mantra |ˈmantrə; ˈmän-| noun (originally in Hinduism and Buddhism) a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation. • a Vedic hymn. • a statement or slogan repeated frequently. ORIGIN late 18th cent.: Sanskrit, literally ‘instrument of thought,’ from man ‘think.’
While browsing through Runner’s World back issues, I saw this Ask Miles letter. A runner from Ohio asked Miles, “What’s your running mantra?”
Miles divided his mantra into musical, marketing, inspirational and post race meal.
Musical Mantra : the Rocky Theme
Marketing Mantra : any Nike slogan will do
Inspirational Mantra : Muhammad Ali’s “I run on the road long before I dance under the lights.”
Postrace meal : Open-faced turkey with gravy
With just a few days to go before the 2010 Nature Valley Run, I think it’s time to pull out my mantras from the closet. Here are my mantras:
Musical: I’m really bad with anything to do with music. So bad, I have been known to spontaneously sing a ballad in the middle of a race (without dropping pace <— defensive 😀 ) but lately I sing this line from Lady Gaga, I think, Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah. Roma, Roma-ma GaGa, ooh la la.
Marketing Mantra : Just do it. But in moments of dire need, I draw inspiriration from whatever is printed on the singlet/shirt of the person in front of me. Last NB2008, I still remember fading away before the half way point and was able to keep going because the shirt of the girl in front of me kept taunting me.Her shirt is the Nike one that says, “Follow me if you want to come in second.”
Inspirational Mantra : No words. Just a memory from a marathon. Total darkness. Beyond Km30. No water in sight. No water in the last 10kms. Pace 5ish min/km.
Postrace Meal: Coke! Coke! Coke! With lots of ice! I even imagine opening the can, hearing the fizz and pouring it over a glass filled with lotsa ice. Ahhh!
My Ultimate Mantra : 18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.9.10. I confess, at races, I first resort to counting to concentrate. I count my steps. Sometimes I just count them. Then when I get bored, I shift and estimate time : 3 steps = 1 second. 180 steps = 1 minute.
So, what’s your running mantra?