Marathon running is as much mental as it is physical, if not more (so I’m told!). To help prepare for my first marathon I’m reading as many running books I can get my hands on. Often times I find inspirational quotes, insight and motivation in them – which I’m hoping will help train me mentally for the undertaking of a marathon.
I recently finish Marshall Ulrich’s “Running on Empty – An Ultramarathoner’s Story of Love, Loss, and a Record-Setting Run Across America.” He accomplished this amazing feet of running 3,063 miles in 52 days at the age of 57 years old. He started running in San Francisco, CA and covered an average of 60+ miles/day to reach New York, NY. Now if he can run two marathons and a 10k per day for 52 days, I think I can train my body to run 1 marathon in 1 day!
Ulrich’s running resume is very impressive, but what I found most inspiring is his take on personal limits. One of the quotes I’ll be sure to remember, and most likely use as a mantra, is as follows:
“I always say the only limitations are in your mind, and if you don’t buy into those limits, you can do a helluva lot more than you imagine.”
This is a trend I’m finding in many of the books I read. Over and over again runners say that you create your own limits, and if you release them you can accomplish more than you thought possible…how great is that?!
What I learn through running is easily applicable to life. Mostly I’ve learned how to keep moving forward when I feel I can’t take another step…and that’s just on runs of 13 miles or less! Ulrich experienced something similar during his trek across America –
“No matter how lonely I sometimes felt, never was I truly along out there. All this adversity composed a simple refrain, one that applies to life as much as to running: Keep going, one foot in front of the other, millions of times. Face forward and take the next step. Don’t flinch when the road gets rough, you fall down, miss a turn, or a bridge you planned to cross has collapsed. Do what you say you’ll do, and don’t let anything or anyone stop you. Deal with the obstacles as they come. Move on. Keep going, no matter what, one foot in front of the other, millions of times.”
Isn’t that the truth, though?
I’m thrilled to have followed Ulrich’s journey, and if you want to check out his run across America – check out this video! My favorite part? Watching the countryside change as he moves from CA to NY. Beautiful!