This morning I stopped in one of the Runner's World chat forums. They were covering an interesting topic, "do you talk to yourself when you run?" And if so, "what do you say?" Last weekend I ran 4 miles at my favorite indoor track and even though the track was crowded with people, I would catch myself saying "you can do a few more, a few more," and "no stopping, no stopping." I would make sure no one was in sight while saying these phrases to myself, I wouldn't want someone to turn around and see me talking to thin air.
But I tend to have different phrases and "talks" to myself when running outside, they get a little more intense. In high school, I had an incredible cross country coach; Coach Jim Davis (no really, that was his name...not the New Balance Jim Davis but the Parkway West High School coach/English Teacher Jim Davis). He had a series of excellent pep talks and phrases he would say (or shout at us) while running a race, workouts, sprints, etc. He would point to the runner in front of us and say "go get 'em!" and "you see her? Go get HER!" At each point of the race he would have a different phrase and he would run next to us in his straw hat and shades. It was pretty motivational to see your coach screaming and running beside you shouting "GO! GO! GO!" My favorite 'shout outs' of his came towards the end of the race, I loved this one: "Now is the time!" and "You can see it!" Meaning now is the time to go all out, start your kick, and bring it home, you can see the finish line. The most inspirational "talks" always came during that middle second mile in a 3.1 mile cross country race. At these critical moments he would jog right along side you , almost in the trail and say "look at me...you can do this...you can do this...GO!" Now that was motivation. Very intense, but it always gave me the extra push to keep going.
So, when I'm running outside and the sun is beating down and I have already run to my limit, I try to picture Coach Davis screaming and running along side me in that straw hat yelling "You can see IT! Go Cass!" Memories of the Coach Davis cheers are my personal pep talks.
What do you say to yourself while running? "lookin' good!" maybe "keep it up!" or even song lyrics..."Eye of the Tiger!"