As with anything, running has its good days and bad days. One morning you practically fly through an easy 8 miles, and the next time you run you can barely push your sorry legs past the 2-mile mark. It’s during those tough times when the run becomes more mental than physical. I often distract myself by working through my to-do list or a problem I’m having. But other times, I have to get a little more creative with my motivation. Here are some of the slightly crazy things I’ve done to push through the end of a run I’m just not feeling.
- Played “Eye of the Tiger” on my iPod. May have also thrown some air punches while running up some stairs, Rocky-style.
- Practiced my state capitals, multiplication tables, naming the presidents—basically anything I learned in fifth grade.
- Thought extensively of the delicious food waiting for me when I got back, like a burger or ice cream. No, burger then ice cream.
- Tried to plan out my meals and grocery list for the week (I think about food a lot, okay?).
- Checked out fellow runners and made up elaborate back stories for them.
- Pretended I’m the heroine in some badass action movie (Working title: “The Last Mile.” Not that I’ve given it that much thought or anything.) and have to sprint the rest of the way to save the world from utter destruction.
- Picked an object in the distance that I had to get to before I could stop, like a lamppost. Stared at the lamppost. Wondered if lamppost is actually one word or two. Sang a song about the la-la-la-lamppost. Forgot what the word lamppost actually meant when I reached it.
- Crafted the perfect witty comeback for the last argument I was in. Brainstormed ways to reignite argument and get my comeback in there.
I know I’m not alone here—what weird things have gotten you through the last mile?