Focus: eye on the prize

Deb Runs


Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity, but in doing it. — Greg Anderson

Isn’t the above quote so true? And one I really need to keep in mind. I tend to get overly focused on the destination (goal race), rather than on the journey. And the truth is, as they say, that 13.1 (or 5, or 10, or 26.2) is just the very last few steps in your journey to a race.

It doesn’t feel that way, of course. But it’s the truth. It’s why I don’t typically get too nervous before races — I trust my training. I’ve run many miles to get me to my race day.

On the other hand, at the end of the race, I am most definitely focused on the destination — the finish line.

Ever notice how when you really concentrate on something, everything else fades into the background? There are some good sports movies that eloquently illustrate that concept: For the Love of the Game and The Legend of Bagger Vance two of my favorites (even though I’m not a big baseball fan and I don’t golf).

When I get to the end of the race, those last few steps at the end of those many miles leading up to that moment, I am often in the zone: I don’t see the other racers around me, I don’t see the spectators, I don’t see anything except that ticking finish line clock.

It’s why my last mile is often my fastest.I have laserlike focus at the end of a race because I am ready to be done!

I never have that kind of focus in training runs. Except in speedwork. Then I tend to get into the zone, too — not so much focused on the end result, but so focused on running hard that again, everything else tends to fade into the background.

You can do anything, as long as you have the passion, the drive, the focus, and the support.” — Sabrina Bryan

When do you get into the zone in your running?

20 thoughts on “Focus: eye on the prize

  1. I’ve been really getting into the zone when I turn around at the midpoint of my long runs lately. I know the path and distance back, and I’m (hopefully) confident I can finish the rest out strong!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My running buddies have always laughed at me. They’ll be talking about what they saw out on the course and I never see anything but the pavement. You are so right Once that clocks comes into view, that’s all you can focus on!


  3. It takes me a couple of miles to find that “zone” and if it’s hot, I may never find it. But yes, in that last mile or so of a big race, I think of the journey it took to get there, and savor every tired step.


  4. I’ve gotten pretty good at enjoying the journey — I actually don’t enjoy racing that much because I push myself so hard. I am focused on my goal though.


  5. That’s interesting how races can be so different than training. I can be very focused, but then I usually need a breather period to “stop and smell the roses” so to speak.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love both of those quotes! I definitely get into ‘tunnel vision’ mode at the end of a race! All I see is the finish line. Like you, I think the only time that really happens for me in training is during speed work on the track.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. During marathons I always felt most in the zone between miles 10 and 20. During 5K’s, I’m in too much pain pushing hard to get in the zone. Last Sunday I ran a 20K, and I’d say that I was most in the zone on the last half, and I’m not sure why it took so long that day – perhaps it was the hills.

    Great post! Thanks for linking up!

    Liked by 1 person

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