Nature Trail Runners

A running club with weekly Group Runs in Aurora, IL., Montgomery, IL. and Oswego, IL.

An Ode To Motivation -by Caroline Tonozzi

oakhurst hill









Chuck Norris Never Ran a Marathon

You have just completed a (fill in the blank) race. You grab the most delicious looking banana after you cross the finish line. You parade around wearing your race swag, high-fiving your friends. You are a superstar! You get home, take your last swig of water, and put your shoes away. Facebook status updated, you give yourself a few days “off” to rest and recover. You deserve it, right? Days turn to weeks, and you realize you haven’t run in eons. You feel like a unicorn that just got punched. How could this happen? Yikes! It’s 10 pm; do you know where your running shoes are?

I know how it is. Work, family, social life, and The Walking Dead seem to get in the way of a run. I remember getting a little queasy thinking about planning my next run after my half marathon. We, as runners, want glory, not nausea. How do we put one foot in front of the other when we just are not “feeling it”?

I don’t know about you, but I need a list and a plan to be successful. Someone this past spring asked me what my fitness goals were. My answer? I wanted to do three things: a half marathon, a triathlon, and a full marathon. I needed a plan. I stumbled along this summer, building up my mileage almost accidentally when I started running with the NTR. I started a running journal so I could track everything about my runs, including mileage, time, splits (if I had them), location, and my feelings during the run (yucky, awesome, would rather been drinking a beer). I looked back on my log, sometimes wistfully, sometimes cringing, and evaluated my athletic exploits. It was enlightening, with tangible documentation of my developing awesomeness.

This enlightenment led me to the Schaumburg Turkey Trot half marathon. I had a super rocking running coach, Tiffany Dore (, assemble a training program. I fatigued and wanted to quit 3 weeks before the half. My drumsticks felt like plastic Barbie legs. I took 2 days off, and thought I was doomed to fail (who hasn’t been there?). I survived, and finished my half better than I anticipated. (For those hard-core runners, rest will not kill you. Promise!)

Once I got through race season, the world stopped spinning, or at least I thought so. I no longer “had” to run. My log containing the last three months of blood, sweat, and tears, sat unloved. I said myself “self, you need to get moving.” I joined a spin class, jumped back into the pool, bought a yoga mat, and eventually, laced up my shoes once again, and I started planning for 2013.

I keep my race bibs clipped to my refrigerator door. My gym bag stays packed and ready to go in my mudroom. I bought cold weather clothing so that I wouldn’t freeze when I ran outside. I continued to schedule my workouts on my calendar. I read running blogs, signed up for a few spring halves, have a few marathon training books to read, and will do an indoor triathlon. To think this started with a short list of goals and a running log.

And that, folks, is how you put one foot in front of the other.

-Caroline Tonozzi



One comment on “An Ode To Motivation -by Caroline Tonozzi

  1. Andy W
    December 19, 2012

    Caroline – The timing on this could not be better for me. I’ve been sick for the past 2 weeks and finally I am coming out of it. I was just asking myself “what is my motivation?”. Consider me motivated!

    PS. I would love to get a look at your running journal sometime!

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