until I found my groove (still not there).  And what started as a blog as a possible avenue to motivate a few Buffalo runners, transformed into an accountability tool.  There have been multiple opportunities for me to go soft, but I haven’t.  Sure, I’ve adjusted my schedule, but I’ve kept fighting.  I’m thankful for an amazing wife, as she not only accommodates my schedule, but whole heartedly understands my motives (see my initial post about the skeptics).  At times, I’ve been running with one eye open, while other runs have been tacked on at 9:30pm after a 14 hour day at the clinic.  Accountability and the fear of failure have been a huge motivator.  Knowing that failure would force to admit it publicly is simply too much to bear. Call it pride, stubbornness, or simply crazy… it is what it is.

With ten weeks remaining I feel like a good percentage of the hard work has been completed.  As the weather warms and sun shines, training will seem easier (for me at least).  The plan is to transition away from the treadmill.  Currently, I’m coming off a recovery week and staring down my first peak long run tomorrow: 18 miles.   The next six weeks will begin my build to peak weekly mileage (65ish) and speed work will find its way into the mix. I have no races planned until the Grand Island Half Marathon on May 2nd, but will be seeking some outlets to test my fitness in the coming weeks.

So for now I keep putting one foot in front of the other, powered by caffeine and a fear of failure I’m determined to not only run the Buffalo Marathon, but to also punch my ticket to Boston in 2016.  Afterall, I know it will all be worth it.

So for now, thank you for keeping me accountable, readers.

So what has you kept you motivated? Tell me below:

Steve Gonser PT DPT
Physical Therapist

First time Dad, Husband, Physical Therapist at Buffalo Rehab Group, Boston Qualifier, Ironman, and founder of Join me as I balance training, work, and family on my journey to the start line (and hopefully a PR).