26.2 Running Mantras: Happy Thoughts for Every Mile

October 27, 2012

A good friend and training partner reminded me about “The Moment” this week – the part of a race where you ask yourself if you can really do this. The split second (or maybe even the 30 minutes) where you begin to think you need to walk. When you start to question if you can really dig any deeper. He told me when “The Moment” comes (and it will), have something beautiful to focus on – running mantras, your favorite prayer, whatever it takes to put that dark moment behind you and keep moving forward.

Tomorrow I’ll line up at the start of my fifth marathon. No matter how excited, confident or calm I may feel, the butterflies never quite go away. On every race eve, a little self-doubt tries to creep in (especially when 25 mph winds and rain are involved *wink*). So for all of us who are racing in the Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday and for any of you who will find yourselves at a start line soon, remember my 26.2 running mantras to give you a happy thought for every mile.

Mile 1: “Divide your race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart.” ~Mike Fanelli

Mile 2: Today is my day.

Mile 3: I can do this.

Mile 4: “All I smell is my personal best.” ~lululemon

Mile 5: I believe in myself. I believe in my run.

Mile 6: I don’t stop when I’m tired. I stop when I’m done.

Mile 7: “The difference between winning and losing is not quitting.” ~Walt Disney

Mile 8: Enjoy the mile I’m in.

Mile 9: I am strong. I am tough.

Mile 10: “Stepping outside my comfort zone is the price I pay to find out how good I can be. If I planned on backing off every time running got difficult, I would hang up my shoes and take up knitting.” ~Desiree Davila

Mile 11: “I am the wind. I am strong, light and fast.” ~Ana

Mile 12: If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

Mile 13: “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” ~Beverly Sills

Mile 14: I kill hills. I kill hills. I kill hills.

Mile 15: I’m a runner. This is what I do.

Mile 16: My mind will quit a thousand times before my body will. Feel the pain and do it anyway.

Mile 17: Never throw in the white towel. Instead, use it to wipe your sweat and keep going.

Mile 18: “The only person who can tell you ‘You can’t’ is you … but you don’t have to listen!” ~Dean Karnazes

Mile 19: “Pain is nothing. It doesn’t exist. I cannot feel it.” ~Maurice

Mile 20: “No one goes this far and leaves without a medal.” ~@AdrienneRunsAZ

Mile 21: “I’m STRONGER than running. It WON’T beat me.” ~Dorothy Beal – @MilePosts

Mile 22: I was strong enough to get this far. I am strong enough to keep going.

Mile 23: I’ve done this before. I can do it again.

Mile 24: “Every mile is a good mile.” ~runningzen.com

Mile 25: I can do anything for 20 more minutes.

Mile 26: I can dig deeper. I’m almost there.

The last 0.2: “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” ~Jimmy Johnson


Happy running everyone!

I’d love to hear what motivates you. What are your favorite running mantras?



This is an awesome post! It’s worthy of being printed and stuck into a SPIbelt for race day. Do you take mantras with you somehow?


Hi Meghan! Thank you SO much for your kind words! I’ve taken mantras with me once when I ran for charity last year. I printed them out on a small piece of paper and stuck them in my hand-held water bottle and pulled it out when I needed to remember. I’ve also seen this before from Run Gia Run where you write names or mantras on athletic tape, stick them to your arms and pull them off after each mile: http://www.rungiarun.com/2011/11/new-york-city-marathon-2011-race-recap/. Haven’t tried that but think it is cool. Happy running!


Great article, Jes! I sing “ain’t nobody gonna break my stride, nobody gonna slow me down, I gotta keep on moving” for literally miles at a time. It got me through a 1/2 with a bad blister and dead iPod. Love the idea of athletic tape for my next marathon!


I love your song idea!!! Way to push through! Dead iPods = torture 🙂


I LOVE this post!!! You are such an inspiration to me! I am so excited for you, for tomorrow’s run! I know you will go out there and kick some assphalt 😉

Chris Giovagnoni

Mile 1: “Divide your race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart.” ~Mike Fanelli | Which part do we run with our legs? 😉


LOL Chris!!! I would suggest all of them just to be on the safe side *wink!*

Abby @ BackAtSquareZero

I am so happy for all you MCM runners. It looks like an amazing race. I cannot wait to do it next year!

“The good Lord gave you a body that can stand most anything. It’s your mind you have to convince.” Vince Lombardi

“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” John Bingham

“I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.” ― Mae West

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? – Marianne Williamson


Thank you, Abby! You are going to do great next year! I know it has been tough for you to be on the sideline with your injury. It will make you appreciate next year’s finish even more! Thanks for sharing your great quotes and mantras, too! Awesome!

Runner Dad

These are great mantras! Every runner should have one. I posted mine on my blog when I started it, but it is: Find the Reason. Find the Courage. Find the Strength.


I LOVE that mantra, Runner Dad! Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I am going to use that for sure!


My mantra is: My body is stronger than my mind.
I wear it on my GOSport ID bracelet.
Running is new to me and I have to keep reminding myself that my body is made to do this. I’ve lost 65 pounds over the last 11 months and am constantly amazed by how much stronger my body is than I thought it was. I hope to make it to marathons someday, but for now I’m happy to finish my 5ks.

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