You won’t always have this kind of motivation, so…how do you fill the time?


Ever had an extra four hours to fill up with thoughts? I do — every time I run a marathon (although next time it’s gonna be an extra 3 hours and 59 minutes thank you very much!)

If you start with nothing, you’ll quickly end up disappointed. Oh where the mind does go while tearing through those oft-torturous miles. Some people just do a countdown, while others look for the most creative signs or get through it from water stop to water stop. Some sing songs in their heads or think about books and movies they have read.

I thought I’d ask some of my fellow marathoners what THEY think about during a marathon! Thanks to all who answered and gave me some good ideas when the time comes. Trending? Food, massages, mental games & more. Read on to see if you can relate!

Some think about relaxing with friends over a drink afterward. Sitting down & chilling out 🙂

From Twitter

@happycorredora: I imagine that there is a rubber band around me and a faster runner. Also hop into a virtual ‘wagon’ 🙂 Mind games!

@tlsylvan: I keep repeating to myself that I trained too hard to slow down!

@chrontelli: My running mantra has always been..’one more pole’.. as in ‘anyone can run to the next telephone pole’ (block etc)!”

@hbshesington: a well deserved post-race meal and full body massage 🙂

@ElleJo: I visualize finishing and getting my free SWAG.

@PinQueenCity: I think about all the hard work I put into training and how amazing it feels to cross that finish line!

@healthyhappier: I think about how far I’ve come and how many people aren’t able to do something like running 26.2 miles. 

Many thanks to Charlotte for recommending this, sadly true to life bit:) See here:

From Fitfluential

Run the Long Road: In all honesty, I think about how good a beer is going to taste later on! I’ve also played “states and capitals” to take my mind off the later miles. If I want to slow down in the last 10K (i.e., give up), I remind myself that I’ve worked so hard for 20 miles already, why give up now????

Danielle Heffernan Gapin I’m ALWAYS thinking about a good cold drink – a smoothie, iced coffee, or even beer and how I’m going to reward myself with one (or all) of them once I finish!

Run With K: I always think about food. “Man I can’t wait to eat some eggs, potatoes, French toast. Coffee!” I also wish for some beer, beer good. 🙂

NYC Running Mama: Since my son has been born, I think about him and my hubby and how the faster I run, the sooner I get to see them…sounds cheesy, but it works for me =) I also think about the burger, fries, and milkshake that I’m going to treat myself to after the race!! And if it’s cold out, I think about the hot bath that awaits me =)

Sadly, not all of us have access to an In n’ Out Burger! I’ll settle for Ray’s Hellburger! 🙂


C is for Courtney:  I thought of happy child hood memories during my first marathon. how my dad used to walk along side of the pool when i was swimming during a swim meet, cheering me on. pretend like he’s doing the same thing while i run 🙂 🙂

Revolution3 Triathalon: Great idea! I think a lot of good memories, people who inspire me and those how “able” I am.

Stuft Mama: I think about what amazing food I’m going to have after the race, the look mon my boys’ faces when I cross the finish line, how lucky I am to be able to run and I always check out other people’s legs. Is that weird?

Losing Weight in the City: I either think: JUST KEEP RUNNING, you can do this, or I think of the food after 🙂 Trying to calculate the time I’ll finish in helps too.

Looking for encouraging friends is popular. This one was particularly nice 🙂

 Jess Runs: I try to think where I’ll be seeing my friends next on the course and then tell myself to just get to them. Or I think “one foot in front of the other” “keep moving forward”

Running & Cupcakes: I do a lot of calculating – how many miles I’ve run at or better than intended pace, how far into this “half” I’m in (I break the race in half, and then in half again – so I say things to myself like “halfway to halfway”). I also think of where I’ll see others that I know that are racing. And there’s always beer – especially during warm races.

Angela: When it gets really tough I tell myself I can do anything for 5 minutes. When 5 minutes up I repeat that and so on. Usually it takes my mind of running and whatever struggle I’m going through!

What about you? How do you get through marathons or half-marathons? Do you enjoy the run or just want it to be over with? 

FREE: Simple Faith Practices for Busy MomsYes, please!