Bribery as a training technique, part 2

In January, at the beginning of what would turn out to be a really challenging winter, I wrote about how buying new clothes was a way to encourage oneself to stick with a training plan.  For the most part, that technique worked — no question about it, I’ve certainly gotten my money’s worth from those purchases.

Yesterday I found myself in a place of low motivation.  I’d signed up for a trail running series a while back, and suddenly, BAM!, it was March 19, and time to start showing up.  And… I didn’t wanna.  For several reasons:

  • I am so, so bad about running in the evening.
  • It had rained literally all day.   Which you’d think would be a good thing, since at least it wasn’t snow, but the mud was pretty over-the-top
  • I got out of work early and had far too much time to lounge around the house before heading out the door for this run.
  • I had to drive [what I thought was] 30 minutes in really bad traffic to get there.

So…eh.  Days like this happen.  You don’t feel like doing something.  And sometimes, even the money you paid for that thing is not motivation enough.  So, time for the big guns…



I know that food is the last thing any trainer/coach/nutritionist would ever recommend as an incentive for exercise.  They kind of cancel each other out.  But on a rainy day when there are cats and a great book sitting on the couch waiting for me, banana bread is what it took.  And not just any banana bread, but my current favorite recipe for Whole Wheat and Millet Banana Bread.  Not stellar for the blood sugar (good banana bread seldom is), but good for my colon health, right?  And, uh, potassium for my muscles?

(I should mention here that it is really weird I never had to resort to Banana Bread Tactics when it was 10 degrees outside, but something about yesterday’s actual early spring weather sent me over the edge into Couch-land.  Or maybe it was just the cats.)


I’m blaming the cats.  LOOK AT THOSE FEET!

So, promising myself a slice of heaven when I got home, I managed to get motivated, get dressed, and get on the road… only to be stopped dead in traffic, the 30-minute drive taking more like 60; arrived at the race 10 minutes late, told I could start late (it was a timed event), warned about the conditions of the trail (“careful you don’t lose a shoe”… “anything white is ice, not snow..”), saw the conditions (MUD!  ICE!  MORE MUD!), experienced the conditions (SO MUCH ICE AND MUD), ultimately decided I was in danger of not finishing the 4 mile course before dark, took a shortcut and tell the race organizers I wasn’t not going to run the full course, and then managed to get 3 miles of rolling , slippery hills before calling it quits.

L to R: Traffic in the rain; After; this was just the parking lot, but it gives you an idea of how much rain/standing water/mud there was. Yet somehow still ICE as well.

So, not what I expected, but a workout just the same.   The self-bribery was successful.  And yes, I totally ate the bread when I got home!

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5 thoughts on “Bribery as a training technique, part 2

  1. Wow, after ALL of that, you certainly deserved to eat more than 1 slice!! What motivation- to get out there and try!! That’s great, but sorry you didn’t get to finish. At least you got a workout in, though.


  2. I love the bribery idea! I’ve been eyeing some cute running skirts that perfect motivators for me! It’s almost spring so hang in there! (I’m telling myself that too! Lol) good job pushing yourself to get some running in!


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