I like running quotes. I like funny running sayings on t-shirts and bumper stickers. I like statements that inspire and make me feel proud to be a runner.
One of the best ways to know that a big race is coming up is by checking to see how many of my Facebook friends post running quotes on their Wall and change their profile pics to something to do with running shoes. We're not close enough yet to marathon time for the quotes to start flying but I did stumble across one yesterday that got me thinking.
"In the first half of the race, don't be an idiot. In the second half, don't be a wimp."
Taken from Scott Douglas - Running Times' Senior Editor.
I like that one. It works for any distance - from a 1k spring to an ironman.
How many of us have gone out too fast at the start only to die before the end? (that's me over there waving my hand madly in the air)
I can train to run a half marathon at a 6:30 min/km pace and then suddenly, on race day, I start out runnning 5:50s. I have actually convinced myself that I could sustain it for then entire 21.1km. It feels so easy, I feel so strong...for the first ten minutes. Then I slow to 6:00 and feel bad about slowing down (seriously?). Then I slow even more to 6:30, which should feel ok but still feels hard because I was...an idiot. Then I crash and end up running 7 minute kilometres for the second half of the race. It all evens out by the end and I finish pretty much at the time I predicted. But seriously folks - I've gotta stop doing that!
So I like the quote. Start off slow. Don't be an idiot. Have a plan and stick to it.
In the second half, it's going to feel hard. Really hard. Don't be a wimp about it.
Everything sounds so much simpler when it's wrapped in quotation marks doesn't it?
My all-time favourite quote, which isn't really about running, is:
"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're probably right."
Henry Ford said that. I like his attitude. I'm working on developing my own.
Right now, my attitude feels kinda like resignation. Not in a bad way - I've just entered a mode where every run is just the next run. Do it, and get it done. Don't panic about the distance. Don't worry about the hills. Don't even think about it (if necessary, insert fingers in ears and sing lalalalalalala).
Just do it.
I think it's a protective mechanism - if I freak out now when I have to run 22k, how the hell am I going to cope with 32k? Or 42?
So I just think I can and I'm probably right.
And if I'm not?
We'll just cross that bridge if we get to it.