File under: cobbler's kids with no shoes; chef who doesn't cook for herself; doctor who doesn't take care of herself.
As long as I have been writing about running, I've heard, believed and written about the power of mantras. Of short, powerful words that you can focus on when the going gets tough on your run. Instead of say, focusing, on a tight lower back or the upcoming hell—I meant hill—or the ___ more miles to go, you repeat STRONG or YES or KEEP SWIMMING.
I have written about the power of a mantra countless times. I've told you all to do it again and again. I proposed, to the last round of the TLAM Club, that you have a last-mile mantra. If you have listened or read closely, I have probably spun a few tales about my own mantras: you know, fake it until you make it. I did have a great run with "I am here now," but sadly, I was there about four years ago. I am not sure why, but a mantra is my rare exception, not my running rule.
But I have Plans. (And yes, that deserves a capital P.) I'm headed back to Minnesota. Not for my dream trail race, but a favorite nonetheless: The Medtronic TC 10-mile at the Twin Cities Marathon in October. And I want to run it fast. How fast? I'm not sure yet—but, at that point, I will not have crossed a finish line in nearly 1.5 years. I want a Win. (And yes, that deserves a capital W.)
Of course, I'm going to train properly—and emphasize all the foam rolling and glute strength this body needs—but I'm also going to practice and then use a mantra. During my first hardish workout in months last Saturday, I had four 8-minute intervals at 10K pace, sandwiched by a 45-minute warm-up and 45-minute cooldown. During the last two intervals, I kept saying, "I am strong. I am strong. I am strong."
I still looked at my Polar M400 too many times. I still sliced and diced and counted down the seconds until 8:00, but I got into a rhythm with my breathing and the three words. And I liked it. I don't know if that'll make the final cut as The Mantra, but it's a, um, strong start.
My CliffsNotes for my TC 10-mile Mantra? Mile Markings Temporary Tattoos, co-founded by #motherrunner Eleni Drake and her husband. Eleni, who is training for her seventh marathon as I type, started Mile Markers because, as she says, "When you run for awhile, you learn that it's a mental game. It's good to have a word or phrase in your head to motivate you when the running gets tough. My problem was that during a race, my running brain can't remember what the word is!"
I can totally anticipate having that problem—which is why, once I have The Mantra, I'm ordering a bunch and plastering them everywhere I will be able to see them as I conquer the TC 10 Mile. Eleni gives each a personal touch—the fonts and colors are endless—and I just love that they're made by hand by a #motherrunner.
Today, we've got a chance for you to plaster yourself—and your BRFs—in Mile Markings. We have three prizes to give away:
And one Custom Saying/Design of your choice with six duplicates.
In order to be entered to win, please let us know in the comments below, what would words/design/animal/whatever would be on your custom Mile Markings tattoo?
SPECIAL DISCOUNT: If you'd like to place a Mile Markings order for your Ragnar team or BRFs or your next race, use code AMR to get $5 off any purchase $10 or more.
The details: This running giveaway sweepstakes is open to those over 18 and residents of the United States and Canada. Part of a series of weekly running giveaways, it begins on 7/27/16 and ends on 8/2/16. We will announce three random winners on our Facebook page on 8/3/16, as well as notifying the winners by email. One entry per person. The value of each prize is $10-15. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Void where prohibited by law.
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