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Natural Law: Your 'Gotta' Wanna'

While reading Tom's post and many others weekend, I was awed by the accomplishments of so many runners.   Sometimes it was their distance, speed, the course, or the difficulty, but all were inspiring to me.   And as different they were, it reminded me of a natural law.

Natural Law:  Your body runs the distance, but your mind wins the race.  You can't forget your 'gotta' wanna'.

Physically, we cover many discplined miles.  And so many favorite treats have been sacrificed toYou_can_do_it_2  make sure our body has the fuel and rest it needed.  Our bodies are doing a good job hanging in there.  But as we move closer to our favorite fall races we can't forget to keep training our brain.  No tapers allowed for the noggin.  We must keep building the muscles of determination and the flexibility to change our plans.  And most importantly, before we get to the race, we gotta' leave the (mental) baggage at home.  It was fine to drag it along while we were training.  Consider it strength training.  Heck, I can bench about the weight of the world by now.  But because our doubts, fears, and worries are heavy - leave them at home for the big runs -its easier to get to the finish line when we are a few pounds lighter.   

As you lay out your running stuff the night before your next run or race, dig down and pull out a few extra packets of determination.  Put them right next to your favorite shoes and extra GU's.   It may be the most important thing you bring along to your run.   And when you refuel at those critical miles, toss back a shot of "I will", "I am doing it", "I can do it", "I will finish".  They provide energy for the soul.

I know I haveYou_can_do_it_3 said before, you can have the best plan, but without a little bit of "I will" or "I think I can", it might as well be written on counterfeit one hundred dollar bills because it won't buy you the race you want.

In the October issue of Runners World, Jeff Pearlman wrote an article about "How a Lousy Collegiate Runner Eventually Made It To The Top".   In his article, he said it so well...

"That's the beauty of running - with enough delusion and even a small dose of endorphins, a guy can talk himself into anything."

Run your run.  Remember, you make the rules, even if they are crazy.

You can do it on Flickr by david ian

Put your mind to it on Flickr by Tifty


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So very true...I always tell new marathoners that the race is 90% and 10% physical.

Bill Carter

Great article Amy.
We all know that as runners we have to put in the training if we want to be able to perform on race day. But so much of how we do is mental... and that certainly starts with a positive state of mind. I love Pearlman's quote by the way.

Thanks, Bill


Well Amy I don't know how you found me...but I am glad you did....yes I was very proud of that run...I just went out there me and the elements...it was one of those runs that I had set a goal that day...I reached it then pushed it a little farther did a mental and physical check and the realized I could push it a little further. Today is my run day....it is overcast and cool...but I am really starting to like those kind of days....it will not be a long run today but a very physically challenging run as it includes hills and stairs.....I find for myself alternating between the long and shorter runs(those being the physically more demanding runs for me). It is those shorter runs that help build up my strength in order for me to do my longer runs.

I like your comment about keeping the mental baggage at home. I love to take it with me on my runs as it keeps me company...now not having done a fun run in a very long time I don't know about that baggage thing....I don't run to compete...I run for me and me alone.....but never say never.

Again thanks for visiting my blog...if you ever get a chance to drop by again...I'd love to know how you found me.


The Running Guy

This article is exactly what I love about running - it is a test against yourself. You either pass or you don't, there is no in between.

The Running Guy


"Favorite shoes and extra GU's". I think that's my favorite line so far this week. I don't know why I think that's so funny, but maybe I'm still on an endorphine high. How long are those supposed to last anyway?

Just kidding. Thanks for the encouragement. I always love reading your posts.


Yes, a very uplifting post. Once a person, nonrunner of course said to me; "there's no skill involved with running." Of course I challenged him, and he backed down once he realized he was very wrong. You have so many elements that plays into it.


Where do I sign up for the extra packet of determination?? :)


Andria - I find the endorphine highs last about as long until I have to reenter reality and deal with nonrunning stuff.

Nancy - I read your post - you have so much determination I was wondering if you were selling any of your extra? :}


i need to print up this post & tape it to my head. it's perfect.

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