You Have To

On my last drive back to the homeland of Wisconsin, I was catching up on the BibRave podcast. A large part of the episode was dedicated to the hosts’ (Tim, Jessica, and Julia) recap their races at the Mt. Hood 50k and 50 mile.

In the 50k recap, Julia was recounting a part of the race where she had to pass or hold off another runner (I can’t remember which). While passing a runner she knew, she said she wasn’t sure if she could pass/hold off the other runner; to which her friend replied “You Have To” and ran off.

Three words. “You have to.”

I don’t know why, but I thought that exchange was just great. Maybe the fact that I’m a fairly blunt person and a competitor at the same time. But really, I think that these three words are worth remembering, and repeating, during any challenging run or race.

Think about it. This is the exact same premise of running an out and back, or a loop that has no option to turn back early. Even if you’re struggling, you have to finish, there is no other option.

As runners, we struggle a lot with the mental side of running at times. I know I do. If it’s bad weather, you can push or skip a workout. If you’re feeling bad? Cut a run short. Are those few miles two months before a race really going to effect you?

Normally I refer to my motto of “That Marathon won’t run itself,” when I run into those training slumps. But that doesn’t really help when you’re actually running the marathon.

With some lofty race goals coming up in the next calendar year, I’ve got a feeling I’ll be returning to those three words many times through training and on race day.

You Have To.

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