Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Running and racing mantras

I don't belong to a gym, and I don't own a treadmill.  So when I trained for the Boston Marathon last winter, all 830 miles of training were done outside.  I ran through whatever winter could throw at me: wind, single digit temperatures, ice, snow, darkness, sleet, etc.  To be perfectly honest, training was a bit of a nightmare at times.

Training for the 2015 Boston Marathon

As I continued to log miles outside in the unforgiving elements, I started repeating a mantra to myself:

Stronger than winter

Winter was tough, but I would simply have to be tougher.  Those three simple words got me through a lot of runs during that training cycle.

I'm not normally one for mantras, but in this most recent training cycle leading up to this year's Philadelphia Marathon, I find myself repeating yet another one, even going so far as to write it on my arm before today's 10 miler:

Training for the 2015 Philadelphia Marathon

While training last winter, I wrote a post about the relentlessness of marathon training, about how each scheduled training run arrives whether you are ready or not, no matter how tired or rested you are, whether you had a good day at work or not.

But in training this time around, I came to realize that I am the one who is relentless.  I am the one who keeps pushing myself.  I am the one who refuses to back down and keeps coming back for more.  I am the one who gives it my all not just in racing but in training.  I am the one who will do all it takes to achieve my goals.

I am relentless.

Tell me, do you have a racing or running mantra?


  1. Hi Scott,
    I have two mantras, both battle-proven. The first is do get myself out of "shuffle mode": "I run strong and tall and I kick. Ass".
    The second is actually inspired by Meb Keflezighi, can't find the source anymore, though, so I don't know if it is still his "current" one: "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me!" (Phil 4:13) - alas I use the German version, because if the going gets tough I'm barely able to recite bible verses at all, let alone in English :)
    I think mantras are one of the secret ingredients for success, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
    Cheers, good luck in Philly, I'm pulling for you!

    1. Thanks, Henrik. Both fine mantras. Glad to know I'm not the only one talking to myself while out running. But do you write these on your arm with permanent marker?! Thanks for the encouragement and as always, thanks for reading.

    2. Scott, funny. The thought of writing them down on the arm/hand hadn't crossed my mind so far. I just keep them in my mind.


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