Running Grateful

afc half marathon


With the 2019 America’s Finest City (AFC) Half Marathon a little less than 3 months away, it’s got us thinking about the t-word:  TRAINING! If you are a novice runner or perhaps just not currently in running shape, 3 months out is adequate timing to start training for your upcoming half.

Putting that training plan into action means that you’ll inevitably have a “day 1”, which can often be the hardest part.  Knowing that you’re about to embark on a challenging journey can add a major mental hindrance to your desire to get started.  But once you push through that “day 1” fear and make the decision to face the music, then you are in it! Training officially has begun and your motivation, confidence and drive will kick in big time, helping to carry you throughout your training journey.


half marathon training


It’s no secret that running hurts! We all know the many benefits of running and how good it can feel, but in order to improve and reap the benefits, you’ve got to go through some discomfort to get there.  Feeling heavy, fatigued, tight and achy often make frequent appearances in the beginning.  But it’s when you push past what is comfortable and start making it hurt (even a little!) that changes will occur and you’ll start to see improvements.


san diego race
©2016 Rich Cruse


Grateful for the pain

So you’ve accepted it may hurt, you know you’ll feel great when it’s over, but where does your mind go when you are IN the pain? It helps to have something to distract your thoughts and make time go faster.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Think about how every step you are taking is changing your body in some small way.  With each second of discomfort, you are improving, growing and getting stronger both mentally and physically.
  • Blast your tunes! Find that song that really gets you pumped and spikes your motivation to WERK.  Save that “push-it” song for when you really need it and then turn it up – LOUD!
  • Think about those who aren’t able to run and it will start to reverse your perspective. If an injury or lack of opportunity has affected someone meaningful to you, or perhaps even their passing, consider dedicating your run(s) to that person. When you reach the point during your run of wanting to stop, think about that person and why they are so special, send them warmth and imagine you are running for them.  Suddenly your run will change from “I have to” to “I get to”. Your positive thinking will create positive energy that will both encourage your determination and send uplifting vibes to the person you are honoring.
     (Another awesome idea come race day or a long training run is to dedicate each mile to someone impactful on your life – we love this!)
  • When you’ve hit that wall (we all know it!) and your body feels done, try to focus on gratitude instead of all the negative thoughts flying around in your head.  In the same regard as dedicating your workout(s) to those are aren’t able to run, think about how lucky you are that you CAN.  You have a healthy, functioning body that is capable of more than you know, a beating heart to support you and a clear, intelligent mind to keep you focused and motivated. Let “I am running because I can” be your focus and tell yourself to be grateful for the pain.

Take these tools with you on your next run and give them a go! A positive mindset can change the way you run because while running is a physical act, it’s actually equally (likely more!) a mental feat and it’s your “mental toughness” that will determine how you respond when you begin to feel uncomfortable or encounter an obstacle or challenge.


©2017 Rich Cruse/

san diego race


Run the 2019 AFC Half Marathon or 5K with us on Sunday, August 18!

There’s plenty of time to train! Plan to join us and run San Diego’s finest half marathon.


Special Memorial Day discounts are running until May 31 at 11:59 p.m. (not retroactive, new registrations only):

  • Save $15 on the half marathon with code GRATEFUL15
  • Save $7 on the 5K with code GRATEFUL7


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