Whenever I’m trying to get through a tough run or race, there is one saying – I guess it’s one of my mantras – that I say over and over again in my head.
“Ten minutes. You can do anything for ten more minutes.”
I said this to myself as I pushed to Central Park South during the last mile of the NYC Marathon, through the gnarly Central Park hills during most of the other NYRR races I run, even during hard intervals on the spin bike when I cross train. Knowing there is an end in sight makes the pain of pushing to the limit more bearable.
In the grand scheme, ten minutes is such a short amount of time that I truly think we can endure most things, however unpleasant, for that long. And like a lot of stuff, I think this running mantra can be used in everyday living too.
- Nerve-wracking presentation at work or school? Only ten minutes of feeling uncomfortable, so suck it up and do well.
- Personal or professional goals taking you longer to reach? You can keep at it for ten more minutes (even if ten minutes means a few more months or years in this case!)
- Horrible date, awkward conversation with a friend or relative, commitment you don’t really want to do but should? Ten minutes and it’ll be over.
In 99% of these cases, after the “ten minutes” of pain or uncomfortableness is over, we feel so much better. We PR’d at a race, helped out a friend or relative, reached a personal or professional milestone. To me, temporary pain is well worth the ultimate pay-off of reaching one of our end goals, yes?
So when I headed out for some early miles in Central Park this morning and my legs were feelin’ a little heavy (especially on Cat hill!), the voice in my head once again said “ten minutes and this hill will be done and you’ll be cruising on the bridle path.”
(I promise to stop posting mediocre splits when the excitement of returning to pain-free running dies down 🙂 )
7.5 miles on a cool, quiet morning – a few more days and the cherry blossoms should be blooming!
What also helped me get through this run – “ten minutes and you’ll be home eating a delicious breakfast…”
The usual Ezekiel cinnamon raisin toast with natural crunchy peanut butter and berries
Today was the perfect day to use my “ten minute” mantra – a few hours of studying and I’m that much closer and better prepared to my exam on lipids tomorrow night. Or so I hope…
Question: Do you have any special mantras when the going gets tough? I really think breaking things up into “ten minutes” of doable pain helps me get through a lot of tough stuff.