Metaphors to Keep in Mind while Running

Posted on June 18, 2010 by

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Running is mental.

I’ve been told that so many times, I don’t remember where or who I’ve learned it from nor who has said it.

But as a result of this meme being embedded in my mind, I always thought I could think my way out of running.  I could think my way out of the fact that I was slow.  I could think my way out of the way my legs felt like rocks.   I could think my way out of the next 2 miles.  I could think my way out of the fact that my legs were breaking down this very moment.  I could think my way out of the pain.

I still think I could think my way out of the ever-present pain.

I bring to memory running tips and sayings over years of thinking about how to increase my speed and cut down on my time.  I think of how one runner described his mindset as “a game of keeping [his] feet off the floor” to motivate myself to keep moving deftly and swiftly.  I think (or will think of) Dustin Hoffman’s brisk little effortless-looking run in the Graduate.

When the pain increases, I think  of the sayings “the finest metals go through the hottest fires” and most recently, the metaphor of “cutting it,” as in “this tool doesn’t cut it.”  I think of my running body as a tool that can either cut or not cut something.  If I run fast enough, I can cut it like a Cutco scissor can cut through a steel penny.

If I can’t, well…

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