Keep running! You’re doing great!

I’m always looking to help out, to pass along a little positivity wherever I can. Like when I’m running a race. I get it, you’re not in great shape, maybe this is your first 10k or whatever, so I’ll give you some support. You’ll see me right before, I’ll be the one doing practice laps across the starting line. And I’ll give you a high five. I’ll tell you, “Good luck out there! You’re going to do great! Just keep going! Don’t forget, don’t give up, because I believe in you!”

2010 Clarendon Day 5K & 10K

It’s a nice gesture, giving people a little motivation, maybe a few pre-race tips. I like to find runners beforehand that I can kind of tell haven’t really had too much race experience, I give them helpful hints like, “Make sure you’re striking the ground with the front of your foot instead of the heel! This is going to help your knees in the long run, trust me, I’ve been running for years! I’ve ran thirty-eight marathons! I’m training for an ultra right now!”

You might need a little boost, I carry all of these energy gel-packs in my running fanny-pack. Do you want one? I can give you one. Save it for about a quarter of the way through, and then down the whole thing. Just try not to litter, OK? You really shouldn’t litter during a race. You know what? I’ll probably have crossed the finish line already, and so if you see me running backwards along the racecourse, you can just hand me the trash, I’ll throw it away for you.

That’s another thing that I do, when I finish, I like to immediately turn around and start cheering on everyone else who hasn’t finished yet. It’s great, you might be struggling, each step getting progressively harder, you’re sweating, out of breath, and then you see me, I look like I haven’t even broken a sweat. You’ll get inspired, you’ll think, wow, that guy right there is living proof that anybody can do this.

Anybody that dedicates themselves to my level of training, of course. But you could do that. It’s possible. And you, and you too. That’s what I’m thinking when I’m cheering you on, “Go for it!” I’ll always say. Or another good one is, “Keep going! You can do it!” and I can just tell by the pained expressions on people’s faces that they want to quit right there, that you don’t want to keep going, like you feel like you can’t do it, so I encourage them, “You’re almost there! Great work!”

Because you can do this. You don’t think I’m feeling any pain when I’m running? I mean, sure, I don’t look like it. And yeah, it’s only a 10k. Did I mention that I’m a marathon runner? Did I tell you that I’m training for an ultra? Now that’s some serious pain. But I don’t give in, no I keep going, I start cheering myself on, I’m like, “Come on Rob!” I scream it out loud, I clench my teeth and I start digging even deeper.

So just keep that in mind, your own challenges, your own personal struggles. Do not give up! Look out for me running backwards. It’s a nice way for me to cool down, to look at all the people I’m inspiring to keep at it. And sometimes some of the other top tier runners will do the same thing, and then we kind of have like a race-after-the-race race backwards, which, there’s no real finish line there, but still, if they’re getting close, I like to really push hard, sprint way back to the start, motivate even more runners along the way.

And when I get there first, I immediately stop and turn around, like I’m running forward again, but now I’m cheering on the other people running backwards, I’m saying stuff like, “Great job! Way to inspire! Keep on motivating!” like I’m the source of even more positive energy, like it’s just sending ripples of good vibes outward.

Did I tell you about that Iron Man I was training for a while back? Man, I don’t care how fast you’ve run a race, you haven’t felt anything until you’ve done an Iron Man. Just think, if he can do it, I can do it. I’m talking about me. And you. Just keep it up. Don’t stop, because you’re doing great. We’re all doing great. I’m feeling just terrific.