Racing In The Moment

One of my favorite quotes from the lululemon manifesto is, “creativity is maximized when you are living in the moment”.

Think about it. If you're hanging onto your preconceived notions of how things should be, then it's literally impossible to let go and allow something new to be created.

Living in the moment can be very powerful and effective. It's been said that when you're living in the moment you are truly experiencing life.

As a musician (albeit a lousy one anymore!) I can pick up the guitar and, within seconds, be transported to a world where time absolutely flies. I'll look up and freak out a bit because an hour just passed and I didn't even notice. I'm sure you've experienced that, too.

Whether it's surfing, playing music, writing, or yes, even running, the activities that tend to coax you “into the moment” are similar to what psychologists call FLOW.

Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. (Thanks, wikipedia)

With 3 big Philly races coming up this weekend, let's translate this to your race.

Racing In The Moment

Many people are overwhelmed with the prospect of covering a long distance. And let's face it, whether it's 13.1 or 26.2, it's a long way! So how can you stay in the moment and enjoy every step of your journey while brushing aside fear and doubt? Here are some tips that have helped me.

Focus internally on how you're feeling.

-Are you relaxed or tense? Use as little energy as possible to maintain your goal pace.

-Get lulled into the rhythm of your run.

-Allow your confidence to grow by pacing yourself properly. Ask yourself, “is this effort sustainable?”

-Are you thirsty?

-Continually monitor your effort and don't burn your matches! (Really can't emphasize this enough)

Focus externally on your surroundings.

-Appreciate the crowd and receive that energy (but don't let that cause you to expend additional energy in the early miles).

-Be aware of an approaching aid station. I'd take a gel before arriving at the aid station, then drink water to wash it down to help absorption.

-Chat with a competitor. It's not illegal, you know, and a little small talk can make the miles fly by. I like to cheer others on whether they're passing me or I'm passing them. A little positivity never hurt anyone!

Finally, just to crush any lingering negative self-talk, remind yourself of why you're out there and how much you appreciate the opportunity to do what you are doing. There are many who'd give anything to be running a marathon or even a few steps. Take it all in and love every minute!

Do you have anything specific you can share about staying motivated -especially when things get tough during a race?