Thought Catalog
September 12, 2013

41 Quotes From Runners That Will Help You Power Through Your Last Mile

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What is the issue?
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Running is my private time, my therapy, my religion. Gail W. Kislevitz
A race is a work of art that people can look at and be affected in as many ways they’re capable of understanding. Steve Prefontaine
The obsession with running is really an obsession with the potential for more and more life. George Sheehan
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Haruki Murakami
Running isn’t a sport for pretty boys…It’s about the sweat in your hair and the blisters on your feet. Its the frozen spit on your chin and the nausea in your gut. It’s about throbbing calves and cramps at midnight that are strong enough to wake the dead. It’s about getting out the door and running when the rest of the world is only dreaming about having the passion that you need to live each and every day with. It’s about being on a lonely road and running like a champion even when there’s not a single soul in sight to cheer you on. Running is all about having the desire to train and persevere until every fiber in your legs, mind, and heart is turned to steel. And when you’ve finally forged hard enough, you will have become the best runner you can be. And that’s all that you can ask for. Paul Maurer
It was being a runner that mattered, not how fast or how far I could run. The joy was in the act of running and in the journey, not in the destination. John Bingham
The best pace is a suicide pace, and today looks like a good day to die. Steve Prefontaine
I often hear someone say I’m not a real runner. We are all runners, some just run faster than others. I never met a fake runner. Bart Yasso
The reason we race isn’t so much to beat each other,… but to be with each other. Christopher McDougall
Mental will is a muscle that needs exercise, just like the muscles of the body. Lynn Jennings
Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running. Christopher McDougall
I crossed Homewood and ran up the block. The joy multiplied as I ran- I ran never actually quite leaving the ground- and multiplied still as I felt my stride begin to fumble and my knees begin to quiver and stall. The joy multiplied even as I slowed bumping to a walk. I was all but splitting, all but shooting sparks. Blood coursed free inside my lungs and bones, a light-shot stream like air. I couldn’t feel the pavement at all. I was too aware to do this, and had done it anyway. What could touch me now? For what were the people on Penn Avenue to me, or what was I to myself, really, but a witness to any boldness I could muster, or any cowardice if it came to that, any giving up on heaven for the sake of dignity on earth? I had not seen a great deal accomplished in the name of dignity, ever. Annie Dillard
Silver Linings Playbook
The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start. John Bingham
Running! If there’s any activity happier, more exhilarating, more nourishing to the imagination, I can’t think of what it might be. In running the mind flees with the body, the mysterious efflorescence of language seems to pulse in the brain, in rhythm with our feet and the swinging of our arms. Joyce Carol Oates
To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift. Steve Prefontaine
Many people shy away from hills. They make it easy on themselves, but that limits their improvement. The more you repeat something, the stronger you get. Joe Catalano
Some people train knowing they’re not working as hard as other people. I can’t fathom how they think. Alberto Salazar
Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it. Steve Prefontaine
People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they’ll go to any length to live longer. But don’t think that’s the reason most people run. Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you’re going to while away the years, it’s far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive then in a fog, and I believe running helps you to do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life — and for me, for writing as whole. I believe many runners would agree. Haruki Murakami
We all know that if you run, you are pretty much choosing a life of success because of it. Deena Kastor
There is an itch in runners. Arnold Hano
If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Robert Pirsig
Running is a road to self-awareness and reliance-you can push yourself to extremes and learn the harsh reality of your physical and mental limitations or coast quietly down a solitary path watching the earth spin beneath your feet. Doris Brown Heritage
Ask yourself: ‘Can I give more?’. The answer is usually: ‘Yes’. Paul Tergat
If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run. John Bingham
When it’s pouring rain and you’re bowling along through the wet, there’s satisfaction in knowing you’re out there and the others aren’t. Peter Snell
I run because it’s so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can’t. But then you find your inner strength, and realize you’re capable of so much more than you thought. Arthur Blank
A course never quite looks the same way twice. The combinations of weather, season, light, feelings and thoughts that you find there are ever-changing. Joe Henderson
It’s a treat being a runner, out in the world by yourself with not a soul to make you bad-tempered or tell you what to do. Alan Sillitoe
Burn After Reading
Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop and say, ‘I’ve never seen anyone run like that before.’ It’s more than just a race, it’s a style. It’s doing something better than anyone else. It’s being creative. Steve Prefontaine
If you can’t win, make the fellow ahead of you break the record. Unknown
I always loved running…it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs. Jesse Owens
Runners don’t do drugs, they make their own … naturally. E. Neil Culbertson
If you train your mind for running, everything else will be easy. Amby Burfoot
Part of a runner’s training consists of pushing back the limits of his mind. Kenny Moore
Running has given me the courage to start, the determination to keep trying, and the childlike spirit to have fun along the way. Run often and run long, but never outrun your joy of running. Julie Isphording
Runners just do it – they run for the finish line even if someone else has reached it first. Unknown
You are truly your own hero in running. It is up to you to have the responsibility and self-discipline to get the job done. Adam Goucher
You don’t run against a bloody stop watch, do you hear? A runner runs against himself, against the best that’s in him. Not against a dead thing of wheels and pulleys. That’s the way to be great, running against yourself. Against all the rotten mess in the world. Against God, if you’re good enough. Bill Persons
The human spirit is indomitable. No one can ever say you must not run faster than this or jump higher than that. There will never be a time when the human spirit will not be able to better existing records. Sir Roger Bannister
Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about. PattiSue Plumer

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