Friday, January 15, 2016

I visualized running a marathon for 4 years before it actually happened. The day I stepped into the starting line of the Chevron Houston Marathon in 2004 I had been rehearsing that race in my mind for a long time. In addition to training my body, I had been training my mind to run a successful marathon.

Visualization means different things for different people. Before my first marathon, it meant not letting go of the belief that one day I would become a marathoner. Once I became a marathoner, visualization meant driving through the course and seeing myself running mile after mile. I even visualized the joy of crossing the finish line as I received my hard earned medal. 

The fact is that positivity needs to win over all the insecurity you and I bring to the start line. We get there with hope but sometimes doubts try to win the battle of the mind. I want to encourage you to have faith in yourself. Why? You made the decision to sign up for this amazing marathon. You did the training and you prepared yourself to run Houston. You have the love and support of family, friends and the running community. 

Here are a few ways to be sure that positivity wins in your mind this week as you prepare to rock the Chevron Houston Marathon and the Aramco Houston Half Marathon:

Practice Positivity - It pays to practice being positive. I often practice visualizing my run. I simply quiet myself and allow my mind to see the finish line, the medals and the glory of accomplishing my dream. That image got me through rough spots along the course in the past. 

Don't just see it, say it - I tell myself positive things in order to push my mind and body thorough 26.2 miles. I remember saying "these hills are easy" while going up and down the end of the course. I may have sounded crazy to the people around me but it worked! Positivity in your lips makes things much easier. After all, no negative comments can uplift an already tired body. 

I believe that visualization is simply verbalizing that deep ingrained belief that every runner brings with them to the start line: I can and I will. 

I know by experience that our nerves can try to get the best of us during tapper. Why not introduce positive affirmations to your day and reap the benefit on race day?

Have an amazing race on Sunday Houston Marathon and Aramco Half-Marathon runners!