Run the race you’re in

Thoughts of future pain made my current struggle hurt more. Kill the mental time travel and come back to now.

Run the race you’re in

Run the race you’re in 2560 1440 Looking out Loud

This is a Daily Moment—short perspectives on life and times through a dad’s eye.

Today was the Barcelona half marathon. I was reasonably prepared, but my legs were heavier than expected.

As I chugged along, I kept catching myself thinking about the full marathon four weeks from now.

“There’s no way I’m ready for that.”

“That’s going to be rough.”


And every time one of those thoughts entered my head, the current race felt even harder. Thoughts of future pain made my current struggle hurt more.

How do you keep moving when your mind wants to stop? The key is to catch that mental time travel and come back to now.

Every time I caught myself running next month’s race, I’d remind myself:

“Run the race you’re in.”

And I’d refocus on my breathing, on my legs, on the road right in front of me. Until I’d again catch my mind running ahead of itself:

“Run the race you’re in.”

We all run future races much more than we realize, letting future unpleasant or undesirable events color our current moment.

We’re sit in a work meeting anxious about the next meeting. We sit at dinner with family thinking about what we need to do after dinner.

Sometimes the best use of the moment is preparing for the future. But don’t miss the moments you’re in now.

Run the race you’re in.

P.S. My wife and kids were waiting at the finish line. It’s kind of a pain for them to truck across the city through all the extra people, but it made me so happy they did. It’s nice to have the support, and I think it’s good for my kids to see that type of healthy atmosphere.

I don’t care if they ever take up distance running or not, but I hope they see their trying-to-stay-young dad, pushing himself beyond what’s comfortable, and being happy he did.

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