A bad motivator is no excuse. Race day is on the horizon, but first you must complete the training!
You've signed up for the big day and examined the finisher medals. Now it's time to train for the runDisney Star Wars Rival Run Weekend. And for me, the hardest part is...well, getting started. I've been running off and on for years, but getting motivated to begin a new training plan is always tough. Fortunately, Star Wars is filled with inspirational quotes to get you feeling like you could take on the whole Empire yourself.
Before you lace up your running shoes and hit the road, consider these 13 quotes to keep you going!
1. "Breathe. Just breathe." -- Luke Skywalker
When you're struggling in those early training runs, it can be easy to forget the basics. If you're gasping for air, take a moment to concentrate on slowing your breath, and make sure you're not pushing yourself to go too fast, too soon. It's a (half) marathon, not a sprint! Pace yourself.
2. "She's strong with the Force, untrained, but stronger than she knows." -- Kylo Ren
Running has more to do with repetition than inherent skill (although some people seem to be naturally built for speed.) You've just started on this journey and, like Rey, you are stronger than you know.
3. "No! No different! Only different in your mind." -- Yoda
The first time I trained for a 5K, it felt like an insurmountable obstacle. Just over 3 miles? Without stopping? "That's impossible!" I thought in a voice that sounded an awful lot like Luke Skywalker. But I set the goal at finishing, not beating out the other much-more seasoned runners and I did it. Since then, I've completed two half marathons, countless 10Ks and 5Ks, and one annual Turkey Trot that traverses a very hilly 9 mile course. And every time I shoot for a longer distance, I remember this bit of wisdom from Master Yoda. Because if you can run a 5K, you can probably run a 10K. And once you've run a 10K...you're almost halfway to the half marathon! Each mile is the same. The distance is only different in your mind.
4. "Never tell me the odds!" -- Han Solo
The odds are you aren't going to be the first person across the finish line on race day, and that's OK. For me, running is more about competing with myself, finding that balance of mind and body, than qualifying for major marathons or beating out the other runners on the course. I always try to be better than I was last year or on the last run or in the last race. Sometimes I manage a new personal best. Sometimes, well...I fail.
5. "The greatest teacher, failure is." -- Yoda
Sure, it's disappointing to look back at my old race times and realize that a mixture of injury, age, and hibernating has drastically slowed my pace over the years. But knowing that there's still room for improvement is, in itself, a great motivator! Sometimes you (quite literally) fall down. Pick yourself up, vow to do better, and then put the time in to make it happen.
6. “Hope is like the sun. If you only believe in it when you can see it..."
"You’ll never make it through the night.” -- Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo and Poe Dameron, quoting General Leia Organa
Whether you're getting back into shape after a holiday respite or training for the very first time, those early runs are bound to be a bit of a slog. Have faith that it will get easier, your time (and energy level) will improve, and if you keep going, you'll see that finish line appear up ahead.
7. "Hurry up, goldenrod, or you’re going to be a permanent resident!" -- Han Solo
When I started running, I favored a half-mile loop in a local park because I knew I was always no more than a quarter mile from the chance to call it a day. But the same short stretch can be as monotonous as working on a moisture farm on Tatooine, and as I added more miles to each run, I started seeking out quiet roads instead. The thing is, when you start to get tired and you're halfway into a 9-mile training run, the fastest way to get to the finish is to run. Or as a certain X-wing pilot might say...
8. "Stay on target!" -- Gold Five
Map out a training plan that fits your schedule and your experience level, then try to stick with it as best you can. I love early morning runs, but if you aren't an early riser a post-work workout may be a better fit. Or use your lunch break to log some miles.
9. "I'm sure you'll do it this time... Finish the race, of course!" -- Kitster
If you're doubting yourself, you need a friend as uplifting as good ol' Kitster to keep your spirits high. And even if you're as alone as a Jakku scavenger come race day, the course will be lined with cheering bystanders to help keep you going.
10. "Luminous beings are we...not this crude matter." -- Yoda
It comes down to this: Mind over (crude) matter. A long run is a great time to let your mind wander, consider the beauty in your surroundings, or chat with a running buddy. Whatever you do, don't concentrate on how much you don't feel like running and have patience with yourself.
11. "The Sith and the Jedi are similar in almost every way, including their quest for greater power." -- Sheev Palpatine
This is a rival run, isn't it? There's no greater rivalry in the Star Wars saga that the battle between Jedi and Sith. But no matter which side you favor, you and your fellow runners are all headed for the same finish line.
12. "I'm One With The Force. The Force Is With Me." -- Chirrut Îmwe
Getting tired? Busy your mind with a mantra. And finally...
13. "Run, Luke! Run!" -- Obi-Wan Kenobi
Yes! Yes! To Obi-Wan you listen.
Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Do you know a fan who’s most impressive? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver all about them!