Here is a short excerpt from "Marathoning for Mortals" by John "The Penguin" Bingham and Coach Jenny Hadfield. It's from the section called "The Courage to Start."
"By getting to the starting line, you've already placed yourself in the top echelon of athletes. You may not be in the top tier of that race, but as a long-distance athlete, you are fitter, better trained, and more disciplined than 99 percent of the population that has ever lived. Remind yourself of that when you start to obsess about your pace or finish time."
Isn't that motivational? I love it. They go on:
"Thousands more started a training program but never finished. They started with the same enthusiasm (or more than) you had. They started with more or less the same physical gifts or disadvantages that you did. They had no more and no less reason to be successful than you.
"But somewhere along the way, they lost that enthusiasm. Somewhere on the road or on the track or treadmill, they decided that the rewards just weren't worth the effort. They decided that they could live without finding their limits, without challenging their expectations of themselves, and without taking a hard look at their image of themselves.
"You didn't. If you're standing at the starting line, you've not only accepted the challenge, but you've beaten back the demons. You've conquered your imagination and self-imposed limitations. You've gone farther, gotten stronger, and gotten tougher than you ever imagined.
I can't express how moving this book was to me. It makes me wonder why I didn't start running far more than three years ago. Thank you, Katie, for "introducing" me to "The Penguin" and Coach Jenny.