If you saw in my post from last week (check it out here), then you know that last weekend, Ryan and I ran in the Wine and Dine Half Marathon. We both set personal best records (Ryan ran it in 2:1o and I ran it in 2:44) which we are both super proud of!
However, we are now on the down(up?)slope toward our full marathon in January which is mildly terrifying because it’s our first full ever!
As I’ve talked about before (and most recently in that post from last week), running is a really mental thing meaning, if your mind isn’t committed, your body isn’t going to be committed. It’s hard enough to get your mind and body committed to running 5-6 miles. Imagine needing to force your mind to get on board with 26.2…
There’s a special sort of mindset that runners possess that helps not only get us out there on the pavement, but across the finish line.
So today, I’m sharing some of that magic with you.
What is it that runners do to help get them out there and across that finish line?
#1: We make running fun!
Remember back in school when you had to run the mile in gym class and you hated it? You probably hated it because someone was making you do it. It wasn’t fun because it was forced.
Something I’ve found as an adult runner is that, now that nobody is forcing me to do this, I actually quite enjoy it and even find it relaxing on many days. Something I do to make my runs more fun is to try and beat my previous times from past runs. So if I’m running 5 miles, I typically do a 5 mile run in right around 55-56 minutes. Sometimes, I’ll really try to push myself and maybe try to get those 5 miles in in 53-54 minutes instead.
On longer runs, try to beat your 5K and 10K times. I know for me, that makes my runs really fun. It’s a little mental challenge for yourself and it keeps your mind in your run and off of other things.
#2: We have something awesome playing
Ok, so this doesn’t apply to everyone. Ryan doesn’t typically listen to music when he runs but I can’t run without my headphones. For me, certain songs are really motivating and actually help with my pace/stride which can make those longer runs a whole lot better when I’m starting to drop out of my form or pace around mile 8-9.
A lot of runner have very specific mixes for their runs. I know some runners who even go so far as to perfectly time out their music to fit their pace and run distance perfectly. There are mixes out there so do some research and find one that matches your pace and distance!
I’ve also heard some runners enjoy running with an audiobook playing, so that’s something to think about too! I’ve never personally tried it but I’d be curious to know what it’s like!
#3: We have a reason to be doing it
So, here’s the thing about running. People run for all different reasons. Some people, like Ry and I, run regularly because we’re training for a race. Some runners run because they enjoy the health benefits and what it does for your body. Other runners simply run because they find it relaxing and finally, some runners run for all of those reasons.
Whatever your reason is to run, keep that in the back of your mind. On those long, hard runs, remembering why you’re doing this is going to come in handy as a huge motivator.
#4: We’re crazy
Ok, so I’m only half kidding here. 🙈
But seriously, how many times as a runner do you hear “you’re crazy!” or “I would never do that!”?
I like to use all those little tid-bits as fuel on my runs. I like to re-play all of those little things and then laugh and tell myself “yeah, I am crazy” with a huge smile on my face. I like to tell myself “I’m doing something that some people would never do and that’s freaking great!”.
Remembering all of that is a huge source of motivation. Try it out, you’ll be amazed by the results!
#5: Runners high
Honestly…enough said. If you’ve ever had a runners high, you know why this needs very little explanation. If you’ve never had a runners high, go for a hard run, run a race, finish and tell me the after effect isn’t the most amazing thing you’ve ever experienced in your whole life.
And that’s the magic of running, you guys. All of these things and more. To be honest, there’s a lot about a runners mind that is hard to explain. There’s just something magical that happens when you get out on the road, settle in, your music is bomb AF and you just get this sense of insane happiness and relaxation that makes you wonder why more people don’t do this. Something happens within us that makes us want to keep going, something that makes us want to do this again and again. It’s just the magic of running.