The physical training required to finish a race, either long or short, is not an easy task. You have to surround yourself with tools that will push you and help you finish those last 10 minutes of training or will help you wake up on a Saturday morning for a 10-mile run.
As runners, we're always searching for those things that will help us improve our performance, for example, the most comfortable shorts and pair of tennis shoes, a good music playlist with headphones that won't fall off or the perfect device to carry your energy gels… The list can be endless and you might think it's nearly impossible to finish the race without having them.
And although all these things are essential, for me, there's only one thing that’s the most important of all; you can't buy it, you have to search for it even under the rocks and once you find it, nourish it day after day. That basic tool is motivation.
Yo Mariana think that motivation is what helps you keep going and moving forward while running. You can nourish it from simple but also amazing things such as that little glance filled with admiration from your children when you get home after an exhausting run, those words of unconditional support from your partner, the untiring cheer of your friends and your parents' love combined with concern for your well being. All that positive energy transforms into a motivational wave that hits you as inertia at the last stretch of the race, when you think you can't go on anymore, and helps you cross the finish line.
Another great source of motivation are books. When one of my best friends found out I was going to run the full Houston Marathon, she recommended me this book right away: "What I talk about when I talk about running" from Haruki Murakami. And I have to say that having this book on my bedside table has helped me start my training with the right foot.
Haruki Murakami is a world-renowned Japanese writer. He has written well-known novels such as “Norwegian Wood” and “Kafka on the Shore". Besides being a writer, he is also a runner, and in 1988 he published his memoirs while training for the New York City Marathon. In this book, Murakami has a fascinating way of describing the physical and mental pain of completing his first 62-mile Ultra Marathon.
I know for sure these quotes I mention below will stay with me forever; many apply to running but also to life itself.
"Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional"
"So the fact that I’m me and no one else, is one of my greatest assets"
"The most important thing we learn at school is the fact that the most important things can't be learned at school."
"... at that instant, relief overtook happiness"
“Sometimes taking time is actually a shortcut.”
“I'll be happy if running and I can grow old together.”
It doesn't matter if you are training for a race or not, this is a fun and pleasant read that forces you to reflect and inevitably your subconscious is overflowed with motivation and gives you that little push to tie your tennis shoes and go out running...
Click on the link below for more information on this book.
"What I talk about when I talk about running" - Haruki Murakami