Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hunting for a mantra

So I am running a marathon this weekend - it's my first one. All the experienced marathoners have been suggesting that it would be useful to have a saying to get me through the last few miles. I am having trouble coming up with one. (This is an unusual problem for me - I can generally always think of something to say)

My husband suggested "Pain is just weakness leaving the body" - catchy - but I am not sure it has enough rhythm or pizzazz to really inspire me on the last stretch.

Someone suggested "Suck it up, princess" - but I am likely the last person one could really call a princess. I'm pretty self-sufficient and I usually don't make a big fuss about me. And again? No rhythm.

I was talking to someone I work with last night and I told her that in absence of all other suggestions, I was going to go with "I think I can, I think I can". If you are a parent - or were raised in the 60s, you likely recognize this from" The little engine that could" by Watty Piper. It's about the little blue engine that has to make it over the mountain to take toys and food to little girls and boys. It's kind of sappy - but it's got a beat that I can run to.

Bless Linda's heart - she scoured three stores last night until she found a copy of the book - and then she had my co-workers suggest some mantras. So here are their suggestions:

"A job once begun - is half done" (like it, but I keep saying "A job half done is just begun" - which, if you think about it, is rather self-defeating.

"One foot, one step" - my co-worker uses this with her kids.

"Knit two, purl two" - which is likely all I will be good for at the end of the race.

One co-worker didn't have a mantra - but she gave me children's' book titles to get me through each part of the race
At the start: I am not sleepy (Lauren Child)
Beware of storybook wolves (Lauren Child)
Run far, run fast (Timothy Decker)

At the middle: Fly away home (Eve Bunting)
Trouble coming (Christine Harris)
Boogie bones (Elizabeth Loredo)

At the end Race of the century (Barry Downard)
I stink!! (Kate McMullan)
Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! (Candace Fleming)

Thanks guys - I really appreciate your support - and I will be thinking of these as I run - but still not sure about the mantra - if anyone out there is reading this - feel free to give me your suggestions!!!)


  1. Janet -- Please know that someone out there is reading your blog postings. I am. I found your blog shortly after you posted your first entry in September and I have been visiting and reading your posts ever since.

    I don't have a mantra to offer to you; it's a bit late anyways as you ran the marathon last weekend. I hope you are happy with your results. Please report them.

    (This is the first comment I have ever left for a blogger and the first comment you have ever recieved!)


  2. Hello! I ran across this (no pun intended) while doing a search on a site called "Is This Your Name?" -- where I rediscovered how to say my name in Pig Latin and found out my goofy power animal. I noticed there that you mentioned my book title, "Boogie Bones" and followed that link here. While I'd love for Boogie to become your marathon mantra, maybe you should check out this yoga site that has an online mantra generator. I don't know how catchy they are but just the idea of a digital yogi is pretty funny:

    Good luck on your run!

  3. Well, this is cool!!! Thanks - the run went well - and I think I hurt too much that my mantra became "I'm almost done, I'm almost done". But I am going to check out the mantra generator - isn't the Internet great?