When I was training for my first marathon, my dad, an eight-time marathoner, said to me, “Anyone can physically run a marathon. I’m proud of you because of how much mental strength and determination it takes.”

Running is 90% mental (or so they say, although my knees are telling me a different story these days). Sure, you have to get your body into physical shape in order to run well, but pushing through mental blocks can be much harder to do at times. One of the best ways for me to overcome hitting a mental wall is to tell myself: pain is temporary; pride is forever.

I don’t think anything else sums up the mental vs. physical fight that occurs during a race as well as this does. It’s inevitable that, during a race, you’re going to get tired and you’re going to want to quit. Hitting a wall during a long run is not fun. But when this happens, think about the last two, three, or ten miles you have left. Can you handle that? Can you get through that? Yes, you can, and once you do, you’ll be able to say you’ve completed your goal, be it your first marathon, your second half marathon, or your 5k personal best. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and push yourself. It may not be fun for a while, but no one can ever take this accomplishment away from you once you’re finished. After all, you trained hard for this, so make your moment count.

Isn’t the glory worth a little pain?

Every runner this Saturday at the Baltimore Running Festival should be proud of themselves. Each and every person has set a goal and has worked hard to achieve that goal. So put yourself out of your comfort zone and think about crossing that finish line when you’ve hit a wall. Think of the pride you’ll feel knowing you finished your first 5k or third half marathon. Crossing the finish line is something you’ve strived for since you signed up, and it’s a fulfilling, proud moment that you deserve. After all, you’ve done this for YOU, which is one of the best reasons to run!

I’ve run one marathon, and am about to run my second this Saturday in Baltimore. I am already dreading the colored bridge over 83. You know the one. It’s orange, yellow, and uphill (and a long, steady hill at that). Oh, did I mention it’s at about mile 22 for the marathoners and mile 9 for the half marathoners? How convenient! I remember trekking up that hill in 2006 and repeating this phrase to myself over and over: pain is temporary; pride is forever. I told myself, “Just get up this hill and run four more miles, and you will be a marathoner, and no one can ever take that away from you.” It worked.

So this Saturday, just keep putting one foot in front of the other, push yourself, and think of that pride you’ll have knowing what you accomplished at the 2011 Baltimore Running Festival. As Billy Ocean once sang, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.”Pain is only temporary, but you’ll have that pride forever, and no one can take that away from you.

Get it, ladies.

Written by: Amy Garland, T2M2R guest blogger

Robyn
10/12/2011

can't wait to watch you cross the finish line for the 2nd time. wish i could be out there running with you again...

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stephanie
10/12/2011

Now I have something new to stay hitting that colored bridge! See you there Saturday (I'm running the Half).

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Kerri
10/12/2011

Thankyou for getting me excited again for this Saturday... (the nerves were getting the best of me)
Great Blog! Good Luck!

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Susan Gray
10/12/2011

Good luck to you and your sis! Awesome blog:)

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Holly
10/13/2011

Good luck Saturday!!

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Amy
10/14/2011

Thanks, everyone! Good luck to you, Stephanie & Kerri!

Robyn, I've missed you during training, but we better do another together one day.

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