February 21 2018
What does it mean when you shed happy tears while crossing a finish line? A behavioral analyst weighs in.
Shared with permission of Natalie Mitchell, blogger at NatRunsFar.com
When you are training for a marathon, you run—a lot! So many hundreds of miles spent on the road, the trails and the treadmill.
The marathon is an epic race, but it’s the training that is a beast. By the time you toe that start line, it feels almost like a victory lap. A celebration of all the sweat, tears (and sometimes blood), highs and lows of training for the last weeks and months.
This is your (three-plus hour) moment. You’ve worked your butt off for this moment.
Over the hundreds and hundreds of miles that I have logged, I have met so many awesome people along the way. Strangers that give a smile, wave or words of encouragement. It always brings joy to my heart and an uplifting feeling, especially during a hard patch in the workout. Here are some of things people have said to me over the many months of marathon training:
Related: 12 Dumb Things People Say To Runners
“You go girl!!”
“WOW. Honey, that girl is running faster than we are biking!”
“I see you running every day and it makes me want to get back to running. Thank you!”
“You are hitting the roads HARD. What are you training for?” “Boston, huh? How many miles is that?”
“I’m 72 years old and I used to run every single day. I still lift weights! You keep up the good work—I love runners!” (I loved meeting this man during the start of a run. I had just finished my dynamic stretching routine and he came out of his house to say hello.)
Thank you to the beautiful lady who was all dressed up and said this as I was running by:
“You have an amazing body!!” (Totally made my week and month, especially since I was grinding away on a tempo run and I couldn’t even really register what she said until afterward. Let me just say, I don’t have the kind of confidence that thinks I have an amazing body. Far from it, but that’s another discussion.)
From a homeless guy:
“Hey, would you like to try a hit of weed? I think it’ll make you run faster!!” (Uh, no thank you.)
“I think runners are so awesome!”
“How many miles do you run every day?”
“Hey, do you have a good playlist?”
“I’m injured. Any tips for how I can start running again?”
From my neighbors:
“We saw you running up that hill today and wanted to give you a ride!!”
At the start of a play date:
“I saw you running on the other side of town today!!”
From the friends that know my name, and people that I don’t know who yell out the car window:
“Goooo Nat!!” and “Goooo runner!!”
“That altitude is a bi&@ch, isn’t it?!”
Another homeless guy in the pre-dawn hours with Jerod riding next to me:
“You go, sista!! And that’s a good man right there for biking with you!! Hey, can I run too?!”
“Hey, can you coach me to run?”
“Keep up the good work!”
“I love your dedication”
“What do you think about when you are running so many miles?”
“My sister (brother/son/mother) is running Boston too!!”
“Have you ever run an ultra?”
“How many miles are you running today?” (A LOT.)
And to all the runners that I see every day—I love that we encourage each other with a wave, a nod or a smile. We are united as runners and I love that. These words make me want to give back. There will be many times when I am not running and I spy another runner—and now I know exactly what I am going to say…
“You’ve GOT this!!”
So, the next time you see a runner, say something encouraging to them—you never know how much it’ll make their day!!
What are some things that people have said to you while running? Do you acknowledge other runners while you are running? Tweet @WomensRunning and @NatRunsFar and share!