Run for Joy

What's your mantra? When you're near the end of your run and need to push yourself, what do you tell yourself to get you through?

A lot of running is in your head. It's about overcoming the little voice that tells you that you can't. The voice that tells you that you hurt. The voice that teases you because you have more miles that you can imagine left to run. You can have miles left in your legs, but if your your mind is in the wrong place it's game over.

I wrote a little while ago about my mantra for the Great Birmingham Run -

run for joy, enjoy the run

I wanted my first half marathon to be enjoyable. I wanted to feel good and focus on the sense of achievement and fulfilment I get from running. When things felt hard I repeated my mantra and focused on the next step. I felt strong and confident. It was pretty amazing! 

Another aim for Birmingham was to run in the moment. I wanted to be present and really enjoy the unique atmosphere of a big city race. Repeating my mantra helped me to achieve this. It kept me focused on why I was there, why I run and what really matters - something I never want to lose sight of. 

Reflecting on Birmingham there were so many points where I could have packed it in. Where my head could have won over my body. While the first 10 miles were awesome, the last 3 were hard. Through the final 800 meters I felt really quite ill. The whole race was deeply emotional, there were times when I was chocking back tears. My body hurt. I couldn't chew a Jelly Baby. My body was at it's peak, but my mind still could have won. I credit my mantra for not letting that happen.

I don't know if I will use the same mantra for Paris, but I do know that I will have one, and that it will be one of the most important pieces of kit I take with me.