Just years ago, runners had valid reasons for skipping runs during the winter. It was too cold, too dark, too forbidding. While winters are still cold and dark, those excuses have melted away with the advent of apparel that keeps us warm and dry in subzero temps, headlamps that light our way through the gloom, and affordable treadmills for the days you have to stay inside.
- Jeff Galloway -
I honestly believe it comes down to how mentally strong you are. You're just barely moving but what is going on up in your head is what's keeping you moving… It's the person that wants to move faster. It's the person who decides that he doesn't want to slow down. It's the one who wants to get across the line before the next guy. And that's all a conscious decision. It's a choice. In race situations you choose to be successful or you choose to fail.
- Tim Waggoner -
Long distance training can be a positive & constructive form of selfishness. After all, once you're at the starting line, you're there by yourself. No one can run a single step for you. No one can jump in and help you. No one but you can make the decisions about what to do to keep going. It's all up to you.
- John Bingham -
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
- Haruki Murakami -
Plenty of undersized ducklings grow into golden running swans. In running, it's no help to be a muscular giant. It's your legs, your heart, your lungs and your brain that need to be strong, not your pecs or your biceps... There's only one moral that matters in running - do the work.
- Roger Robinson -
I have made many mistakes as a new runner. I have stopped and started my running program at least half a dozen times. I have tethered my ego to my mileage and felt humiliated when I’ve come up short. I have attempted speeds that were too fast because I thought that’s how fast real runners go. But through it all, I have given my body permission to do what it can, to let its slow improvements be enough to make me proud – no matter how many runners pass me. Recently, after a run, I stood before the full-length mirror in my bedroom. I admired my body, despite the blemishes that time has left behind. I admired the sweat that clung to my collarbone like a badge of honor. And I admired my legs, which are capable of carrying me farther than I ever imagined.
- Reshma Memon Yaqub -
That's the thing about running: your greatest runs are rarely measured by racing success. They are moments in time when running allows you to see how wonderful your life is.
- Kara Goucher -
Those who run long are not freaks of nature. We are not a handful of chosen ones blessed with indefatigable muscle and indestructible cartilage. Nor do we have indomitable willpower that others lack. If anything sets us apart it is a kind of sensitivity. We can hear a faint chord vibrating on old and brittle strings. It begins to resonate through us when we rise predawn for a morning run. The sound builds the longer we stay at it. On a long run through the mountains our attention becomes focused, in tune, automatic. Each footfall and each breath synchronized with a primal tune. Ours is a re-creation of once necessary dispositions.
- Eric Grossman -
Relentless Forward Progress
It is one of the strange ironies of this strange life that those who work the hardest, who subject themselves to the strictest discipline, who give up certain pleasurable things in order to achieve a goal, are the happiest. When you see 20 or 30 people line up for a distance race in some meet, don't pity them, don't feel sorry for them. Better envy them instead.
- Brutus Hamilton -
Anything, any adversity, has to be a source of motivation. And I've always been able to do that. If anybody says I can't do it, I end up doin' it. Because I don't like to be told that. Even a failure in a race, a major race, whatever, I always regroup, focus on what I did wrong or what I didn't do wrong and move forward again.
I run with my head, my heart and my guts, because physically, I don't think I've got a great deal of talent or ability. I started at the bottom and worked up.
If I am still standing at the end of the race, hit me with a board and knock me down, because that means I didn't run hard enough.
- Steve Jones -
(Welsh athlete and former world marathon record holder)
The marathoner by nature is a risk taker; more interested in functioning within the eye of the storm than outside of it. It is within the storm that they can challenge themselves to run where few dare to venture. Others steer clear of the storm, afraid to explore. The intrepid don't, or won't, run because it is too hot, or too cold. They need family time or private time at the house. They need to rest their weary legs or save their fresh legs; let blisters die down or avoid new blisters. Too early, too late, too wet, too dry, too many carbohydrates, too few, full moon, half moon, can't run on days that end with the letter Y, etc.
Maybe it's the endorphins, or maybe it's just in the true runner's nature to run toward the storm. Perhaps the marathoner simply knows that the answers lie there. With head down and resolve in his or her heart, the runner keeps putting one foot in front of the other. Into the storm.
- Michael Connelly -
26.2 Miles to Boston
My goal for Boston this year was to win and to run under 2:09. If I'd done that and not won, I would have been celebrating like I had won because it's something I'd never done. If you run a personal best, whether it's by 1 second, 10 seconds, 2 minutes, you better celebrate, because they don't come very often.
- Meb Keflezighi -
(2014 Boston Marathon Winner)
For us runners, the question of 'why' is pretty moot. Not because it may not be interesting, or important, from a certain point of view, but because we've left the question of the meaning of running behind. After all the questions have been asked, and all the answers given, in spite of the disagreement on essences, physiology, rationales, training strategies, trail running, road racing, i-pod wearing, mid-foot striking, turnover cadences, arm carriages, Jack Daniels, Arthur Lydiard, 20 miles a week or 100, 5k or the 50k, whether it's really the Miles of Trials or the Trial of Miles, after all the words have been spoken and keyboards have been pounded, meanings given and ideologies subverted… After all this, we runners bend down and tighten the laces, open the door, brace for the cold and are renewed...
- Jeff Edmonds -
In recent years I've come to realize that the more of the outdoors I get, the more I want. That alone - that growing appetite for being out in the world - is a debt to running that I can never repay.
- John Jerome -
We runners are a unique breed. We like chasing dreams. We are kindred spirits in this regard. Whether your dream is running across America, tackling a marathon, or completing your first 5-K, it really doesn't matter. When you distill it all, we don't run for the trophies or the records or the recognition, we run because a rapidly beating heart pumps more life through our veins.
Our ultimate calling is not to arrive at the finish line in a composed state, but rather to stagger in breathlessly, totally annihilated and on the verge of collapse, proudly knowing in our hearts that we have run our race, and it was glorious. Whether you end up with a medal being placed around your neck or an IV line being placed into your arm, the inner bliss is the same. You have waged your war and you have emerged victorious. You are content. If you are never to take another step, you will forever remain satisfied. The job is done.
That is, until the next one. Yeah, every runner knows the feeling.
- Dean Karnazes -
Run!: 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss
When you think about it, the idea that running might teach you something about life shouldn’t be too shocking. In a fairly obvious sense, running is life made small. A run has a beginning and an end. There are obstacles to overcome, good days and bad days. You pass some people and get passed by others. There are tests and challenges, disappointments and achievements, days you feel you have nothing left to give and other days when you feel you can go forever… Running for me is a special activity. It brings value to my life while at the same time it teaches me how to value it…. Running makes me a better person. Running, for me, is transformative. I have learned self-discipline and patience from running. I have also learned how to compete with grace, and how to face hardships with optimism.
- Larry Shapiro -
Zen and the Art of Running
Being a runner means you are now free to win and lose and live life to its fullest.
- Bill Rodgers -
(Four-time winner of Boston and New York City Marathons)
1,001 Pearls of Runners' Wisdom
As a breed, runners are a pretty gutsy bunch. We constantly push ourselves to discover limitations, then push past them. We want to know how fast we can go, how much pain we can endure, and how far our bodies can carry us before collapsing in exhaustion. Moving outward is an act of courage, and in my life, running has also been a vehicle of introduction—to people, places, cultures, and animals. I have run races on all seven continents. Running may be the connective tissue, but the true essence of the sport is a passage to a bigger world.
- Bart Yasso -
My Life on the Run
Thanksgiving is a time to be with loved ones and to recall all that you have to be thankful for during the year: family, friends, good health, prosperity, and running – though not necessarily in that order. The main benefit of running Thanksgiving morning is that by piling on the miles, you can later pack in the calories without the slightest bit of guilt. Indeed, with that 10K you ran at 9 a.m., you don’t have to think twice about having seconds on herbed stuffing, savory turkey, mashed potatoes, Granny’s pumpkin pie, or that Jell-O dessert with the marshmallows on top. Many will find a leisurely run in the brisk autumn air the perfect way to start their Thanksgiving Day. It’s an expression of appreciation for another good year of running, and a way to make room for all the bounty at the Thanksgiving table.
- Chris Cooper -
Long May You Run
The finish line is the same for all runners. How we get there and what we do along the way are what matters most. The journey defines us.
- Bill Katovsky -
1,001 Pearls of Runners' Wisdom