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Runners, in general, are a motivated bunch. Whether it’s the early morning, lunch hour or late evening run, one has to be motivated to get out the door. But there are times when I’m either on the road or on the treadmill I feel myself losing steam. It can be emotional, physical or a combination of both. We have all had those moments, not just in running but in our every day lives too. Very often we are inclined to give up, call it a day. Chalk it up as a bad run and put in the extra miles later.

When it happens outside of running, I remember to think about two friends of ours who happen to be soldiers. One is stationed in Iraq, the other has just returned from Afghanistan. I remind myself that because of them and all the other volunteer soldiers that make up our armed services, I am free to do what I do. Brandon and Paul, words cannot convey my gratitude to you and your fellow soldiers.

However, when I am running and I feel myself wanting to give up, I think of my friend Brian. Brian has participated in the Ironman Triathlon in Kona 3 times, most recently in 2008. He is not a super-athlete. He is just a guy like you and me. He does not enter to win. He enters to finish. He’s finished the race all 3 times! I can’t imagine swimming 2.1 miles, riding 112 miles and then, THEN running 26.2 miles.

“Shut up and run!” That’s what I shout at myself when I start to drag. Brian runs 26.2 miles AFTER he’s swum 2.4 and then biked 112. “Shut up and run!” It usually works. Usually it’s the only motivation I need.

Oh, did I mention that Brian has only one leg? Yeah, that’s right, he’s finished Kona three times on one leg!

So the next time you start feeling yourself lag and you start feeling sorry for yourself while your running, think of Brian finishing Kona three times. Think of his determination and will. Then dig down a little and gut it out.

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