Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Miles Aren't Going to Go Away

I know I've mentioned this before, but running the Market to Market Relay was a challenge for me.

Yes, it would be a bit of a physical challenge since I hadn't been properly training, but that actually wasn't as big a deal as I thought once I got going.  I mean, aside from the heart issues that I'd been experiencing (I'll know more on Friday), I am super healthy and in pretty darn good shape.  So, despite not having run several miles for several months, the running wasn't the real challenge.

The mind was.

So, to conquer that inner voice that was telling me that this was going to be hard, that I wasn't going to be able to do this, I broke out -- for the first time in my life -- some mantras.

(Side note: the whole "for the first time in my life" piece may not be 100% true.  When I'm running hills with the kids for See-Us Run Des Moines, I tell the girls over and over and over that our butts are going to look so good.  Hey, whatever helps, right?)

Many people think that mantras are a religious thing, or perhaps that they only belong in a yoga studio in the fitness world.  However, that is absolutely not true.  Mantras can be so, so powerful (especially when they're more motivating -- or perhaps more serious -- than thinking about a good-looking butt).

Interestingly, I didn't remember the whole concept of mantras until it was nearly my turn to run.  I knew that I was not going to be able to pull one out of thin air while I was huffing and puffing up a mile-long hill, so I turned to my tried and true source for all things inspirational: Pinterest.

Here's what I came up with:


As I was chugging along my 2.9-mile route and then my 4.6-mile leg, my mantras were on repeat: "The miles aren't going to go away.  The only one who can beat you is you.  The miles aren't going to go away.  The only one who can beat you is you.

And you know what?

It helped.

I think the first one especially made the difference: I was still going to have to move my body 4.6 miles, whether or not I wanted to.  Those 4.6 miles weren't going to go away.  They would either take a really long time with me dawdling, or they could go by semi-quickly with me running them.  Regardless, my body was going to have to do it.

The second one came into play and motivated me a whole bunch when people started passing me.  I am not the fastest runner in the world, nor have I ever claimed to be.  In fact, I'm certain that some of the mall walkers could beat me in a 5k.  (Some of those people are fast, y'all!)

But, none of that matters in a race.  I run for me, not to come in first, not to win a prize, not to beat so-and-so.  I run for me.  And therefore, the mantra is true: the only one who can beat me is me.

Now, when I talk again about dreading Dam to Dam, remind me of the effectiveness of mantras.  :)

Peace out, yo.

What are your running mantras?  How do you just keep going when you really don't want to?


  1. ah, love pinterest! those are good finds.

    1. Are you as addicted as I am? It's seriously ridiculous. :)