I truly believe we do not rise to our aspirations, but fall to the level of our systems. I’ve really implemented this in my life because I have a long history of planning to accomplish X and quitting before the finish line. Since solving for this, (mostly, not always) I now have a system that keeps me going when I want to quit.
During pregnancy I had weekly mileage expectations for myself. I always had some cool trail I was going to explore next. I had a husband who wanted to run with me. Sometimes I would commit to going out for only a mile, then realize it was worth going another 7. Setting up an environment for success is really key for your goals, and sometimes just taking the first tiny step is all you need to finish the rest.
In terms of motivation, I couldn’t help but think during the pregnancy, "What if? Why not?"
I’m a little bit embarrassed to admit this because it seems so dramatic, but I would dwell on the hardships women have gone through, single moms, neglected mothers, women just trying their hardest and feeling like they will never be good enough, and it would get me so fired up and my pace would pick up by 30 seconds a mile.
I kept my goals prioritized and I told myself that if things lined up I would go for trying to qualify, but a healthy pregnancy was first and foremost. Since that was happening for me, I really tried to enjoy the process and not focus on the outcomes of what shape I needed to be in 6 months postpartum.