Marathon Mile 20: 3 Strategies to Finish Anything


I used to run marathons.

All of my cool friends were running marathons back then so “Why not?”, I thought. So I labeled myself a runner and started training. And, I liked it. Well, “liked” is a strong word. But, all of my cool friends were doing it and it did give me a big rush and it helped to keep me fit. Regardless, 26.2 miles is a crazy amount of running and a complete mind-over-matter trip!

In my early days of distance running it was all about one mile at a time. I just wanted to get to the next mile marker. And, it worked. Well, it worked until I’d ran my way up to 20 miles and realized that I had another 6.2 to go until I was done with a marathon. Sound the “quitter” alarm! Twenty miles is a long way to run but somehow up until that point it always felt like a breeze. I felt alive, strong, and still fairly cute in my running shorts. I could still breathe, talk, sing, make new cool friends, and run at the same time. Then suddenly, it would seem, at Mile 20, everything would get fuzzy. I’m not talking about pass out fuzzy, I’m talking about fuzzy in my mind. I would start to literally question why I was running 26.2 miles to begin with, wouldn’t it be easier just to quit, and why isn’t everyone else feeling the same way? Fuzzy thinking.

I would go on to finish multiple marathons and have the fun medal bling to prove it! I also continued to mentor and coach would-be marathoners to get to the line. Apparently, I got over the fuzziness of Mile 20 or, better, was able to answer those questions in a way that not only impacted my ability to finish marathons, but that I now use as powerful strategies for my life. So, I thought I’d share.

Why am I doing this anyway?Ahhh! The “Why” question. You can be moving merrily and successfully along on your life journey and, it would seem, out of nowhere, things get complicated, you fail at something, you hit a wall, or someone lets you down.

Strategy #1 Be crystal clear on your purpose before you start anything. You will need to reach for that life purpose when you’re on your last leg, it feels like you’re carrying the world on your back, and you’re starting to get delusional.

Wouldn’t it be easier just to quit? Nope. That finish line (and the medal bling) will stick to your soul like super glue and you’ll live the rest of your life thinking “what if”. Dramatic, I know, but true. Keep going. Rest if you must. Take a hug from a bystander. Shake out those legs. Keep going.

Strategy #2 Be a proud member of the “No Quit Club”. Make quitting a non-option in your life. Show up for each moment with intention and dedication.

Why isn’t everyone else feeling the same way? We have this illusion that no one else is going through discomfort or pain when we’re going through it. Everyone else’s “race”seems to be going fabulously in our “What’s wrong with me?” mind. Well of course, that’s just not true.

Strategy #3 Remember, we’re all in this thing together. Everyone gets a little or a lot fuzzy at some point. Don’t let little fear or doubt try to trick you into believing you’re all alone or that it’s hopeless. When you’re in the thick of it, know that someone is or has been right where you are and they made it.

Check out more from Tracye Warfield at And, stay tuned for her upcoming book Breathe Big. Live Big. : “A Starter Guide For Your Awesome Life!”Summer 2017.

About Tracye

Known for her motivational mantras and joyful practice, Tracye Warfield puts the play in yoga and yummy food. Tracye began practicing yoga in 1999, when she first hobbled onto the mat after a long and achy marathon. Ten years later, she walked away from a successful career in corporate America to start living the life she was meant to live. Currently, she teaches Vinyasa, Power Yoga, Hatha, and Pilates in studio classes, workshops, online, with private clients, and at her bytracye yoga.yummy food retreats throughout the U.S. and internationally.

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