Family life

Do you have a running mantra?

Disappointment and reflection helped Run-at-home mom Jennifer find the words that keep her moving.

By Jennifer Pinarski
Do you have a running mantra?

In the background is a shoe tree. Locals attach their shoes to the tree to bring them good luck!

The disappointment of a slower-than-hoped-for finish at the Pick Your Poison 25K trail race hung over my head all week. Instead of motivating me to do more speed work or hill repeats, I laced up once last week for a short 6K stroller run. My running mojo was somewhere at the base of a ski hill at the Heights of Horseshoe in Barrie where the race was held. I didn't really care much about running and starting questioning the sanity of attempting a six-hour run when I didn't even want to put on my shoes. While some runners have a mantra that keeps them motivated, I have no words or positive self talk.
But with three weeks to race day — and knowing that my 20 mile runs are key to finishing the Tread 6-Hour Trail Race upright — I pulled up my big girl capris and hit the trails last Saturday morning for my second-last 20 mile run. It took about an hour to shake off the crummy feeling I had all week (the worst thing about distance running is that for me it takes forever to feel warmed up), but once I found my running groove I felt unstoppable. 
It made me think of how kind everyone was on Twitter, Facebook, DailyMile and this blog when I whined about my finish. Today's Parent's own Tracy Chappell pointed out that to many runners (like herself) that are just starting out, finishing 25K is an incredible accomplishment. She's right. Besides, you come here to be inspired not to sit at my table while I'm having a pity party.
Coming back to mantras: At the 13-mile mark, I was at the end of a logging road and I'm sure thousands of trilliums around me were blooming. I stopped for a minute or two and one word came to mind — amazing. Having the mental and physical strength to run any distance is amazing. It's not always easy, especially, when you're also balancing your marriage and motherhood. And for the rest of my run, when I'd start to lose motivation I came back to that same manta: What I do is amazing.
Your turn: Do you have a running mantra? What do you do that is amazing?
This article was originally published on May 10, 2012

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