I have a lot of thoughts.
So many thoughts.
Sometimes, too many thoughts.
I sometimes struggle to make sense of them. Or put them on paper in any sensible manner.
That’s why I was so touched when I received a surprise post from my beautiful friend Sarah this morning.
So, quickly. Who is Sarah?
Sarah is my ‘human Berocca’.
It’s the most accurate way I can describer her. She is one of the most upbeat, positive and colourful people that I know. She brims with energy.
I had the good fortune of meeting Sarah through track sessions a few summers ago, and she’s sprinkled rainbows and unicorns through my days since.
Sarah is a mindfulness meditation coach, and has one of the most creative brains I know. This rainbow princess has collaborated with Nike, Adidas, Coca-Cola, British Airways, Guinness, Durex, MINI, Virgin, Google, DeBeers and Disney…to name a few. Her creativity is as big as her heart.
So, back to Sarah’s surprise.
Through chatting out on a run this week, Sarah managed to tease apart my thoughts on what keeps me running during long races.
I’d never really thought about it until she asked me, and I didn’t think I had that many games or tricks up my sleeve.
I was wrong.
I didn’t even recognise the tools I had in my toolbox until Sarah surprised me with this gem.
So, without further ado, here’s Sarah’s mind-map to Cat’s race brain.
———————– 10 THINGS THAT KEEP ME RUNNING ————————
Yesterday, I did a 12K run with ultra athlete and blogger, Cat Attfield.
She wins all kinds of races… and next weekend she’s running a 100 mile ultra. Yes, 100 MILES! Which is even more astounding when you factor in that she bought her first pair of running shoes in November 2013!
We exchanged tips and strategies for getting through tough times in races. Here are a few of hers:
1. Impress yourself. “Do something EPIC” is Cat’s challenge and mantra to herself.
2. Channel heroes. Or people you admire. What would Jen Shelton do?
3. Be silly. Dance, sing, smile (even if you have to force it)! When you’re struggling, silliness and the related happy hormones make you feel better.
4. Celebrate milestones. With food or a little dance.
5. Revel in your strength. Take stock of how well you’re doing and how powerful and amazing your body and mind is. “My legs are a machine!” Cat thought one race, looking down in awe, thinking of the distance they’d covered. It became one of her mantras.
6. Music. Specially made playlists keep Cat running, smiling, singing and dancing!
7. Be away with the fairies. Let your mind wander and day dream the miles away.
8. Treats. Looking forward to certain foods and drinks – breaks and post run treats.
9. Distractions. Especially when your feet / legs / blisters hurt. Admiring the view or focusing on music.
10. Running buddies. Whether it’s friends to run and race with or virtual friends to exchange tips and experiences.
If you want to reach out to Sarah, her twitter handle is @sarah_waite, or you can check out her LinkedIn page.
She’s an all-round babe.
I’d be curious to know what keeps any of you running when times get tough. Please let me know. I’m sure we could all benefit from some more tools in our toolbox!