I’m not a magician. I think the Lord has blessed me with the gift of running but I don’t think it is because I am now a 3:13 marathoner. I think I was blessed when I ran a 4:20, a 4:56. Running is a gift no matter what your pace is.
I share so many of my ups and downs, the mistakes I made and the ones I didn’t make, because I want you to avoid making the same ones. I want you to take what I have learned in the past 8 years over 17 marathons and countless other races and find something that will help you in your running. Maybe that thing helps you get faster. Maybe that is not your goal and something I write about helps you appreciate your gift more. Whatever it is, I find joy in the success’s of other.
I’m a humble person. I don’t like bragging.
I am however unapologetically my biggest cheerleader. If I don’t believe in myself how can anyone else? At mile 22 of a marathon, no one can drag me to the finish except myself. No one can push through the pain for me. If my mind was weak, as it has been in past races, then I crash. When I know in my heart I am worth it – then I can talk myself out of the negativity that arises.
There are years of my life I hated myself. I hated my body. I only saw a fat girl in the mirror. I saw a girl that I felt like no one liked. When I look in the mirror now – I see a girl who is confident, a girl who doesn’t care if people don’t like her. I am breaking the cycle of self loathing. I will be happy for my daughter so she grows up to be confident and strong, loving the body God gave her.
The question I get asked most is how I got faster. It seems logical. One of the many reasons I’m sure people read blogs is to figure out how someone else did something that you want to do.
I don’t think dropping my time from a 4:20 in 2003 to a 3:13 in 2011 was magic. I don’t think I am any more talented than anyone else. You can achieve your goals!
I applied the science and hoped that my fitness level would follow. I believed and I worked hard.
When I was a 4:20 marathoner I said if I ever go under 4:00 hours I will die a happy person. I went under 4. Then I said if I ever Boston Qualify, then I will die a happy person. I BQ’ed. Then I said I wanted to go under 3:30 and I could die a happy runner. I ran 3:21.
I now realize there is no time that will ever be enough. I will always strive for better. Whatever that may be. It may be a faster time. It may mean something else. There is never a point where I will stop having goals.
I had wanted to complete a 1/2 Ironman for my 30th birthday. As I near this birthday I realized that it is not me. I only wanted to do a 1/2 Ironman to say I had done it. My heart wasn’t in it. I cannot swim, I am afraid of the bike. I RUN.
Your heart needs to be in the marathon if you want to improve. It’s okay to do them to say you did them, but if you really want to commit to them you need to make sure you are doing it for the right reasons for you. I’m pretty sure I will never do a 1/2 Ironman. That’s okay. I’m still worth it.
If your heart is in it then apply the science and the times will follow. What works for others may not work for you – you have to figure out how best to apply things to your body. It takes time and patience. That is what the marathon is all about.
Remember at the beginning of the summer how I was scared about how I would train with three kids? Remember when I bought a triple running stroller for $75?
That’s how I got faster. I pushed three kids all summer long. I didn’t make excuses of why I like running alone better. I did what I had to do. By the end of the summer I was hitting my training paces while pushing 130 lbs of stroller and kids. I took the hand that God had dealt me and rather than letting self doubt creep in and make excuses why it was too hard to train for a PR with three kids. I just did it.
I found my strong. It was there all along. Thank you Chloe, Miles and Colton. I am who I am because of you.
Thank you ALL for all your sweet words on my post yesterday! Thank you for cheering me on. Thank you for believing in me. I just can not even begin to explain how thankful I am for this blog and all the wonderful people I have had the opportunity to get to know a little because of it.