16 Running Quotes To Motivate You For Your Next Run


This post was originally featured on Women’s Running (it can be found here).

Sometimes it may be easy to find the motivation to get out the door at 5 a.m., set out for a long run in the summer heat or to move on from a workout that didn’t go as planned. However there may be some days where the motivation just isn’t there. I’m with you. Some days I need a little external motivation—and often, it comes in the simple form of someone else’s words.

Below are 16 running quotes that help me when I need that little extra bit of push to keep moving forward.

Winning the Mental Battle

“Running is nothing more than a series of arguments between the part of your brain that wants to stop and the part that wants to keep going.” — Unknown

“Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.” — George S Patton

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    PR Spotlight: How To PR Every Race Distance in 12 Months


    It’s been a while since I featured a runner here. I am trying to get back into a better routine with blogging – and part of that is this feature which I think can help a lot of other runners!

    I’m excited to share the store of Joe, a local runner from Staten Island, who I have had the absolute pleasure of coaching for the last year. Joe reached out to me last summer after running a handful of races including the Brooklyn Half Marathon and Scotland 10k. He was looking to improve his running – no specific times or goals – just wanted to improve.

    He is now a few weeks away from his first marathon – the NYC Marathon! And he has set some pretty amazing PR’s along the way:

    – Mile: 8:11 —> 7:22
    – 5 miler: 49:31 (9:55 pace) —> 44:37 (8:56 pace)
    – 10k: 1:01:59 (10:00 pace) —> 59:07 (9:32 pace)
    – 10 miler: 1:42:12 (10:14 pace) —> 1:35:48 (9:35 pace)
    – Half Marathon: 2:18:05 (10:33 pace) —> 2:08 (9:51 pace)

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      Boston Marathon Highlights

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      Rocking my 2009 Boston Marathon hat

      Monday morning started at the ungodly hour of 345am; I was out of the house at 4:30am enroute to pickup my sister, Nicole, on Staten Island and then Leticia in Brooklyn. Thankfully, we hit virtually zero traffic during our 200+ mile trip north.

      After getting turned around a few times (due to road closures), we managed to snag the last spot in the shuttle bus parking lot – SCORE!  As we were getting online to get screened, we ran into Katherine who I met at the Runner’s World Festival in 2012!! She was calm and smiling and looked ready to take on 26.2 miles!

      The shuttle was a quick 5 minute ride that dropped us off at the end of the corrals. Easy peasy.

      We heard the introductions and gun go off for the elite females as we were walking up (BOO!!) but managed to make our way to the start area for the elite men’s and wave 1.

      Seeing the Start Line and marathon signs literally gave me goosebumps. {Photo credit to Leticia for the next two pictures!}

      To be honest, on the drive up, I had told my sister and Leticia that I had no intention of running Boston again anytime soon. It’s far enough away from where we live to warrant a trip for a few days and the cost of hotels, work missed (for my husband) and figuring out child care (if we don’t bring the boys) makes closer marathons seem more appealing. However, my mind changed after just a few minutes of being surrounded by the magic of the Boston Marathon. Soooo maybe Boston 2015 =)

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        #BostonStrongSI Recap


        Good Morning, friends!  Yesterday evening was the #BostonStrongSI event held at Clove Lakes Park in Staten Island.  It was part of a wider, global event organized by my friend, Brian, from which over 120 cities across the world ran to show support to Boston and those affected.

        When I created the event for Staten Island, I had hopes that 25 runners would be interested to run.  I was blown away by the turnout yesterday.  There were probably close to 200 runners/walkers present.

        The amazing thing about yesterday was that all I did was create the event.  I picked the time and place and made a FB event page.  I invited a handful of local runners that I knew.  I contacted PowerBar (they sponsored us).  And that’s really it.

        Yesterday’s turnout was a result of our running community.  It was beautiful to witness.  Members of local running groups spread word within their group.  Someone contacted the local newspaper (article here).

        My friend, Patti, contacted the American Red Cross (they provided water and hot chocolate).

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          Long Run Fail

          Don’t forget to enter the Ava and Liam Giveaway!


          I like my marathon training cycles to be on the longer side – at least 16-18 weeks with my long runs beginning at 12-14 miles.  One of the reasons is because it gives me a few extra buffer weeks in case I have to miss a long run.  Being a mom to two little ones (with one that’s exclusively breastfed) means that a good night’s sleep is totally out of my hands and despite my best efforts, a long run (or successful long run) is sometimes not in the cards.

          I’ve being extremely satisfied with my long runs this training cycle.  Until this weekend.  This weekend’s did NOT go as planned (and it had nothing to do with the little ones).

          I intended to run 16 miles early Friday morning (5:30am) following a similar route as last weekend’s 22 miler.  I knew from the first few steps that it was going to be a tough run.  I was working harder than I should have been to maintain a pace that last weekend felt so easyI wasn’t out of breath – instead, my body felt fatigued, exhausted, and unable to move any faster than what it was already running.

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            Ava & Liam Motivational Sign Giveaway

            The will..

            Happy Tuesday!!  I am BEYOND excited to share this giveaway with you today!

            I am a visual person.  Seeing things – words, numbers, whatever – helps me focus and stay on track.  Which is why I LOVE these motivational signs created by Ava & Liam.

            Ava & Liam is a small business that makes gifts and home decor – they are made to order and totally customizable.

            The sign I have – which will be hung down our basement on the wall next to the treadmill and stationery bike – is approximately 12″ x 12″.  It is handpainted on wood and distressed to look vintage.

            One of the coolest things about it is these signs is that the bottom half is a chalkboard.  So you can write your next goal and then erase it and write the next one when that race/event passes.  This is what my sign currently looks like:

            I was chatting with Nicole, the shop owner, about what sign I wanted.  After deciding on the one pictured above, I mentioned that my 2nd option would have been something with my favorite mantra – Go Big or Go Home.  She surprised me by creating a mini-sign (measures 6″ x 3.5″):

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              PR Spotlight – Beka K

              Brandon Half Marathon - Dec 2012
              I love stories of people who have been inspired to run/race after seeing a marathon for the first time.  That is what happened to Beka in November 2011.  She ran her first 5k a month later and tackled her first half marathon less than three months after that!.  Her first half-marathon time?  2:17!  AND just became part of the sub-2 club when she knocked over 12 minutes off her half-marathon time!  Beka know holds a 1:54 half-marathon PR and is anxiously awaiting for training to begin this summer for her first full marathon.  Did I mention that she’s only been running about 14 months?? =)  I think she is going to be setting some pretty nice PRs this year due to her natural speed + incredible dedication. Name: Rebecca (Beka) Kelley Age: 28 Hometown: Memphis, TN – now live in Tampa, FL Blog: www.rebeccaroams.com Twitter: @rebeccaroams How long have you been running? 1 year & 2 months Why did you start running? In November 2011, I tagged along with my boyfriend to his first marathon (which I thought he was nuts for even doing). While he ran, I grabbed a big fatty breakfast at Denny’s, lounged around, and waited at my spots to see him a couple of times throughout the race. It wasn’t until the runners began crossing the finish line that I started to feel incredibly guilty about that breakfast, but so incredibly inspired! Watching so many different kinds of people meeting life long goals and seeing their emotions ranging from tears to huge smiles, and even a few blood stained shirts or knees. I was absolutely enamored with what they felt with that accomplishment and made it a goal on the spot to start distance running. Even if that meant just starting with 1 small mile (which I could not do at this point). One month later in December, I completed my first very painful 5k,  three months later, my first half marathon and I haven’t looked back! Favorite Race Distance/Why? So far, the half marathon. It requires endurance and speed. Tests you in both areas (although I’m not as speedy as Michele!)
              PRs 5k: 25:57 10k: 56:28 Half: 1:54 Marathon: (tba in October!)
              First Half Marathon time/when: Gasparilla Half (March 2012) – 2:17. Still not even knowing what a “pace” was, or even how long a half marathon “really was”, I decided to challenge myself and see just how far I could make it. I had only run 7 really hard miles prior. I never stopped running! I slowed significantly and at one point was so angry at myself for putting myself in this much pain, but all that anger and pain disappeared (momentarily) as soon as I saw the finish chute and I was given my medal. I was in complete and utter amazement at how the body can complete such a huge task! I immediately started signing up for more races as soon as I got home.

              Previous Half Marathon PR/when: Women’s Half Marathon November 2012 2:06:58 – This was another total shocker for me. I had just gotten out of physical therapy thanks to a “learn my lesson about recovery and cross training” injury (hip) and really just wanted to finish. I was extremely nervous leading up to the race. I listened to my body and ran a smart race without giving up and without re-injuring myself! It paid off!

              What did you do differently in your training to drop so much time off from your last half marathon? I made a plan and I stuck to it – I trained hard – didn’t miss ONE WORKOUT (not even a cross training workout -i.e yoga or weights) – even if my plan was for only 5 weeks. I made the time, woke up early, stayed up late, put in the effort, and it made the biggest difference!

              What do you attribute the most to you PR’ing? Consistent weekly, hard tempo runs! A supportive boyfriend who also runs, and an amazing pacer – Meghann! If you have an opportunity for a speedy friend to help you meet your goal – accept it. Having her next to me made me feel accountable, and because of that I pushed myself to get that PR!
              What is your next race/goal? I have a few more races (5k, 10k, halfs) scheduled through April, and really want to get a huge PR in my 10k since I’ve only run one before! In June I’ll begin training for my biggest goal of the year – Marine Corps Marathon (held in Oct). I am raising money for a wonderful charity- The Little Things for Cancer. I’m also planning to run along side one of my Marine Wounded Warrior friends. While in Afghanistan, he lost a leg and function in an arm and is doing everything in his power to rebuild his strength and be able to run this race with me! (you can read the full story here)

              What piece of advice would you give to someone who is looking to PR? Train (consistently) well, recover better, and find running buddies to challenge you and hold you accountable. Definitely look toward those friends or the  blogger/social media healthy living and fitness community for the days you just don’t feel like getting out for that run. It is full of so many inspiring athletes! I know I have aimed higher and set higher goals because of them! Challenge yourself!

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                20 miles on the treadmill + Fun in the Snow

                Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!!  We seemed to have escaped Nemo’s wrath for the most part – we got about a foot of snow Friday night but thankfully didn’t lose power or have any damage from the high winds.  I have to admit – we were pretty darn excited to get a real snowfall.  This is the first substantial snow that my 2-yr old has seen! Needless to say, we were happy campers when we woke up Saturday morning and saw this:

                Once my youngest went down for his morning nap, my oldest and I got dressed and joined my husband (who was shoveling) for some snow fun:


                I got up at 4am on Friday to get my 20 miles in on the treadmill.  Well, my alarm was set for 4, but I got up at 330 to nurse my son and didn’t see a point in laying down for <10 min.  My husband had to leave for work by 730, so I knew that I had to be off the treadmill just after 7 in order to have time to shower.

                Within a few miles of running, I was bored OUT OF MY MIND.  Last week’s 18 miler was different – the time seemed to fly.  But, this week I felt like I couldn’t zone out.  I broke my own rule about long runs – I started thinking about how much further I had to run.  And it really started to pysch me out.  I decided to start playing around with my pace to keep my mind off of the remaining miles.  I loved last week’s steady state run and so I started doing a MGP (Marathon Goal Pace) mile every few miles.  The miles started to tick by and I got back into the zone.  It gave me something to push for and made the rest miles a welcome break.

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                  PR Spotlight: Steve L

                  Going Green track Meet 2012 - Photo by Ken Trombatore

                  I’m excited for this post for many reasons.  The first is that it should be a welcome change for all (5?) of my male readers!  The second is that the runner is crazy fast and dropped 30+ min off his marathon PR time from his spring marathon to his fall marathon – he went from a 3:36 to a 3:05:06.  And although he missed qualifying for Boston by SIX SECONDS, he is extremely upbeat, positive, and anxious to qualify the next time he runs the distance.

                  Name: Steven Leibowitz  
                  Age: 29 
                  Hometown: Jersey, the north half  
                  Blog: runnerontheright.wordpress.com  
                  Twitter: @steverunner21

                  How long have you been running? Competitively, I have been running since sophomore year of high school. My small school had just started its cross country program, but I really did not want to join. I was involved in other sports and this did not seem like something particularly fun. Running had, until that point, been a means to stay active. The day of the team’s first meet my best friend persuaded me to come try it out. After convincing our athletic director that I was in good enough shape and (probably) would survive the 5k race, she agreed to let me participate. Not only did I finish, but I came in second for our team. I stuck with it initially as a great way to get in shape for basketball, my main high school sport, but running became much more than a last minute teenage whim.

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                    Battle of the Sexes – Household Bragging Rights

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                    Mondays Workout: Rest Day – Giving my legs an extra rest day this week since I have a BIG 10k this weekend (more details later this week)!

                    Fact: I am a competitive person with just about everything in life (sometimes over the silliest things).

                    Like last weekend: My husband and I were putting together Thomas puzzles with (for) my son.  There were four of them.  After putting the first two together, he said he would do one and I could do the other.  So, of course, it became a competition for me.  He didn’t need me to say it to know that I was suddenly racing to beat him.  (In case you were dying to know…I won.  Bazinga (totally obsessed with The Big Bang Theory at the moment).)

                    Or growing up: My sisters and I would compete to see who could get the best grades in school.  Okay.  Maybe they didn’t compete with me.  But I was definitely competing with them. =)

                    Or with military-related things:  My husband went to more schools then I did in the military (he’s a Ranger, Airborne, and Air Assault qualified while I am only Airborne).  But I deployed more times (and for more time) than he did.

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                      Running Book for Kids: Pellie Runs a Marathon

                      Pellie Runs A Marathon

                      My husband bought me the cutest kids book a few months after our oldest son was born in 2011 – Pellie Runs a Marathon (by Michele Bredice Craemer):

                      One of the things I am MOST grateful to my parents is my exposure to sports from a young age.  They didn’t force a sport on my sisters and I.  Instead, we were given and shown a wide range of sports from when we were first old enough to understand them.  Basketball, softball, football, running, golf, bowling, soccer, dancing…We played/did them all.  Basketball was my first love and lasted until sophomore year of college.  It wasn’t until that point – and then even more-so during my time in the military and deployments – that my love for running began.

                      My husband and I are not going to push running, or any other sport for that matter, onto either of our boys.  But, just as both our parents did with us, we’ve already begun introducing a handful of sports to our oldest whether through activity outside with his bat and ball, watching football on the couch with daddy, or reading a book about marathons.

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                        PR Spotlight: Hyedi N


                        Happy Friday!!!  Hope everyone has safe and easy travels home and/or a safe weekend with the wintery weather we have been having!!

                        Today marks the end of Week 1 of marathon training.  I didn’t run as often as I wanted to because I am still recovering from the flu – but am overall pretty satisfied.  I used this week as a refresher for myself – no hard or long distance runs – I mostly wanted to get used to waking up at 5am and running every day.  I’m really excited for this training cycle and plan to go into detail about my training plans for my spring marathon  next week!


                        This week’s PR spotlight is on Hyedi.  I’ve been following her for a while now on Twitter but really started interacting a lot more when the Race for Recovery was being planned – she was enormously helpful in spreading the word and getting involved.  Read below to see how she went from a 2:12 half marathon in 2009 to a 2:03 in 2012.  She has even bigger goals for 2013 – sub-2 (which she TOTALLY has got!).  PS. Hyedi – hope you kick the flu and feel better quickly – we are all sending good thoughts your way!

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                          Help Me BECOME ONE!

                          Become One Kona

                          So I’ve been keeping a little secret…

                          I have applied to Become ONE!

                          got chocolate milk? is having a contest which will give two lucky winners the Ironman experience of a lifetime.  This program includes:

                          • A customized seven-month training program in their hometown with elite IRONMAN coaches
                          • Seven months of lowfat chocolate milk to refuel and recover between workouts
                          • Entry into 3-5 IRONMAN training events, to be determined by their coach
                          • Any equipment or gear necessary to train and fully recover effectively
                          • Entry into, and 2 round-trip airline tickets and lodging for, the 2013 IRONMAN World Championship in Kona-Kailua, Hawaii

                          For the past two years, I have signed up for Ironman competitions, had them on my racing calendar, begun training…only to find out I was pregnant.  Pregnancy and my two little boys are the best things in my life…but I’m definitely itching to fulfill what has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember.

                          2013 is going to be the year I call myself an Ironman.

                          But I need your help!  

                          Part of the application process required creating a video to explain why we should be picked, why we want to be an Ironman, why we would inspire others…

                          I would LOVE any help spreading the word about my video and any likes/comments on the site (youtube) itself (if you think I should be picked!)

                          Thank you so much for your help!!

                          My application can be found here. 


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                            PR Spotlight: Pamela


                            I’m excited to begin the new series on NYC Running Mama – the PR spotlight.  The PR spotlight will feature runners who have recently PR’d.  It could be on the treadmill, track, or on the roads.  The purpose of the feature will be to discuss what was done differently – whether it was pacing, fueling, hydration, training, mental preparation, etc.

                            One of the things I love most about running is that I’m constantly learning – I learn just as much from the 4:30 marathoner as I do from the 2:45 marathoner. Hopefully this feature become a tool in which we all learn from each other.


                            Meet Pamela:  Not only is she my best friend (we’ve known each other since we were 13!), but she is the social media expert behind Sparkly Soul headbands.  Although she has run a good number of marathons, Pamela was stuck at the 5-hour mark for most of them.  This past spring, she revamped her training and began seeing immediate results.  The first time I really became aware of how much faster she had become was at the NYC Half Marathon in March.  I was used to Pamela being a 10+ min per mile runner so when I saw her run me at (I was cheering at mile 7) only an hour into her run, I was astounded!!  She continued her improvement through the summer and fall…and just PR’d the marathon by 53 minutes at the Philadelphia Marathon!!!  Here is how she managed to go from a 4:43 marathoner…to a 3:50!!! 

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                              Meet Claire: Youngest Female Badwater Finisher

                              Running along the white lines to prevent her shoes from melting from the hot pavement

                              Claire Heid at the finish of the 2012 Badwater Ultramarathon!

                              I first heard about Claire Heid (now Dieterich) a week before the 2012 Badwater Ultramarathon (aka “the world’s toughest foot race”).  *For those not familiar with Badwater (the 135-mile trek through the desert), check out the race website or the post I recently did.  Claire was attempting Badwater at age 23, and if successful, would be the youngest female EVER to finish the grueling road race.

                              I couldn’t believe that such a petite, pretty, sweet young woman could accomplish what she did – she not only finished – but she finished FAST in a time of 41:15:47 (yes, that is 41 hours!) and now holds the title of Youngest Female Finisher.  Pretty freaking unbelievable.

                              Here is her story – how she got into running ultras, what Badwater was really like, and what the future holds for her:

                              Despite receiving a full ROTC scholarship to Notre Dame, Claire decided to attend the US. Military Academy at West Point (my alma mater!).

                              For my whole life I had been drawn to the military and when my older brother (Class of 2008) was there, I fell in love with everything West Point had to offer when I visited him.

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                                Embrace the Pain

                                One of my favorite parts of a hard run is the moment the pain arrives.  Not pain from an injury.  But pain from pushing myself.

                                Maybe it’s my lungs burning during a speed workout. Or my legs when they start to feel the burn from hill repeats.  It may just be plain exhaustion when I’m 20 miles into a long run.  Or the soreness my legs feel the day after a hard run.  Regardless of the type, I have come to expect and welcome the pain.  And I’ve taught myself how to keep pushing. 

                                The first time I heard/saw this quote was in 2001.  I was a sophomore at West Point and had just working out in the gym (I was no longer playing on the basketball team).  After my daily cardio workouts, I would head to the mats to do some ab-work.  These words were nailed to the wall I looked up at as I was doing my situps.  I saw them every day and learned how to embrace the pain (so much so that I once yelled this phrase at my 11-year old sister when I took her to the gym – whoops!).

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                                  Strong women in my life

                                  me and annie2

                                  From an early age, my mom taught my sisters and I that no dream was out of our reach…that we could achieve anything we put our minds to.  Even to this day, if I am struggling with self-doubt, my mom will sit me down and ask me Why can’t you achieve this?  Why NOT you?”.  She set the stage for me to believe in myself – to always push a little bit harder to reach a certain goal.

                                  I have always been surrounded by successful, type-A, confident women – my mom, my three sisters, and my three closest girlfriends from high school have all exceeded a hundred times over with what they have tried to accomplish in their lives.   So it comes as no surprise to me that I still find myself drawn to the same types of females as I get older.

                                  Being around strong women makes me stronger.  I see what they accomplish, I’m proud of/for them, and I feel empowered to go after my own impossible dreams.  It has nothing to do with being competitive or wanting to outperform these ladies…Being around their accomplishments and seeing/feeling their drive to succeed gives me confidence in MYSELF that I can follow in their footsteps and do something similar.  These strong females are strong in mind, body, and spirit – they embody success.

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                                    New Feature coming soon: The PR Spotlight!



                                    I am starting a new feature on NYCRunningMama to highlight some of my favorite runners!!  I wanted this column to be different from the usual runner bio…

                                    I am going to be featuring runners who have recently PR’d – it could be a race or training run.  It could be on the treadmill, track, or on the roads.  The purpose of the feature will be for the runner to discuss what they did differently – whether it was pacing, fueling, hydration, training, mental preparation, etc.

                                    One of the things I love most about running is that I’m constantly learning – I learn just as much from the 4:30 marathoner as I do from the 2:45 marathoner. Hopefully this feature become a tool in which we all learn from each other.

                                    I think we all enjoy sharing the news when we do something we are proud of.   Most of us won’t be winning half marathon or marathon races anytime soon.  So why not have this feature highlight  the ultimate success everyday runners can hope to achieve? A PR!

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