Among the many tips that running blogs and podcasts highlight, there are several that come up over and over again no matter what you are reading or listening to. One of these important tips is having a mantra to keep you going when your legs or your brain are ready to just shut down. At first I thought this was kind of silly, like I am really going to talk to myself on a run? will this really work? I put that tip on the shelf.
Then I started getting into my long runs and my body was not happy with me. I began to feel the impact of my 2013 injury. Yes, I was running with a healthy knee but not running consistently was catching up to me and I guess my age too. Those first few long runs were tough, but I powered through. After all this half was in a location 5 hours away. Budgeting and planning were both in place to make this a great race weekend. I had to keep going -keep getting the miles in.
One day a few weeks ago I came across the American Authors song Go Big or Go Home and it hit me – that is my mantra. Go Big or Go Home. This is the saying that will get me to the finish line. Why would I train for 16 weeks, travel and spend a nice chunk of change if I wasn’t going to “Go Big”. The song is now on my play list for the half , but I won’t want to listen to the same song for 13.1 miles, so on those runs where I am just ready to stop or I start to question what am I doing I say it over and over again in my head Go Big or Go Home. Go Big or Go Home. Go Big or Go Home.
Most of the times it works, it tricks my brain to stop thinking about stopping and to focus on saying the words in my head –and not falling as I concentrate on the words. I was leery about the mantra working, there are times when my body or the little voice inside my head wins and I take a break to walk but more often than not I am able to use the mantra to push myself just a little further. It’s almost like a little cheerleader that says you can do this just keep moving.
The long runs have gotten a little easier and I am excited about the half next week (next week already!). I have my mantra ready to use when I need it and almost 16 weeks of running under my belt. I am not looking to win any awards, just cross that finish line knowing I did my best.
I’m thinking life’s too short, it’s passing by
So if I’m gonna go at all
Go big or go Home
~American Authors – Go Big Or Go Home Lyrics
Stayed tuned next week for a race report!