These are the same mantras I apply to running. Whether I need to talk myself into finishing the last two miles of a 20-mile run or to keep myself at "sprint speed" in a 4-mile race, I rely upon my previous mental training to pull me through. This doesn't explain how I have managed to excel at this running business so quickly--I never achieved this sort of success in swimming, and I put in equal, if not more effort there--but perhaps I have stumbled upon a sport where I am lucky enough to possess a "natural gift."
In any event, all this speculation arises due to the results of my latest race, a 4-miler which took place this past Saturday. It was wicked-hot: 86F high for the day, with 94% humidity. I had run miserably slow runs all week long, so I didn't expect to do particularly well, but I gave it my all and somehow I pulled out a 7 min/mile pace by some odd fluke. If you'd like to see ranking results, you can check them out here.
Note: There were 207 female participants in my age group. By some weird happenstance, that puts me in the top 10% of 20-24 yr-old finishers!