You made it out the door for your midweek run, but your feet are dragging. Your legs feel like lead. For no reason, your regular route somehow feels impossible. "I can't even run 6 miles," you find yourself thinking. "How will I ever run 26?"
Before you go down that rabbit hole, remember that hundreds of thousands of people finish marathons each year. The number has nearly doubled in the past decade alone [source: Regenold]. Most of these people are average Joes, not elite athletes. If they can do it, you better believe you can, too.
When negative thinking threatens to derail you in the middle of a run, something as simple as counting your footsteps can distract your inner naysayer. Try to guess how many steps it will take to get to the next lamppost or the end of the block.
Believe you can do it, and there will be no stopping you -- not even when you have to sort through conflicting and confusing training advice. We chase down that topic in the next section.