Boston Marathon 2013: Runners United Through Tragedy

It’s been over 24 hours since yesterday’s horrific incident clouding the Boston Marathon, yet I’m still unable to put the right words down. I was not there, so anything I can add is merely an abstract opinion; though I do believe everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and feelings.

In the build-up to Boston, just like all other running fans I was excited. The Boston Marathon is one of the biggest, in name, numbers, and history. I wrote about it, shared one of it’s most legendary runners’ perspectives on it, and held hope that an American Woman would finally bring a win back to the States.

I was charged with anticipation; that’s one of the great things about the running community, I, thousands of miles away from the starting line, was able to ‘taste’ just a smidgen of the electric energy swirling around Boston.
boston marathon 2013
While an American Woman didn’t bring home a win, in the first wave of finishers the closeness of the running community and shared kinship, especially between training partners, was displayed poignantly by Kara Goucher’s and Shalane Flanagan’s finishes. They wanted to know how the other did.

Runners are able to understand each other in a unique way. Even if they are strangers, even competitors on the same course, they are able to sense things about the other…words unsaid, with a glance. There is something to be said for shared agony, suffering, whatever in the heck you want to call the ‘pain’ of racing.

And then it happened. I am thankful that no one that I immediately ‘know’ was harmed. But I feel that as a part of the running community, that isn’t quite correct. A runner knows a runner.

A runner also knows just how crucial a support network is. So a runner knows the supporters, spectators, cheerers, and any spirit moved to absorb the electric atmosphere of the Boston Marathon.

I was not there. I can’t even begin to understand the ‘whys’ behind this and I can only imagine what it was like to be there.

Though, I try my best to find what positives there can ever be. There isn’t a positive in this case, but rather just a glimmer of something redeeming. I will say this, here is this legendary event holding wonder and lore and now it is stained with this awful cloud.

Rather than let the smoke and ashes suffocate the event and the running spirit, we are able to come together, mourn the tragedy but not let it erode our kinship and sense of community. The 2013 Boston Marathon will no doubt be one of those things forever tinged with loss, sadness, and no doubt anger.

Though it will not stop us from running. It will not revoke the meaning behind the marathon. Don’t let the anger swallow you, don’t entirely lose hope for humanity yet, be thankful for what you have, those precious moments of life and the ability to run for another day. Not that running is the end-all by any means…it wasn’t running that was the target, but I’ve always found running a loyal companion to take me through life’s hardships.

Hold your loved ones dearly, let them know. Hold you ability to use your able body quite dearly too. Runners are instilled with an indomitable spirit, a fortitude like none other, but a closeness to each other quite unique.

Runners will do what runners do…run through the hardships to get to brighter times.
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Runners With Sights on the Boston Marathon

Runners have a love affair with the Boston Marathon. Rightfully so, even if you’re not a marathoner, heck, even if you’re not a runner you’ve heard of the famed race. The hills have names, the stories of races past are epic.
tough runner
I recently wrote a piece for Four Boston Marathon Tips From Dick Beardsley. I thoroughly enjoyed doing this one for a few reasons, 1) the 1982 Boston Marathon, coined the Duel in the Sun, between Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley defines mental toughness 2) Dick Beardsley was one of the most supportive and inspiring people to me after my car accident. He had multiple accidents that left his legs mangled, yet he is a runner today. He’s one of the sweetest, most positive people and his encouragement through my recovery meant the world to me.

In the article Beardsley noted how his parents, both non-runners, had gifted him with ‘to Boston Marathon’ funds upon his graduation from high school. When he finally did get to the starting line he recounts, “I’ve never been to a race where when you step off the plane you can feel the excitement in the air! I’ve spoke with Olympians that have told me they would rather win Boston then a Olympic medal!”

Racing brings out that electricity, the nervous excitement of hopes, aspirations, goals every runner has. The goals they’ve staked so much of themselves in, sweat out the miles, the grueling hard workouts, this brings anticipation. The anticipation is mixed with a bit of pressure (you need a little self-inflicted pressure, just enough, not too much though) because the day is finally here. Be it Boston or any race, a runner needs thrives off of that energy, the nerves, it ups the ante, and can fuel your performance.

The Boston Marathon has its hills named, but what aren’t named are the downhills. Ahhh, those tricky descents are deceptive because one would ‘think’ rolling downhill, letting gravity do a bit of work is ‘easier’. But as Beardsley stressed when asked of a crucial training tip for runners aiming for Boston, “TRAIN YOUR BODY ON THE DOWNHILLS AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!” Hill climbs work the quads but so do downhills; ironically the pounding force of the downhill can beat you up just as much, maybe more.

It’s also easy to carried away and blitz out too fast with those steep downgrades. In the article Beardsley cautioned runners how NOT going out too fast is infinitely more important on the Boston course.

Runners should train for their race course. I wrote all about that in THIS post, because there aren’t races on a treadmill, you want to be prepared for the conditions you’ll be racing your competitors on.
kara goucher and shalane flanagan
This year’s Boston Marathon, I won’t be shy, I’m not going to even try to hide the fact that I’m rooting for Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan. Hopefully this year one of these amazing women will bring Boston back ‘home’ in that an American will take the title.

For all those racing, be it the Boston Marathon or otherwise, have confidence. You’ve done all the work you can do by the point you reach the days and moments before hitting the starting line. Rather than look back with any doubts or ‘I should have dones’, push that from your mind. You can’t change the past. Only look forward, recount the tenacity for which you DID do the work, be realistic with your goals for the race, but don’t be afraid to reach high enough to make yourself feel a little uncomfortable…nervous maybe.

When the gun goes off, feed off of the energy around you, thrive off of your competition, let them pull you along, and RACE!

1) Have you run the Boston Marathon? Are you running this year?

2) How do you use the atmosphere of race day to fuel your performance?

3) Share a mental affirmation, or something you tell yourself, to make you feel confident when you hit the starting line.
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Running Mentally Engaged: Keeping your brain in check when the pain sets in

Running is tough. Racing is tougher…downright painful. The brain has a funny little way of dealing with that pain, it gets sneaky and tries to coax us into slowing down.

Runner Brain: “I want to run a PR, dang this hurts, but I’m going to put the work in and stick this out.”
Annoying Tired Brain: “Well, fine, if you’re not going to listen to my complaints and willingly slow down I’ll just find other ways to trick you into it!”
your brain on running
Oh the brain, you slippery little eel, you.

* Self-Defeatist Thoughts: This would be when you’re running and your mind starts screaming in your ear, “You seriously can’t keep this pace up for any longer.”
* Dwelling on the Future: This is when your mind has on repeat, “Umm, and HOW much further do you think you’re going to be forcing me to do this? Think again buster, you CAN’T last that many miles more!”
* Bargaining: When your runner brain and your sane tired brain get into a war, your lame-o brain argues, “C’mon, just ease up a little, trust me you’re not going to feel guilty or regretful about it, just ease up.” This is also known as a lie, because your runner brain knows you’ll feel regretful.
* Wandering: This is when your brain full-on goes on vacation, if you catch yourself mid-race thinking, “Wow, I really like the zebra print on that lady’s shirt, you see her, the one sitting on the 20th row of in the stands.”

A Wandering Mind = A Slowing Body

See, when the mind decides to check-out and wander like that what inevitably ends up happening is the pace starts to lag. Running through pain takes a special kind of focus, focus on forcing yourself to relax, to keep pushing, to stay ENGAGED in the race.

When your mind wanders it is sneakily distracting you from the battle race at hand. My latest article at is all about staying focused during a race so you then, race your best: “Got a Wandering Mind? Here’s How to Stop It”

Read the article, but I’d like to add that a wandering mind is much different from zoning out during a race.

tired runner

Aww, c’mon, I’m only joking…kinda. ;)

I’ve talked about how zoning out is a mental trick to pushing through the pain. Zoning out:
* Locked Eyes Ahead:
Find a runner ahead of you, stare at a single spot on their back and refuse to let any distance open up between you and the spot.
* Breathing and Form: When you zone out you think only of the tangibles you can control and NOT the pain from lactic acid. Thinking about standing tall, keeping your form in check, and breathing controlled are all tangibles to think of.
* Think Relaxed: When you zone out you want to let go of any tension; don’t have your fists and jaw clenched, don’t have your shoulders in your ears.

Finally, zoning out is the epitome of being ENGAGED in the race, you’re single-mindedly in it.

A wandering mind is where you’re brain is anywhere but in the race. It is, in reality, just a backwards trick that your tiring brain is using to get you to slow down.

Don’t fall for it. Running often comes down to mentally ‘beating’ your own brain. Push past the pain, get through those intervals, drive for the finish line, and stay present in your race…because THAT is how you improve as a runner. THAT is how you set those wonderful PR’s. ;)

1) What is an example of a trick your brain has tried on you to get you to slow down?

2) How do you one-up that slippery little eel of a complaining tired brain?

3) What is an aspect of zoning out? How do you stay zoned during a race and stay ENGAGED throughout?

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Rule Your Running Terrain: Because races aren’t done on a treadmill

Unless you’re racing on a track, there’s SOME kind of terrain you’ll need to be prepared for come gun-time. Even during track season athletes have much to gain from varying the terrain on their workouts.

  • Power and Speed: Hills build strength and when taken to flats that translates to speed. That same kind of logic applies to doing repeats on grass, the times may be ‘slower’ but you’re working harder and building strength.
  • Injury Prevention: Running on softer, more forgiving surfaces helps reduce impact and thus lowers your chances for injuries in the long-term.
  • Diversity: Running is a very repetitive action and mostly only working in a single, horizontal plane. At least by varying things slightly you’re able to give your body a bit of diversity; if you fail to do this, smaller muscles get weak and imbalances become injuries in waiting.

Those are all general reasons why mixing up your running terrain is a good idea, but if you know your actual race course will have key elements you’ll need to be prepared for, it’s even more important to introduce those same obstacles in training.
turn left on the track
Hilly Courses

  • Uphill Repeats: It take power to get up those hills; including uphill repeats into your routine may seem like an obvious but not all runners actually DO hill work, or they don’t mix-up the kind of work that they do. Think of hills in a three-pronged approach, similar to your regular running workouts. 1) Do 100-200 meter hill bursts, allow for full recovery between each repeat; this is your speed session for the week. 2) Longer, 600-1600 meter hill repeats for your endurance-focused interval sessions. You could also do tempo runs uphill (on a treadmill set on a grade if you don’t have an actual course). 3) Including rolling hills into your easy days ‘sneaks’ hill work in.
  • Downhill Repeats: Many can overlook just how taxing a lot of downhill on your race course can be. If your race has a significant amount of downhills (Hello, Boston Marathon!), be sure to get used to running on the decline; your quads will be working even if you don’t ‘feel it’ right away. You can include some downhill repeats in your training; just be careful in terms of injury because downhill running does increase the forceful pounding of running.
  • Form: Running hills makes it even more important to have good form; when running uphill maintain the same effort that you would but decrease your stride length. When running downhill, make sure that you’re not tensing up and causing yourself to ‘brake;’ rather, relax and let the momentum of the decline help do some of the work for you.

trail runner
Trail running

  • Ankles and lower legs: Trail running is about as diverse as running can get, twists, turns, awkward foot-plants aplenty. Here is where you need to be sure your ankles and feet are used to landing in various positions. The way to do that is, well, running trails, taking turns, and including mobility work outside of running.
  • Core and Mobility: To reduce your risk for injury when running, you want to have a strong core, be flexible, and have as much range of motion as possible. Schedule time for strength training, dynamic stretching, and drills; not only will it help safeguard you against injuries it will improve your running performance.

Tracks, Roads and the Elements

  • Tangents: Some math logic here, but running longer adds more time to your race results. Road races are measured off of the shortest possible marked distance, so look for those tangents and don’t run wider around turns than you have to. On the track, unless you’re going to be boxed in, do your best to not needlessly wander into outer lanes.
  • Drafting: Even on the calmest of days drafting makes a difference, mentally it’s much ‘easier’ to sit behind someone else and let them do the work. If it’s especially windy, find a body and tuck in behind them!
  • Weather Conditions: The conditions of race day can make a HUGE difference in your performance; not only should you take these into consideration for your race-day pacing goals but train in the same kind of conditions. For cold races be extra certain you do a full warm-up to make sure your muscles are properly warm and ready to hit those faster paces.

Until the day that all races are held on treadmills, runners should be mixing up the terrain of their workouts and runs. By tailoring your training to your specific race course you’ll be setting yourself up for even better results. And hey, who doesn’t want to run that much faster and have a bit of an edge over their competition? ;)

1) How do you train for your course? If it’s for the track, how do you add diversity to your workouts?

2) Do you prefer road races, track races, cross-country, or trail races?

3) How do you plan, adapt, or prepare for various weather conditions?

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Runners, Racing, and Kicking Butt

For runners the weekends usually mean two things: races and long runs. In honor of the first I’ve brought you a little running cartoon.
runner girl
Okay, okay, I’m not suggesting we all become snarky, “I just kicked your butt” runners…or, well maybe I am. How about I want you all to go out there and kick@$$ but let’s keep the majority of the snarky comments in our heads??

Oh, even better, you can bring all your runner snark here and let it out! ;)

Go, run, kick some butt! :)

Racing ultimately comes down to an inward battle, it’s a matter of MENTALLY pushing further than what your body is ‘telling’ you it is capable of. HERE, HERE, and HERE are all posts relating to improving your mental toughness.

More cartoons and my Runner’s Strip comic HERE! :)

1) Pick a race distance, and where does the real pain start to set in?
I’ll pick a 5k…that first mile really is deceptively ‘easy’…second mile you start to feel it, then BAM if you were ‘stupid’ that first mile, you REALLY feel it that third. The last .12 then is lost in a fog of, “Where is that darn finish line?!” ;)

2) If you have a race on Saturday, do you come back with a long run on Sunday? Or how do you work a long run in, if you do?
I suggest, depending on how hard the race was, you either do a longer cool-down and make Saturday the double-duty race/long run day. Or if it’s early in the season long run on Sunday after race.

3) What does your running weekend look like?
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Running and Bunhuggers: All part of sensing it’s GO time

Runners, when the bunhuggers come out it’s GO time.

People not in the sport of track and field, or non-runners, have asked, “Why in the world would you want to run in those?!” I’ve heard little kids giggle and balk, “She’s running in her underwear!” Even body conscious women have sneered, “Oh, look at her, who does she think she is?”
running in bunhuggers
Let me explain…bunhuggers are not

* worn in an attempt to steal your boyfriend.
* meant as some kind of ‘in your face, runners are HOT and we know it!’ statement.
* stupid.

Think of running in bunhuggers like running in your spikes.

You know the second you slip your feet into those spikes, lace them up, and head to the line it’s RACE TIME.

I’m sure there is the element of wind resistance, and yes, bunhuggers are comfortable. Trust me, there is nothing worse than racing with a wedgie…or running with shorts that bunch up in the front. My friend used to have a term for ‘those’ kinds of shorts, “My thighs eat them.”

A large part of racing is mental. Part of distinguishing a RACE from any other run is making it FEEL different. The energy, the electric buzz of the spectators, the nerves, the excitement, the competition, all of the feed into the race atmosphere.

Running your warm-up is just as much physically preparing your body as it is MENTALLY prepping you, getting into the zone.

When you kick off those bulky training shoes and slip on the spikes, you FEEL the race coming. As you strip off those sweats to the bunhuggers underneath you SENSE it…it’s almost here.

Run that final stride, poised and set at the line, it’s ON!

“Look good, feel good.”

1) Female runners, what do you prefer to race in? Do you run in bunhuggers, or have you?

2) On the other side, have you made fun of the bunhuggers? Do you find them silly, and not understand why people would run in them?

3) Guys, men get teased for the shorty running shorts in general. What style shorts do you prefer? What do you say to the dorks who make fun of running shorts?

4) What is a part of your ‘process’ in amping up for a race? What is something that makes you FEEL like it’s race time?

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Runners Saying it Like it Is: “PR’s are fun”

After running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon in New Orleans Shalane Flanagan Tweeted something all runners can relate to, “Running PR’s are fun!” Succinct. To. The. Point.
kara goucher and shalane flanagan
Flanagan followed it up in THIS Competitor recap with, “I think anytime you can run a personal best, that’s something special. You can’t take those for granted.” So true. The thing with PR’s is they become quite rare. Elusive like that unicorn that poops out gold bricks. ;)

They are especially rare as you improve and get faster. Sure, you start running and the improvement curve is such that you could lop minutes off of successive 5k’s like it’s nothing. That incentive to keep stepping up your game becomes more enticing, you cross the line fresh off of your last PR and think, “Okay, bring on the NEXT!”

From there the PR’s probably still come, but they are in shorter intervals, no longer full minutes. They become more hard fought, you must start reaching into new levels of mental toughness. You get more calloused as a runner both physically and mentally.
peacock runner
It then gets to the point where those PR’s stick for awhile. Weeks, months, years maybe. Funny how much HARDER you must FIGHT and PUSH for single seconds. Tenths of a second. Hundredths even. Regardless of level, elite or mortals of the world, everyone is fighting for those dang seconds.

Time hangs in the balance, the irony is that as you watch the clock tick down as you barrel for the home stretch on the cusp of what could be a new PR, the seconds FEEL excruciatingly long but they seem to TICK OFF much too quickly. Will you make it to the line in time?

Then there are the days when you know you are a much better runner than the ‘old’ you. It’s been awhile since you dusted off that PR and it’s high time you smash the crap out of it. THOSE races are da## exciting. Running for the finish line you don’t even have to plead or bargain with the clock. You just know.

Those days are what make all that hard stuff worth it. Though the rewards can be tauntingly bittersweet as they don’t come often enough for the distance runner. But it’s okay, you can’t feel too bad for us, because if you STICK IT OUT and then greet that next PR the feeling makes it totally worth it.

Because like Flanagan summed up in a mere four words is quite true and need no further elaboration, “Running PR’s is fun!”

1) Finish the sentence: Running PR’s is…

2) Try to quantify the level of exertion one second of a PR takes to a long-standing PR compared to the minutes you can lop off when you first start.
Hmmm, because I’m the famous mathematician that I am I will say it’s five times the cubed rate of seven factorial.

3) Is there a distance you haven’t raced yet and looking forward to setting a newbie PR streak?
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The Running Super Bowl and Some Lost Manhood

As a runner I will officially say, “Forget the Super Bowl, all the action went down today!” There, I said it, and I’ll stand firm too…bring on the football, body-painted masses! ;)
mary cain 2 mile record
Track nerds will already know that there is a new USA High School Record for the girls’ 2-mile…wait for it…9:38.68 Insane? Yes. Mary Cain just busted that record…all ye men and boys hold your manhood tight, because it’s quite possible a high school (junior) girl could kick your butt.

That was hardly the only action; the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix was promising a big showing in the men’s 3k and mile, and there was USA Cross-Country Championships too. Awesome coverage for you is to be found over at Paul Merca’s Blog for XC and FloTrack’s got tons of Boston related news.

Though, because it’s just too hard to resist, the question remains. Which men are left standing? Do your PR’s best Miss Mary’s Cain’s? Now THAT’S some serious chicking. ;)
I like cartoons…HERE are more!

HERE are some tips to make sure your own races don’t suck.

1) Who raced this weekend?

2) Who was a total track and XC nerd and gobbled up the coverage?

3) Do the math…how far could you run 9:38 2-mile pace for?
I don’t like math. :P

4) Share one of your own tips on racing.
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The Miraculous Millisecond After a PR: All a runner needs to validate all those miles

I know you can’t run away from your problems but my brain tells me that I just might if I get a new PR. ;)
run from problems
There really are few things that can get you more jacked (yes, I did just use that term and will stick by my choice of adjective) than a new personal best time. This applies obviously to races, but even PR’s in workouts. Crossing the line your legs are screaming at you to drop down dead to the ground but crazily thanks to being ‘jacked’ you’ve got this miraculous blitz of energy to postpone death drop for a second. In that second you are on cloud nine, beaming (at least inside, it may look like a sneer or grimace outwardly, but WE know it’s a smile!), fists pumping in the air (again, maybe only in our minds) and that lactic acid is numb.

Well, more like a millisecond of euphoric numbness but it IS there before the onslaught rush of muscles screaming at you because of the exertion. Even then, it’s sort of a sick and twisted awesome kind of pain that leaves you feeling jacked because:

1) YOU were beast-mode enough to last out the pain. You freaking bested your own brain that race, didn’t relent when you could have, pushed harder when your legs told you that you couldn’t, and you dug deep. Maybe deeper than you ever have before. Your body was being punished but you took it like a good soldier and kept your goals, the finish line, and the ever-powerful clock in mind.

2) You’re faster. I guess there’s no other way to put it…running works on two things: speed and distance. Improve on one and you’re pretty much validating all the work you’re doing. All the miles spent, all the workouts where no one knew you came out the mental victor, the sacrifices you’ve made, the nights you’ve visualized achieving that time. Validation.
tired runner
So yea, I’m more than comfortable whipping out the jacked term, make fun of me if you must. I grew up in California so I’ll say if you get a new PR you have license to be hella hecka jacked. It’s bitchin.

Though, don’t rest on your laurels too much. Running is a little cruel like that…because guess what? You can still get faster. Of course you need to SAVOR those victories and achievements along the way, savor the heck out of them, but after that sweat has gotten super stinky (please, shower) the truth is running will taunt you, “You can still be faster.”

“Maybe not, you say?” Okay, this is true, there will inevitably be the PR that is a life PR but the other awesome thing about running is that it’s all relative. As in Masters runners still set PR’s…maybe a PR for their decade, maybe a new longest distance PR.

The term PR might eventually evolve into the word ‘goal’ for you. There is always the next GOAL to work towards. In the end, no matter what you call it, few things in the world (honest to goodness, I’d even argue with a meth addict to give chasing PR’s a shot…lol) leave you feeling more JACKED than obtaining a new running goal.

1) Finish the sentence: You can’t run away from your problems, but…

2) Brag time, when is the last time you got a PR? It can be from a workout even or you can swap PR out and use the word goal.

3) What leaves you feeling jacked?

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Running Can Be Scary As He**, Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back

Running is scary sometimes. Not in the ‘BOO!’ the Oogittity-boogitty Monster is chasing you, though that would surely get that turn-over moving, but in the fact that with running you must constantly be putting yourself out there.
blurry runner
Part of that funny feeling in your stomach and flurry of nerves that greets you on race day, and to a degree on hard workout days, is fear. Us runners don’t like to consciously admit that is what it is, because ADMITTING that there is fear works against us; burying that fear and words like ‘can’t’ are appropriate coping mechanisms to get us through those hard workouts and races. Words like fear, can’t, tired, and pain shouldn’t be leaking into our mental vocabulary.

Though, we can’t deny that these feelings exist and in order to overcome them DURING the races, the workouts, the long runs we have to be able to UNDERSTAND where they are coming from.

The fear comes from knowing there is the chance of failure.

Being afraid of failing, coming up short, losing, embarrassing ourselves in front of others, and having solid proof that we are not capable of something are what stop a LOT of people from accomplishing things they ARE capable of. What’s more are those feelings are the things that derail them from even trying in the first place. The truth is that it’s SO much easier to never try because at least that way we will never have concrete proof that you failed. But that not trying is just a cop-out.
tough runner
Running can be daunting as he** mostly because it can be hard as he**. No two ways about it; in order to achieve those goals you have to PUSH yourself, open yourself up to the chances of failure, of having to look that fear of starting dead in the eye and not blink.

Runners butt up against that fear on a constant basis, which is another reason it takes an insane amount of guts and fortitude to stick to our sport. Every time you go out for a run, the inevitable fact is that yes, you will be uncomfortable. Discomfort is like the base line for any run and it only goes up from there.

Fear of pain is a primal instinct, your body doesn’t WANT to hurt that bad. It is hard-wired to do all it can to avoid pain; in workouts and races we run towards that pain. The days we come out the mental victors are the days we must be insanely proud of and REMEMBER because the next day we’ll have to face the same pain again and strive to come out on the winning side again.

Running is like the revolving door in that sense; you don’t just beat out the pain and fear one day and then sha-bam you’re on the elevator to the top. You have to KEEP passing through the same gates, and yes, there will be days you wind up ‘wimping’ out mentally and take the wrong door. It happens to the best of us…we do ‘fail’ sometimes.

Though we can’t let ourselves be so consumed by the fear of failing that it screws with our mind. People can get hung-up on the times they aren’t so proud of and let the seeds of doubt bloom into this heinous Venus Fly Trap that eats them alive every time they step to the line. Recognize that there will always be highs and lows in running; you savor the highs and you stick through the lows.

To get through the lows it is comforting to know that 1) EVERYONE has them 2) EVERYONE is denying that little bit of fear mixed in there during pre-race/pre-workout jitters and nerves 3) the revolving door of running will always grant you another chance regardless of outcome.
keep running
Fear should never rule you, nor should the times where you maybe did wimp out mentally; that’s why during that warm-up and as you battle through that hard workout and races, fear should be banished from your mind. In those moments there is no such thing as fear, as can’t, as pain, as failure.

We can understand where these feelings are coming from, but after that, all the focus shall be placed on overcoming them, of putting ourselves out there day in and day out.
HERE is an article on how to channel pre-race nerves to your advantage.

HERE is an article on how to use the art of visualization to improve your hard workouts and races, another part of mental training.

HERE is an article on why it’s good to put yourself so far out there it’s scary.

The winner of the Ambler Heat Beanie is John Gash. Send me an email at and we’ll get you sent out your swag! :)

1) What are some of the other emotions mixed in there with pre-race and pre-workout jitters?

2) How do you set your goals for running, races, times, etc.? How do you make sure they are big enough to ‘scare’ you a little bit?

3) Name a time where you definitely pushed through to another level of pain tolerance? Brag on your fine self! :)

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