Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity, but in doing it. — Greg Anderson
Isn’t the above quote so true? And one I really need to keep in mind. I tend to get overly focused on the destination (goal race), rather than on the journey. And the truth is, as they say, that 13.1 (or 5, or 10, or 26.2) is just the very last few steps in your journey to a race.
It doesn’t feel that way, of course. But it’s the truth. It’s why I don’t typically get too nervous before races — I trust my training. I’ve run many miles to get me to my race day.
On the other hand, at the end of the race, I am most definitely focused on the destination — the finish line.
Ever notice how when you really concentrate on something, everything else fades into the background? There are some good sports movies that eloquently illustrate that concept: For the Love of the Game and The Legend of Bagger Vance two of my favorites (even though I’m not a big baseball fan and I don’t golf).
When I get to the end of the race, those last few steps at the end of those many miles leading up to that moment, I am often in the zone: I don’t see the other racers around me, I don’t see the spectators, I don’t see anything except that ticking finish line clock.
It’s why my last mile is often my fastest.I have laserlike focus at the end of a race because I am ready to be done!
I never have that kind of focus in training runs. Except in speedwork. Then I tend to get into the zone, too — not so much focused on the end result, but so focused on running hard that again, everything else tends to fade into the background.