You’ve been training hard…and it’s time to reward yourself. Yes, finishing the race is a great reward in itself, but you need to give yourself a little credit along the way too. Something to look forward to on those long runs and rides, and some way to celebrate after the hard work.
My friend Stef used to reward herself with a pint of her favorite ice cream on Sundays, to celebrate a good week of Ironman training. I tried it once and got about a quarter of the way through the pint before I had to quit. Stef laughed and said that she didn’t know who was more pathetic | me or her.
My friend Susan and I used to bring chocote milk and chocolate chip cookies to group workouts, for the whole group to celebrate with after a long run or bike ride. Celebrating like that after EVERY workout might be a bit much, but we figured the chocolate milk was good for recovery and we more than worked off the cookies during the workout.
I have a group of friends that all met while training for the 2009 Ironman Wisconsin. We still get together just about every Sunday morning for a run…and then reward ourselves with drinks (coffee/tea/chocolate milk) and conversation at Colectivo.
Speaking of drinks…a cold beer or glass of wine is a great reward, as long as you don’t overdo it, and a great meal is a nice celebration too. The rewards don’t have to be food and drink related. How about a nice massage? Again, it’s great for recovery and it’s a nice distraction from all the hard work that you’ve been putting in. A shopping spree probably doesn’t have the same recovery benefits, but it is a nice distraction, and a night out with family or friends is a great reward for you…and for the others who have been supporting you through your journey.