Running is a mental sport

Last night, my roommate Dana and I were talking about running.  She has decided to sign up for the NYC Half next spring and I am SO excited for her.

I don’t know if I am in any place to be giving advice.  I am not a super fast runner; I am not going to break any records.  The majority of my training has come from books or from random websites.

But I do know one thing for sure: running is a mental sport.  In my opinion, you can train your body to do pretty much whatever you want.  The harder challenge is to get your head on the same page.

See the thing is, running is hard.  Sometimes if feels great, but it can also hurt like hell. That’s why you have to rely on your mind to keep going, because your body is screaming to stop.

There are many, many times when I have wanted to stop when I am out there. I have just learned to eliminate the option of quitting.

I have often regretted skipping a workout.  But I have never, ever, regretting doing one. The hardest step can be getting out of the door, so I often repeat that little reminder to myself.

When it gets painful, I remind myself that it’s supposed to be painful.   If it were easy, everyone would do it.  The pain will make me stronger.

A couple years ago, I saw this commercial about excuses:

It always puts my dumb complaining in perspective.

Recently, I think about the finish line to get me through.  The bleachers have been set up for a few weeks in Central Park for the finish of the New York City Marathon on Sunday. But today on my run (7 miles, average pace 9:15), the actual finish line was installed.  Even though this isn’t the marathon I will be doing, I got goosebumps looking at it:

Thinking about crossing the finish line is all the motivation that my mind needs.

If I have to crawl across it on November 20th, I will cross the finish line.


3 thoughts on “Running is a mental sport

  1. I love when I convince someone to try running with me. So far I’ve convinced my friend, my brother, an uncle to all run half marathons!

    And running is such a mental sport…though I’ve been sidelined for injuries before, really its my head that gets in the way.

  2. I’m definitely going to have to work on my mental toughness but I am ridiculously excited to do the half. When you told me I’d be able to run for 2 straight hours that’s when it really struck me how awesome it’ll be to cross that finish line. I’m even more excited for you to run the full one!

  3. you’re so right – if it were easy, everyone would do it. That’s what makes running so great! I have no doubt you’ll cross that finish line on November 20 – and it will feel AMAZING.

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