The body achieves what the mind believes.
That has been my motto for many years. Whatever we can believe and work towards, we can physically accomplish.
There is another concept that I have since incorporated into my motto and I want to share it with you:
The mind believes what the body achieves.
This really had meaning for me on the last marathon I ran, the Hokkaido Marathon on August 26, 2012. The starting temperature was low 80s and managed to climb up to high 80s with almost 100% humidity throughout the race. I had trained hard all through the Okinawa summer, thinking the weather on Japan's northern most island would be fall temps by late August. Weather wise, I thought it was going to be a piece o cake. Boy, oh boy was I wrong.
As some of you know, the Boston Marathon heat back in mid April 2012, took a big toll on me and I DNFd at mile 17. As I ran the hot sticky Hokkaido course flashes of the same thought went through my mind:
You lost your Boston qual time
It's too hot out here
Everyone is dropping out
You should drop too
Instead of listening to what my mind believed, I made my body achieve. I kept running. I shut out that negative voice and kept moving forward. As my body moved forward, in what seemed like inches at a time, my mind changed:
Maybe I can gut this out
What if I just run hard for 40 more minutes
I did lots of tempo. Just run like that
It also helped to have one of my best friends waiting for me out on the course. I kept thinking Amy was standing there waiting and I was late, and better get moving. When I saw her, she jumped in to run along beside me, carrying a small container of ice and asking every runner we passed if they wanted ice. Almost all happily said yes with surprise at the crazy running ice maid. I wonder how many of those runners she helped finish that day with that small gesture of kindness...
Now that it is over, I am happy that I had the opportunity to face the same conditions we had in Boston. This time, I finished!
So I improved my motto:
The body achieves what the mind believes and the mind believes what the body achieves!!!
Or for mile 20 when your blood sugar is so low, you can hardly do the math on how many miles are left: