During my third half-marathon, there was no doubt in my mind that I would finish the race and I knew I wouldn’t be last.
I ran 5 minutes faster and I weighed 5 pounds less than I did at the second half-marathon. This time my goal was to finish in 3 hours. Although I didn’t reach that goal, there was improvement in my time.
My self-talk took a different direction this time. I was more in tune with my running form. I would tell myself things such as, “Widen your stride! Don’t make fists! Relax! Shoulders down. Don’t tense up! Watch my posture!”
This time I modified a different scripture. The scripture is Isaiah 40:31
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
“I will mount up with wings as eagles and soar across the finish line. I will run and not be weary. I will walk and not faint. I am not weary. I am not tired or weary,” was my mantra.
Even when I began getting ITB pain as I ran up the hills, I continued, “I have no pain. My body is strong. I’m soaring. I will soar across the finish line. I am full of energy and pain free.”
My friend Katie had her own style of self-talk. She had a different prayer or scripture for every mile of the 13 miles. I don’t know her entire list by heart, but I do know she started out with the serenity prayer.
“God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change,
courage to change the things we can,
and wisdom to know the difference.”
Katie asked several friends to give her scriptures that she would write down on little slips of paper. The scripture I gave her was:
“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart,
Lean not on your own understatding,
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will direct your steps.”
Her favorite scripture is, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” II Peter 4:7 She also included the Lord’s Prayer.
This was her first half-marathon and she didn’t think she could do it. She says it’s the prayers and scriptures that kept her going. She believes that is why she didn’t quit.
I’m glad for Katie that she was able to continue on until the finish and that she found a method or way that kept her going. The scriptures and prayers on little slips of paper was a good idea.
For myself, I think reading little slips of paper every mile would be too distracting, but if it works for her, then she needs to continue in that vein. Every runner needs to find their own modus operandi.