Running on inspiration

by • January 16, 2015 • Running wildComments (0)896

Don’t let winter blahs blast motivation

Let’s be honest: Staying motivated in the middle of winter is challenging. The temperature plunges to single digits, snow and ice impede movement and daylight is scarce. Recharge your desire by using movies, music, medals and the mirror to keep you on target this year. Movies, old and new “Unbroken” ( released on Christmas Day. It chronicles the extraordinary life of the 1936 Olympian and World War II Veteran, Louis Zamperini.   A testament on mental toughness, his take-home quote: “If I can take it, I can make it.”    The book of the same name, by Laura Hillenbrand was the basis for the film.  If you start it plan on a marathon read as setting it down becomes next to impossible. buckle
“McFarland, USA” (  Another true story of the origins of the McFarland High School Cross Country Team in southern California, starring Kevin Costner as the PE teacher and coach. The gritty sons of migrant farm workers form a cross-country team that wins the state championship. Take home messages: teamwork, dedication and belief that anything is possible if you’re willing to work for it.
“Fire on the Track: The Steve Prefontaine Movie.” This movie tells the life of Steve Prefontaine, the University of Oregon runner who is considered by many to be the best long-distance runner of all time. His life was cut short by an automobile accident.
“Without Limits.” Another Steve Prefontaine movie for the Pre-worshiper in all of us.
Treadmill bore-busters: Action/battle sequences typically offer an opportunity to pick up the cadence, foot strike or revolutions per minute. My favorites include any of the “Rocky” movies, “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and recent “Hobbit” series, “Chariots of Fire,” “Triple X,” “Last of the Mohicans,” “Gladiator,” “Gallipoli” and, of course, “Forrest Gump.”

Tunes to keep you moving
“Beautiful Day,” by U2
“Born to Run,” by Bruce Springsteen
“Dream On,” by Aerosmith
“Where the Streets Have No Name,” U2
“Eye of the Tiger,” Survivor
“Theme from Rocky,” 1976
“Strong (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson
“Rolling in the Deep,” by Adele
“Carmina Burana, (O Fortuna)” by Carl Orff – very intense, good for your finishing kick.
“Chariots of Fire,” Vangelis (for recovery)
Well, let’s face it. We all like a little bling, be it from a 5K up to an Ultra Marathon. The hardware speaks to the achievement of going the distance. One caution is if you wear a belt buckle from an ultra like Western States 100 Miler you may be asked whether you won a wrestling match.
The Mirror
Finally, looking in the mirror each day, you are eye to eye with yourself. A simple nod and you know if you are doing what it takes to stay in the game or move on to the next level. The transformation is underway, and after several months, the full-length mirror will reveal a healthy body ready to chase the prize.
Hopefully, some of these inspirational tips will help you on your journey because there are no short cuts to fitness, endurance, strength, flexibility and speed. It all comes together over time well spent.
 – Keep Striding and Smiling
Coach Mike

January events
• Monday Miles Series (The Dome in Anchorage) 6:30-8:30 p.m. every Monday in January.  A nice start to the week.
Call the Dome for details 770-3663
• Jan. 10 (Fairbanks): 35th Airport Run, choose from 4 or 8 miles. (
Multiple layers encouraged.
• Jan. 31: (Willow): Frostbite 5K. ( This one guarantees pink cheeks!

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