5 Mantras I'm Clinging to This Weekend

Sorry to get all deep on you two days in a row - marathon week is a weird one. Also sorry for posting solely about running for the last week but...were you listening?! IT'S MARATHON WEEK!

This one got me through a tough half marathon PR in November and I'm banking on it getting me through a full PR on Sunday. It's something I heard in spin class a few years ago from a teacher I really liked and have kept in the back of my mind ever since. I don't plan to torture my body on Sunday, but I want to remember that no matter what pace I'm clocking, I don't have to settle. I can demand more. And my body will give it to me.

The night before my first full marathon, I asked my family and friends for suggestions to add to my playlist for the next day - their favorite song, a song they thought I'd like, something motivational, whatever. I just wanted something that would make me think of them. My husband suggested "Sometimes You're the Hammer, Sometimes You're the Nail" by A Day to Remember. At first I laughed because I'm a) a music snob and b) an adult, and the only people I knew who listened to that band were my high school students, but it turned out to be the best suggestion. I listened to it on race day and loved it and now it's a staple in my running tunes. I love this message at the end. It's true for nearly every run and I think that's why I always come back to it. I know there will be times during the marathon when I don't feel comfortable and when I'm afraid to push myself. Last year I could think of no better word to describe my Shamrock experience than "humbled" and I have no doubt that it will humble me once again. I'm giving myself permission to feel every step, good or bad, and know that I can keep going even when it doesn't feel good.

This is some advice I got from Ben during a particularly defeating 15-miler a couple months ago, featuring wind speeds higher than the temperature (21 and 13, respectively, in case you were wondering). I got almost halfway through and I just did. not. want. to run anymore. I texted Ben with some whining, my usual MO when a run really sucks, and he shot one back with the above. And you know what? He was right. I was fine. My legs were fine. My breathing was fine, maybe a little labored running up that one random hill on an otherwise flat course, but I wasn't going to die. My body wasn't telling me to stop running, my brain was. I might not win the race on Sunday, but defeating my mind instead of it defeating me would make me feel like I might as well have earned an Olympic medal.

I've learned a lot of this this training cycle, like the importance of fueling properly and that I don't need to torture myself on hills to train for a flat race. I also learned that Eminem is my spirit animal. You can laugh and think I'm as silly as you want, but it's true. I've found myself digging a lot of his songs (and it turns out that trying to learn to rap them is a great mental exercise to keep my mind off running) because I appreciate his (to put it nicely) go-get-'em attitude. Nothing lights a fire in me faster than the beginning of this song. I'm anticipating that "sometimes" is going to be around mile 16ish? I'll probably have this song on repeat at that point.

I'm wearing this shirt on Sunday, so believing anything to the contrary would make a liar out of me. I picked this shirt for a lot of reasons (most of them being the fact that it came in green), and one of those reasons is because this is what I need to remember more than anything on race day. I'm not a professional. No one ever has or ever will write me a check for putting one foot in front of the other. In fact, I handed over quite a bit of money to have the privilege of running 26.2 miles through Virginia Beach.  No one forced me to; I did it because I wanted to. Because running is fun. Running is fun, running is fun, running is fun. I have a million things to worry and think about in my non-running life, so for those 4 hours I get to spend focusing solely on running, I might as well enjoy them.

So, that's it. I'm ready. As ready as I'm going to be. I've put in the miles and I have my mantras and my playlists and there is nothing left to do but put one foot in front of the other and not stop until I've made it 26.2 miles. The race starts at 8:30am on Sunday and I think I have tracking correctly set up to post to my Twitter, but you can also track me here if you're so inclined (I'm bib number 2094). Catch you guys on the flip side?!

18 comments :

  1. These sound like some great mantras. Good luck on Sunday!

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  2. I have typed a few super cheesy things then deleted them.. But! I am so excited you are tackling this race with such a great perspective. I love how you always remind me that I'm lucky that I am able to run and that its a privledge I can't take for granted. You are going to do so great!

    And if you ever need another song for your playlist I reccomend proud by heather small. It's gotten me through a rough run or two. :) good luck!! I'll be cheering from you from MN!

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  3. i love this so very very much. they are all so true - especially the one about the mind. and i love your shirt. i've already said it a thousand times but GOOD LUCK i'm gonna text you a bazillion times and I cannot wait to hear how you go!!!

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  4. I love all of these and they are so true! I can especially relate to the demanding more from your body one!! I have been asking my body to do things that I didn't think it could and it makes me so happy! That cardio shirt is hilarious!! Good luck this weekend girl!!!

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  5. I'm so excited for you! You're going to kill this one. I just know it.

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  6. 1. These images are all so pretty 2. Love the messages and reminders (and truth) in all of them! 3. I hope you have an amazing race day on Sunday! 4. And I did laugh, not about you listening to eminem, but because I can just picture you rapping while running ;)

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  7. I love the one about letting your mind defeat you...
    Have a great race!!! We're all cheering you on!

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  8. Best of luck to you on Sunday!! I got a sports massage after my last full. I highly recommend looking into getting one yourself! Love all those mantras, and they all apply perfectly to running a marathon. I went to a Tabata class this morning and could have used this post before I went! Just when you think you're maxed out... Your body comes through with another strong push. You can do it!!!

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  9. AHHH good luck!!! :) you're gonna kill it. I think I need to hear your playlist and maybe all your awesome beast-mode characteristics will adapt to me?! Hehe.

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  10. I. am. so. psyched. for. you!! I will be tracking you and I cannot wait to virtually celebrate with you once you conquer those 26.2 miles. These mantras are awesome—you know how much I love and rely on one of them already—and HELLO I NEED THAT SHIRT! Just remember, and I know you know this since you're the one I learned it from, you *get* to do this. Holy crap!

    I wish I had a good song recommendation for you but I can barely remember what songs I used to listen to before podcasts. A couple good harder run favorites come to mind; I don't know if they're your style but maybe they'll strike your fancy:
    "Shatter Me" by Lindsey Sterling & Lzzy Hale; "Can't Stop Me" by Afrojack (it's soooo Jersey, but maybe it'll make you think of me? :)); "Numb/Encore" by Linkin Park & Jay-Z; "Never Enough" by Eminem & 50 Cent; and "i" by Kendrick Lamar.

    GOOD LUCK <3 No matter what happens Sunday, you are incredible and amazing and inspiring and awesome. I mean that. I'm in awe of you!

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  11. You are seriously incredible-- I mean that! You inspire me to push myself, because I am very weak mentally when it comes to running. I whine and give up more than I should so THANK YOU for always motivating us out here in blog world. I hope the race is everything you want and more- Good luck!

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  12. "Eminem is my spirit animal" - love this! I love running to his music (songs? raps? I'm not sure what to call them.). They make me feel like a badass. Which I am totally not, but some days you just need to feel like that.

    So good luck on Sunday, and I hope you feel like a strong, badass the entire time! You will do great!

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  13. After your marathon please come be my life coach. These mantras speak to me!

    Seriously wishing you all the best !! May you exceed your wildest and safest goals ;)

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  14. Good luck! You're gonna crush it! Seriously, you've got such a great mindset and you've trained and prepared yourself well. Enjoy every step!

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  15. Love the mantras!!! Ben wins again with the song choice. Seriously you married a gem! That tee is also just the best thing and I want one.

    You will do great!! Have fun and I wish you all the best on your run!!

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  16. Been loving your Instagram pics of the run!!! GET IT GUUUURL!

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  17. I'm going to steal some of these mantras.... #JustSaying

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  18. You're going to rock it, as usual! GOOD LUCK!

    I love these mantras. I agree that repeating them over and over can make or break a run.
    I think we've talked about my mantra before, but when I'm having a hard run, I repeat:
    "Don't let your mind cheat your body out of greatness".
    As you and I both know, our brains are tricky things and they tell us that our body is done when our body has a lot left in it. This is my way of telling my brain to cut that $h!* out.

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