"If you haven't trained, El Scorcho is going to mess you up. Seriously. You are responsible for getting yourself ready to run this race, and you had better be prepared.
It's going to be hot. (Duh.) Make sure you drink lots of electrolytes and water. Lay off the booze (at least until after the race)."Oh have mercy, I do not want to get "messed up." But look at the weather forecast!
I've put the training in. I've run in 100 degree weather almost every evening run. Shoot, it's not uncommon for it to still be 99 at 10 pm. My yoga classes are in a room heated to 98 degrees. This is Texas in July. I fully expected heat, it's not called El Scorcho for nothing. But seeing a high the day before of 106, mercy that is a little intimidating! Nothing but water or Gatorade will cross these lips until post race Sunday morning! (and food, copious amounts of food taper makes me m'ungry!)
In the spirit of not getting "messed up" I started thinking of other training phrases, or mantras, that I've used. When I was coaching I used some of these for my runners. But I use them to encourage myself too! True story, I talk to myself while I run. If Brian MacKenzie is unscared, I am unashamed.
Pay the Man. When I'm training I do not take shortcuts. If there are 3 paths, one direct, one that will take 2/10 feet off my run and one that will add 4/10 , I will always choose the one that adds steps. Always. If I get home and I'm 3/10 short of my desired mileage, I'll pass my house and make sure I get it all in. My friends make fun of me, but I'm a big proponent of "paying the man." Cause if you don't, he'll mess you up come race day!
Make like a hooker and work those corners. Tangents. Oh, I struggle with tangents. Kiss those corners like they are your prom date. (admittedly the only kisses in my future!) Races are measured on the tangents, no sense taking the long way on race day. You already paid the man during training! Look at Jen Rhines about to win the women's half at Houston. Any closer and she'd be on the curb. Good job girl.
No talking ladies! Okay, I may have caught some grief for being the coach that would, upon hearing chatter, admonish my girls for talking when they were supposed to be running at tempo pace. Tempo=comfortably hard. You should not be able to hold an easy conversation at tempo pace. If you can chat, you need to pick up the pace. I hold myself to this!
Turnover. Sometimes when you've been running a while your forms gets sloppy. Or mine does anyway. When it starts to get hard and I need to really focus, I'll repeat, turn over, turn over in my head. Heck, sometimes I indeed utter this aloud. I really focus on my kick, picking up my feet and covering some serious space with these short gams. Check out Ryan Hall's kick! That boy has some long legs and his turnover serves him well.
All the way. When I see that finish line, I muster up every last ounce of energy to sprint, or come as close to a sprint as I can. (might be more a crawl on Sunday) I tell myself to run it in, don't slack now, all the way. All the way. I've been known to yell this at finish line too. I've been know to receive glares too. All the way y'all!
Grab it and growl. See that big hill looming ahead? No worries, just grab it and growl. I've been known to actually growl. Yes, it's a wonder I still have people willing to run with me. It might make you feel silly, but studies have shown that grunting, or growling as the case may be, actually helps lifters. So why not runners? Grab it and growl - take no prisoners!
Not afraid. It's just one foot in front of the other. I've done this all before. Nothing to fear. Every now and then it will hit me and I'm like, TPG, what were you thinking girl? 31 miles is a long way! But I'm not scared. I probably won't die.
Even if it is the second hottest summer on record in Texas!
What "self talk" do you use to motivate yourself? Do tell!