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Weird Things Runners Do To Get Through The Final Mile

As with anything, running has its good days and bad days. One morning you practically fly through an easy 8 miles, and the next time you run you can barely push your sorry legs past the 2-mile mark. It’s during those tough times when the run becomes more mental than physical. I often distract myself by working through my to-do list or a problem I’m having. But other times, I have to get a little more creative with my motivation. Here are some of the slightly crazy things I’ve done to push through the end of a run I’m just not feeling.

Related: Runner Thoughts When Getting Back Into It

  1. Played “Eye of the Tiger” on my iPod. May have also thrown some air punches while running up some stairs, Rocky-style.
  2. Practiced my state capitals, multiplication tables, naming the presidents—basically anything I learned in fifth grade.
  3. Thought extensively of the delicious food waiting for me when I got back, like a burger or ice cream. No, burger then ice cream.
  4. Tried to plan out my meals and grocery list for the week (I think about food a lot, okay?).
  5. Checked out fellow runners and made up elaborate back stories for them.
  6. Pretended I’m the heroine in some badass action movie (Working title: “The Last Mile.” Not that I’ve given it that much thought or anything.) and have to sprint the rest of the way to save the world from utter destruction.
  7. Picked an object in the distance that I had to get to before I could stop, like a lamppost. Stared at the lamppost. Wondered if lamppost is actually one word or two. Sang a song about the la-la-la-lamppost. Forgot what the word lamppost actually meant when I reached it.
  8. Crafted the perfect witty comeback for the last argument I was in. Brainstormed ways to reignite argument and get my comeback in there.

I know I’m not alone here—what weird things have gotten you through the last mile?


Alison Barsalona

Alison Barsalona started running when her best friend decided they should join the cross-country team in high school. After trading running for the equestrian team in college, she found her way back to the treadmill when she realized her gym subscribed to Bravo and Food Network. She's lived in six states and always finds the best routes to run in each new town as soon as she moves in (right after finding the best pizza place). A new mom, she now lives in Delaware and is busy perfecting the art of the jogging stroller.