On Tuesday I set out for an 8 mile run. No pace goals, just easy miles. Except it is summer and lately the heat has been making running feel anything but easy. And I haven’t exactly been running anything remotely long distance since May. 8 miles is actually the furthest I have run all month, and I’ve now done that distance twice.

I completely expected this run to feel hard. And it was. After about 4 miles I started wondering why the hell I was I was out there, pushing myself in the heat, when I really just wanted to be parked on the couch enjoying the AC.

I had similar thoughts this winter when I was out in the freezing cold wishing I was under a toasty pile of blankets with a good book. Or when I was struggling through my speed work and hill repeats. Why was I doing this? And then I would repeat to myself “Sub 20. Sub 20. Sub 20.” And while it couldn’t completely chase away the negative thoughts, it helped get me through the run.

finish line
I will never stop sharing this photo.

This run was no different except that I’ve replaced Sub 20 with a new training partner. My half marathon training doesn’t officially start for another week, but this goal has been growing in the back my mind since I finished my last half. 1:39. I won’t lie: I’m pretty nervous about this goal.


If I don’t accomplish it this fall, I’ll just end up rolling this goal over to Spring 2017. I didn’t really expect to go sub 20 this spring. I expected to need another season or two for it to be possible. But I trained hard and laid it all out there on race day and somehow it happened. Maybe the same thing will happen with the half marathon, maybe not.

Half marathon race day is still 3 months away and a lot can happen in 3 months. Right now I just need to focus on the training part of things, not race day goals. But when the training feels too hard? 1:39. 1:39. 1:39.


13 thoughts on “Mantra

  1. You WILL do it! It’s a very achievable goal for you. Sometimes just looking at goals a different way can make them less scary. 1:39 seems scary because that second digit is a three and that seems crazy..but…when you look at it as you only have to take 11 seconds per mile off your PR time, that really doesn’t seem so bad! Especially with the killer speed you’ve built this year!

    Repeating the finish time mantra helped me a lot during the throes of marathon training as well. I remember telling myself “Chicago. Chicago. Chicago” and envisioning myself crossing the line knowing I had secured myself a guaranteed spot. I don’t really know what mantra I’ll use for 10K training since I don’t have time goals. I guess I could envision myself placing but that’s so hard to predict – you never know who else will show up!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You totally have 1:39. I’ve only run sub-21 5K once, and that was a PR on a beautiful day that I was “peaking” for. I’ve run a 1:39 half and a 1:38 just 4 weeks later. I’d LOVE to see a 19 on the clock in a 5K but I am totally aerobic, slow twitch! Trying to change that with some sprints and shorter speedwork, though. We’ll see how it goes this Fall :).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m the opposite. I do so much better at short, fast races than I do at longer distances. I need to be really focused on building endurance this summer.

      Just in case I haven’t talked about it enough on the blog, you should check out this article/training plan. I owe all of my 5k success to that training plan, especially the hill sprints (ugh). 22:12 to 19:59 over two seasons of training.


      1. That’s a nice drop. I’ve been running the bridge a lot lately and also parking garage repeats, and I can tell it’s making me stronger. My 5K times just won’t get any better with the heat here.

        For me, longer tempo runs REALLY helped my half marathons. The ones in the Hanson’s half marathon plan are great although I never could hit the half goal pace in the really long ones.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve only heard good things about Pfitz too. I have his Faster Road Racing book as well. I think Pfitz and Hansons are the best options in general- most other “beginner” plans are more like survival plans.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve got this chica!!!!
    We are about the same pace in the 5k and I was able to go from a 1:47 half down to a 1:38. And I’m not a distance runner i.e. I am better at the shorter faster races. I have no doubts you will see 1:39 ( or under) on race day!!!
    Love your mantra btw!

    Liked by 1 person

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