Around 7 months ago, my friend Seth came along with me to Willow River to do one of my hill workouts with me. He hadn't done a hill workout in a while, especially not on a hill as steep as the one we were doing, and on interval three or four he was just about done. I forget why, but he was losing motivation and his running form was getting worse, which was making the hill even harder. I told him about this quote I know, "Don't run how you feel, feel how you run." He didn't buy it at first, tried calling me out and saying I was making it up. It sounds strange, doesn't it? Totally made up. The idea is that instead of running to the beat of your emotion, where you run too fast when you're angry, or you don't try at all when you're down, you pay close attention to your running and try to moderate it. If you're going way too fast because you're riled up, notice it and fix it. Keep in touch with your feet and feel how you are running, as by doing that, you can fix it. After thinking about it, he commented that in a weird way, it made perfect sense. We talked about it a bit more then, but it hasn't been brought up since.
The thing is, I totally made it up. I was probably just trying to motivate him to keep going with me, and it worked extremely well, it fixed whatever he was struggling with. I was thinking about some kind of speech technique during one of the intervals where you can switch around words to have different meanings and people love it. The one that comes to mind is, "People don't want me to say what I'll do. They want me to do what I'll say." It can be a pretty cool technique, it sounds cool, doesn't it? I was testing around with it, and it just slipped out. I was kidding around, but when he told me that I was bsing him, I was determined to convince him otherwise. So I explained what I thought it could mean, and boom, we've got ourselves a new motto for running.
Since I'm rejoining track this year, during our run we got talking about the team so I could reacquaint myself with who's running this year. After all, half the team left since I was a freshman, I don't really know any of the younger people. We were talking about this one runner who tends to "run how he feels", which doesn't really help him. It reminded me of what we talked about all those months ago, and I was even amazed that he remembered that. Turns out he's been helping kids on our team with their race plan and he's given motivational speeches before big races, some of which actually helped kids perform insanely well and get good placings and PRs. Apparently a big part of his motivational talk is the idea of "feel how you run, don't run how you feel." He's talked to his dad a ton about the concept, and assuming this quote was taken from a big runner who knows what he's talking about, he said it a lot to the younger runners. I didn't know any of that. I also didn't know that I hadn't already told him I made it up. He usually catches when I'm messing around and trying to make him believe my lies, but this one has gone under the radar, and it absolutely blew his mind that I had made it up on the spot, especially since it ended up making so much sense. He's in a bit of a state of disbelief, he's been moderating his running plan partly based on the idea, so the fact that it doesn't exist was a little jarring...
Moral of the story, don't run how you feel, feel how you run.