It’s FINALLY race day!! You’ve made it! All of those training runs are ready to be put to the test and your legs are ready to run! Here are 10 things I want you to remember as you get ready to cross that finish line, k? Running is not just a physical sport but I think equally as mental. Your brain can take you to many places, and successfully crossing the finish line healthy and strong is hopefully one of those places TODAY!!
Here are 10 things to remember as you get running today and CROSS THAT FINISH LINE!!
1) You’re doing something that most people will call you crazy for! How many times as a runner have you been asked “Why on earth do you run”? Or, I know you’ve heard the line, “The only time you’ll see me running is if a bears is chasing me.” (Looking at you MOM! ;)) We runners are crazy creatures but we wouldn’t have it any other way! Running is NOT for the lazy and most definitely NOT something everyone chooses to do. Embrace the weird, the crazy and the hard today! You have MADE it my friend!
2) There WILL be times of pain today. But, that’s what makes these races the good stuff, am I right? We as runners take pain as an accomplishment and believe that we can mentally tackle ANYTHING if we can tackle these miles, especially when the going gets tough. Running teaches you that YOU CAN do hard things!! Your body is SO strong and has done this a million times now, it’s just your brain telling you to quit! Don’t listen!!
Repeat over and over again to yourself as many times as you need today. “I CAN DO HARD THINGS!”
3) Soak in ALL of the race day vibes of the fans on the sidelines. These people have set their alarms and lined the streets to cheer YOU on!! Soak in the excitement of all of the fellow runners out there about to feel the same feelings you are too! We’re in this together and we’ll FINISH together!! Put that finish line medal in your sight and don’t let it go! GIVE IT YOUR ALL!!! 110% ALL the way!!!
4) Be SMART and don’t start off faster than you’re comfortable with! I know it’s just SO insanely exciting at the start line and your energy is pumping! BUT–don’t let that de-rail you off your plan. Know your pace beforehand and STICK TO IT!! It’s not the beginning of the race that tells you how you feel–it’s the very end! Those last .25 of the mile will be when you can push it!! Not the first .25!
5) Think back on ALLLLLL of those miles you’ve completed to get you to this point. Remember the days when you just didn’t think you had it in you to log the miles and you did it anyway? Remember that? Yeah, you DID them and you EARNED every single last step!! You can do THIS!! No doubt in my mind!!
6) Dedicate each mile to something or someone you love! I love doing this! At the start of every new mile place someone dear to your heart in your focus and run that mile for THEM! Tell yourself that you’re dedicating the hard work you’re putting in during this race to that person and all that they’ve said and done for you! Then, that very last mile dedicate it to YOU!! You’ve EARNED it ALL!! You deserve the credit for putting everything you’ve got into this race.
7) Know that when you legs get tired, and you’re going uphill that there is a downhill coming up! Just make it to the top and count each step as you go! Keep your mind busy on other things besides the toughness of this challenge in front of you. Then pump your arms to help your legs move faster and to keep going! Then, DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE!!!!!!
8) Think back to day #1 and look at where you are now. Did you think you’d get here? Can you believe it’s THE BIG DAY? Yeah, a lot has happened between now and then and you’re HERE!!! Soak it all in and enjoy every minute of it! TODAY is the day you’ve been working for and dreaming of. TODAY IS THE DAY!!! Feel the sunshine on your face today and embrace the tingling in your bones! Race day endorphins are not to be topped! It’s a high like no other!
9) Encourage others around you and feed off their energy! When you see someone struggling push them and cheer them on! They’ll do the same for you I promise! That’s the thing about the running community– We’re all in this together and we know how to “embrace the suck”. But, we can all use a little cheerleader along the way! I can’t tell you how much of a difference this makes on both the giving and receiving end of the encouragement.
10) Remind yourself OVER AND OVER that you are running for those who can’t today. There are MILLIONS upon millions of people who would love to be in your shoes right now. We all know someone struggling today. While runners are a rare breed, there are so many people who would love to be able to run a race, much less walk a single mile. But, physically they’re limited and can’t get to a start line like you have today. We are blessed beyond measure with the strength and ability to move our legs and put one foot in front of the other. Run your race for them today! Run your race strong for them! And, remember, if they can make it through their trials–YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!!
I hope you have an amazing race today!! I hope you soak in every last drop of it and know that you’ve earned every step along the way. I’m sending you ALL the positive running vibes and energy and I know you can do this!! Be proud of yourself at the finish and know that no one ran those miles for you, BUT YOU!! You are AMAZING today, and every single day!
Best of luck!!! Run STRONG!!! (Then go get your some donuts! ;))