Thursday, February 21, 2013

"Then you will run"

This morning a friend sent me a great running quote that I wanted to share, along with some thoughts.

"This is how it works:

Training is doing your homework. It's not exciting. More often than not it's tedious. There is certainly no glory in it. But you stick with it, over time, and incrementally through no specific session, your body changes. Your mind becomes calloused to effort. You stop thinking of running as difficult or interesting or magical. It just becomes what you do. It becomes a habit.

Workouts too become like this. Intervals, tempos, strides, hills. You go to the track, to the bottom of a hill, and your body finds the effort. You do your homework. That's training. Repetition--building deep habits, building a runner's body and a runner's mind. You do your homework, not obsessively, just regularly. Over time you grow to realize that the most important workout that you will do is the easy hour run. That's the run that makes everything else possible. You live like a clock.

After weeks of this, you will have a month of it. After months of it, you will have a year of it.

Then, after you have done this for maybe three or four years, you will wake up one morning in a hotel room at about 4:30am and do the things you have always done. You eat some instant oatmeal. Drink some Gatorade. Put on your shorts, socks, shoes, your watch. This time, though, instead of heading out alone for a solitary hour, you will head towards a big crowd of people. A few of them will be like you: they will have a lean, hungry look around their eyes, wooden legs. You will nod in their direction. Most of the rest will be distracted, talking among their friends, smiling like they are at the mall, unaware of the great and magical event that is about to take place.

You'll find your way to a tiny little space of solitude and wait anxiously, feeling the tang of adrenaline in your legs. You'll stand there and take a deep breath, like it's your last. An anthem will play. A gun will sound.

Then you will run."

- JEFF EDMONDS The Logic of Long Distance

Don't you love that?? I found myself nodding my head throughout this. It reminded me of the post that I wrote back in December, The Magic Secret, where I wrote:

"There is no easy way. There is no magic pill, magic shake, magic cleanse, magic diet, magic training plan, or magic anything else. The magic is the hard work, dedication and heart you are willing to put in, day in and day out. The magic is the time, not just a few days or a few weeks, but extended periods of time, you are willing to stay committed. The magic is what you are willing to invest in yourself, and how bad you want what you say you want. The magic is hard work."

It is so easy to set goals and to dream big dreams and to want it all to happen NOW. People get impatient and get frustrated with slow progress or bumps in the road. But big goals and dreams don't come quickly and they don't come easily. You have to do your homework. You have to create your own magic and do the hard work. You have to be patient. You have to build the habits and put forth the effort. You have to enjoy the journey and find joy, pride, and satisfaction in where you are at right now, while still working hard to achieve you goals and dreams.


I also love what Jeff said about developing a runner's body and a runner's mind. That is me. I love it. :) And I could not have described better how I feel at the beginning of a race. I am quiet. I am focused. I am hungry. I am anxious. I am excited.  And then I run!

Thanks J. for sending me this awesome quote. If you want to read more, you can check out Jeff's blog at "The Logic of Long Distance".


Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

This is aweseome, thanks for sharing!

Amy Lauren said...

I love both of those quotes. Thank you for sharing them. I think I'm going to print them out too.

Amy N. said...

Perfect for today when I find myself being impatient for quick results! Thanks for the reminder!

Diana Martinez said...

Love this, thanks!

Happy Running Mama said...

Awesome quotes! Thanks so much for sharing them. I love the visual of arriving at the start of a race and looking around and seeing the people who are similarly focused and those that are chatting like they are at the mall. Not that there is anything wrong with chatting and having fun before a race but I love the focus, too, when it is a race that you have been training for for months and can't wait to make it all happen.

greengirlrunning said...

I love that solitary, quiet moment in the minutes before a race. I enjoy the chatter around me, but don't usually want to engage. It's quotes like these that give me that extra boost!

Gracie said...

Race's been awhile since I've felt that! Good reminders.

Sherry said...

Awesome quote - thanks Erin for sharing (and thanks to your friend too!). I read somewhere that it takes about 7 years of training to reach your potential peak.

coach dion said...

Love the Quote but while my body feels old i don't run, I hummer out the miles, crawl round the roads in the dark of the morning, but then on that one day when the aches aren't there and I hit the road and for a reason only known to the greater powers out there my body works, then I run... and I pray it's on race day!!!

Thank you for sharing.

Jill said...

Awesome quotes and awesome friends!! This is perfect for me and where I am right now, thanks girl!! xo

Will said...

Love much wisdom in these quotes. thanks for sharing!

Terzah said...

Just saw this post, Erin. I *love* Jeff's writing--the passage you chose is one of his best! I think he's one of the best writers out there blogging about running.

You can get a T-shirt with another of his quotes here (and there's one for guys too):