I now have a few specific mantras that I pull out when the going gets rough out there on the road. My favourite at the moment is "I Can, I Have, I Will". When I need to direct my thoughts aways from the fact that I'm still 5km from finished or that the hill coming up is a real doozy, I say this one over and over and over. For me, it is a reminder that I can physically and mentally do this run. That in fact, I have already done this run. Having completed a marathon, there will almost always be a distance, a hill, a weather condition, or a run I have already conquered that compares to, or was even harder than, the one I'm doing. The "I will" is a reminder that I'm working towards the half marathon goal and knowing I can and I have means I will complete it. I pull this mantra out time and time again and each time it motivates me.
A few other mantras that work for me are "Just Do It". Yes, it is cliche and the Nike slogan, but for me it is also a link back to my one little word for 2012. I've committed to doing this half and any run I'm in right now is part of that training. As I repeat Just Do It, I am reminding myself to stop complaining, stop thinking and just do it. I also love Tina's mantra of "Make that Hill Your Bitch" because I f%&%ing hate hills. They are hard, uncomfortable, and just plain suck. So when I read this post by Tina earlier this year I laughed out loud and have engaged the mantra as my own ever since when facing a tough hill!
I strongly encourage you to find your mantra, something that inspires you and helps you make your run a more positive experience. Whether it's "faster, stronger, smoother" or "Kick A$$" or "I know I can, I know I can," that short, repeatable phrase can make all the difference.