“Life is not a sprint; it’s a marathon.” – What is your favorite quote?

“Life is not a sprint; it’s a marathon.” – My Dad

And about a million other people, to the point where I can’t even find who originally uttered this inspiration. An analogy for living life, not just running a race – It’s about never giving up, about persevering, of burning slowly, extendedly – not to explode into ashes like fireworks. This simple phrase says so much, in so few words, by cautioning to pace ourselves, to take things “one mile at a time”, to gradually wind our way through our lives. These words have always rang in my head when I realize I’m pushing too hard and it’s time to cut myself some slack.

In a race, if we treat the first mile like we treat the last 500-foot-stretch, we’d never make it to the last 500 feet. We can’t live life pushing and giving it all we’ve got every day, all day. We just can’t – unless we want to burn out. I’m guilty of it – I push myself too hard all the time. I think I can do it all. Juggling running, work, friends, dating, family, writing, TV, keeping up with the news – most days there just isn’t time for sleep. That’s how I got mono once, by not sleeping more than three hours a night. Guess what? When you get mono you get nothing done. For over a month. It really regulates you. It teaches you that you can’t sprint through life in a blaze of excitement. It teaches you that your body needs to rest, even if you force rest. The body can’t run all day, every day, even if you want it to.

Our bodies, our minds, our lives are meant to be filled with balance. A little run here, a little rest there. We can’t push too hard all of the time. We can’t run our marathons like we’d run our 5K’s. We need to space it out, enjoy the hills and the scenery. On the journey of life, there are breezy downhill stretches and daunting mountains to attack – and we can learn from the entire “run”.

This week, I have shared some quotes that I’ve found inspirational because I live for quotes, and turn to them when I need a little spark. Pithy, quick statements sum up our existence, and – like a photograph that is worth a thousand words – a quote is worth a thousand meanings. Because quotes are art. Ten people can read the same quote and each internalize it differently.

Below are some running quotes I have shared over the past week. I hope that you have found them as inspiring as I have. I urge everyone to please leave me your favorite quotes. Feel free to post them in the comments, or Tweet them to me, but I want to make quotes a regular part of this blog, and I would love to hear from you, especially, if it is YOUR quote. Tell the world your thoughts!

“Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop.”
~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

“I don’t believe in pessimism. If something doesn’t come up the way you want, forge ahead. If you think it’s going to rain, it will. … If you think it’s going to rain, it will.” ~Clint Eastwood

“Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” ~ Henry Ford

“When you win, say nothing. When you lose, say less.” ~Paul Brown

“Thank God, it’s over.” ~Neil Cusack, 1974 marathon winner

“To reach a port, we must sail- sail, not tie at anchor-sail, not drift.” ~Franklin Roosevelt

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” ~Yogi Berra

“Running helps me stay on an even keel and in an optimistic frame of mind.” ~Bill Clinton

“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” ~John Bingham

“My feeling is that any day I am too busy to run is a day that I am too busy.” ~John Bryant

“Running is one the best solutions to a clear mind.” ~Sasha Azevedo

“Anyone can run 20 miles. It’s the next six that count.” ~Barry Magee

“I run because it’s my passion, and not just a sport. Every time I walk out the door, I know why I’m going where I’m going and I’m already focused on that special place where I find my peace and solitude. Running, to me, is more than just a physical exercise…it’s a consistent reward for victory!” ~Sasha Azevedo

“There will come a point in the race, when you alone will need to decide. You will need to make a choice. Do you really want it? You will need to decide.” ~Rolf Arands

“It’s better to burn out than to fade away.” ~Neil Young

“Rapid motion through space elates one” ~James Joyce

“My thoughts before a big race are usually simple: run your race, stay relaxed. If you run your race, you’ll win…Channel your energy. Focus.” ~Carl Lewis

“Even if you fall flat on your face: at least you are moving forward.” ~Sue Luke

“Why aren’t you signed up for the 401K?”
“I’d never be able to run that far.”
~Scott Adams, Dilbert (4/2/01)

“Everyone in life is looking for a certain rush. Racing is where I get mine.” ~John Trautmann

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About the13thmile

I am proud to now say I am a half-marathon runner! Three half-marathons qualify for that status, I think. I blog about about running, nutrition and sometimes some other stuff. I share my research, tips and experiences with you, and am inspired by the supportive running community! I enjoy connecting with other runners, and hearing about other people's running experiences. Feel free to reach out if you have ran marathons or half marathons in the past!
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7 Responses to “Life is not a sprint; it’s a marathon.” – What is your favorite quote?

  1. Chris Korn says:

    I love quotes! One of my favorites….

    “Do or do not. There is no try”

    Didn’t Neil Young say “It’s better to burn out, than fade away”?

  2. Dave says:

    Can’t never did anything – Maxie Vest, my grandfather

    What distinguishes those of us at the starting line from those of us on the couch is that we learn thorugh running to take what the days give us, what our body will allow us, and what our will can tolerate. – John Bingham, the Penguin

    Having a true faith is the most difficult thing in the world. Many will try to take it from you. — Steve Prefontaine

    • the13thmile says:

      Hi Dave – Thanks for the response and for your grandfather’s quote! And, yes, Neil Young did say that line – I have edited the post – good eye!

  3. Scott says:

    Great post. My favorite and one that hits home for me is: “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” ~John Bingham.

    To run decide to commit to train/run a marathon you need to have courage to sign up and be mentally strong for the long road ahead.

  4. Jamie says:

    My favorite quote..(or one) “Do something every day that scares you.” Eleanor Roosevelt. Keep running….

  5. Pingback: I need a mantra. « Vanessa Runs

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