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Lesson Learned

Hindsight is 2020 they say.   Although after this year, we might need to come up with a new expression because no one wants to remember 2020 but I digress.   It is always so much easier to second guess something after the fact.   To pick it apart.   To dissect.   To play the could of, should of, would of game.   Never helpful.   

I will be honest as you know I always am…… As a runner, I always felt like walking was cheating. Now hear me out, I walked plenty.  Currently, I am not even running but walking every day.  What I really mean is that I wasn’t a good enough runner. There was not one of my 7 marathons that I did not walk during. Some I intentionally trained with walking in mind. That being said, somehow I felt like I wasn’t a real runner because runners don’t walk even if me as a runner did.   Somehow it meant that I didn’t measure up, that I was less of a runner, that I should be better because while I could go the distance, I couldn’t go just running.

My goal besides a 4:30 marathon was to run a marathon where I ran the whole thing. Somehow that would make me more of a “real runner.” I probably would have made both those goals one day but you know the whole Hypoparathyroidism thing.

While I know rationally I know that I was/am a runner. I just always felt like I should have and could have been better. That I wasn’t living up to my potential. Here is the thing…. I probably wasn’t. There is something about the distance of a marathon that gets in your head. I trained and ran NYC Half a sub 2 hour with no problem. It was hard. I pushed myself. I crossed the finish line smiling. Add 13 miles and it is a whole different beast not just physically but mentally.

Seriously.

Each marathon my head was the biggest obstacle.

First Marathon, Philly 2014, was a fluke. I had been training for Runner’s World Hat Trick (5k & 10K one day, next day Half) and rolled into Philly on a whim after one 20 miler. I didn’t know what I was doing. It was hard. I didn’t overthink. I finished 4:46:20. If I had pushed, I could have been under 4:45

Next up was Marine Corps Marathon. This one I trained with a good coach. I was ready right up until I wasn’t. GI issues that I didn’t push through led me to my marathon PR of 4:38:14. This should have been my day, but mentally I didn’t want it enough to make it happen.  I always thought I’d have another day.

Then a trail marathon which I rolled into but loved doing. Probably because there is no pressure or expectations that you are going to run the whole thing. Plus trail races are a whole different vibe and expectations are very different.

2016 was supposed to be my year. Although I had a bump in my training due to a sprained ankle, I still was mostly ready. I could definitely go the distance because I had finished a 50K that year right before marathon training, I ran my sub 2 half, and I ran my 5K PR of 26:26. I was ready to both go the distance and the pace. Right up until I wasn’t. I went out running strong the first half like there was no second half. Once I hit the wall, it was a struggle to keep going but I did. Finishing in 4:56.

After that my thyroid surgery and that called it a day for my 4:30 marathon time. My goals since has just been to go the distance, don’t crash my calcium and cross the finish line. Consistently, my races time wise have been going the opposite of every runners dream…..

2017 Chicago Marathon: 5:48:52

2018 NYC Marathon: 6:10:13

2019 NYC Marathon: 6:20:41

Some might see these as failures. I don’t. I see them as perseverance. The year after my surgery, when I was being treated by the wrong doctor I was actually able to run decent paces. Although it was much harder to keep up for longer distances. The issue was that I was taking too much calcium which while good for things like running, it was bad long term for things like kidneys. So, you know, trade off was not very smart.  Although at the time I did not know that even if my doctor should have which is why he is no longer my doctor.

So here we are now, where I am living in the low calcium range but saving kidneys. In hindsight now I feel like I wasted my before hypopara runs and maybe I did, but there is nothing to be done now. I can only look to the future and learn from the past to plot my course. I’ve been thinking a lot about goals. Goals for now and long term since, you know, there is a lot of time to think right now. This post is already too long to get into. Plus I am still forming, plotting, and kind of waiting for the world to be safe again.

Right now, I feel that the best way I can be a runner is not to run. I am giving my body the break it needs. As I said before I have been walking a minimum of a mile a day since June 21, but usually more.   Other day I walked 6.25 at a brisk pace around 16:10.  Shorter distances I pick it up honing in on my speed walking.  I am embracing walking. I am embracing learning to cut myself some slack and know I am enough just like I am.  I am embracing what ever I do… walk, run, and anything in between is enough.

I realize that when it comes to my running, like most of us, I am harder on myself than anyone else. I also realize that while I may have medical issues, my biggest issue has always been my head. (shocking). That voice telling me I can’t do it with a self fulfilling prophesy so that I don’t. So with this step back, I am learning to trust my body. I am learning what inner voice to listen to and what voice to tell to shut up.  I am learning to be ok with not pushing but also not going easy. Finding the middle ground I so often miss.

It is so easy to get discouraged when we do not reach goals we think we should reach. It is easy to make excuses for why things are the way they are. It is easy to pack it in and call it a day. What is not easy is sticking around when things don’t pan out the way you want. Learning to roll up the hill instead of down. To make lemonade out of lemons.  To just be and be happy with that.

Sometimes when you look at the reality of why things are the way they are, you have to just let it go. You realize that you can’t change how they turned out. You not only have to accept it, but move on from it even if it means letting go. Letting go of guilt.   Letting go of missed opportunities.   Letting go of all that is and has held you back.   In life sometimes you realize what you once thought an important is no longer important to you. Most of all learn from it. Sometimes we have to do it over and over and over again because we did not learn the lesson we needed to learn the first time

 

Welcome to the Tribe

I tease my Mother that she is not a spring chicken anymore.   Truth of the matter is at 73 that she has more strength, endurance and will to push herself than most people half her age.   Some days even me.

She has fire.

My mother is inspiring for many reasons.   I would bet that she has no idea how many people in how many different ways are inspired by her.   By her love of family.   By her faith.   By the way she lives her life.    By the way she sees the best in people.    By the way she lives her life.    Like many, here life has not always been easy and it’s not my story to tell but through it all she has never given up and kept moving forward.

That is how she got running.

Moving forward.   Starting with one step at a time.   Starting with walking.   Then walking and running.    Then setting small goals turning into bigger goals and sticking to it even when it didn’t work out.   She is primed and ready for us to run her first 5K and she knows it won’t be any time soon now.   So rather than put her shoes away, she made a new goal.

She decided she wanted to run 5 miles.   Then she did.

Then she ran 7 miles by mistake the first time but has since done it again and again.

My mother calls me her coach although she doesn’t always listen.   She sometimes does her own thing without telling me till it’s too late, but that is a different story.    While that may be true, I am impressed with her stamina to keep pushing herself.    I give her lots of advice…. Make sure she stretches.   Make sure she rests.   Make sure she pays attention to time on her feet and recovery. Lots of advice that she listens to 80% of the time.

Right now I am actually trying to reign her in because although she is doing great, I do worry that she is going to injure herself as she jumped her miles too quickly (not my advice) and her longer runs can be almost 2 hours.

I need to pay attention to the advice that I give her too.   Although it is always so much easier to give advice than take it.

Anyway today on National Running Day, I wanted to celebrate a new member to the running tribe…. My Mom.

There is no test to take to be a runner.   There is no pace required to be a runner.   There is no distance required to be a runner.    No races that need to be run. The only thing required is that you run and YES… she runs. So I herby decree that she is the Accidentally Running Grandma:)

Running1

It’s Serious Now

Closed

You know the sh*t is serious when they start cancelling races.   Big races.   Little races.  All races.   It usually takes an act of God for that to happen.   We are apparently there now.

Not shocking but somewhat since it’s a month away my Birthday Half Marathon is cancelled.    I am proud of these race organizers from NYRR to those organizing Boston Marathon for making these tough decisions.   While I know people are disappointed, it’s really just running.   It’s not life or death which is really what’s going on in the real world now.

Right now the real world is scary.   You can’t even escape to Disney World anymore because that is closed (not that I was going).  Go to a Broadway Show.  The show is not going on, so nope.   Can’t watch any sporting event (not that I would) because they are all cancelled.    Can’t run a race because that’s cancelled too.   You know what though….. None of that matters.

Seriously.

What matters in life is how you face disappointments.   How you deal with the world when the world is spinning out of control like it is right now.   And again, what is important is not just your health but the health of your loved ones friends, and neighbors.

For me, I’m still running.   I’m still going to follow my training plan.   I’m still preparing to run a half marathon that I won’t actually run, but I could.    For me this race was going to be a fun birthday run, but it was also a way for me to get back to running.   I don’t need to cross a finish line to do that.    All I need is to go out the door and run.

So I will continue to do what I’ve been doing.   I will get my runs in.   I will follow the plan.   I will do what I need to do for no other reason than that is what I want to do.    Isn’t that the reason I was doing this in the first place.   So even without crossing the finish line, it seems like I’ve already accomplished what I set out to do.

Find my joy in running again:)

So while the world is going crazy looking for toilet paper and hand sanitizer and everything is out of your control, remember that what is in your control is how you respond.   When you realize that, you realize that none of the other stuff matters because what happens in life even on a good day is never in your control.   So you just have to roll with it and make the best of it and if you can’t do that just accept it.   Once you can do that everything else will fall into place.

Control

Take the First Step

Getting off the couch is hard.

Staying on the couch is hard.

 If getting off the couch was easy, everyone would do it.    But sometimes, sometimes, sometimes it’s just so damn hard to get off the couch.   The couch is comfy.   The couch is safe.   The couch doesn’t disappoint.    Most of all the couch is what we know.   The couch is easy, safe and comfy.   Although that is a lie too.   The couch isn’t easy, it’s just what we are used to..

Sometimes though it’s not just about physically getting off the couch, but getting mentally off the couch too.   These things usually go hand in hand.  Sometimes you can go through the motions, but your mind just isn’t with you.   Motivation isn’t always there as much as you want it to be.   As much as you will it to be.   The lie your mind tells yourself that it just doesn’t matter.   It doesn’t matter if you go for a run.   It doesn’t matter if you stay.   Nothing matters.   So why bother.

It matters.

What we do in life matters.

How we show up in life matters.

I will say that for someone who has struggled in the past, I do know that how easy it is to listen to the voice that tells you it doesn’t matter.    It comes to you as a friend.   It comes to you as a reason for your struggles.   It comes to you wrapped in lies, but sounding so truthful.   That voice is a lie.   That voice is wrong.    That voice needs to be told to shut the (blank) up.

Easier said than done sometimes.

Taking that first step off the couch in life is hard, but the first of anything in hard.   Once up, you can see the sun shining.  You can feel the wind on your face.   You can see the buds on the trees.    You can see that all those things that told you to stay put, hide your head,  and listen to the lies was just that…… lies.

Take the first step.

You won’t regret it.

first step

 

 

Focus

It’s funny, I’ve noticed that I’ve gotten a few new followers recently.    I’ve got over 300 followers now.   Although truth be told, I would bet that maybe, just maybe, on a good post 5 to 10 people actually read it.    It’s ok, I don’t blame you because we all have busy, complicated lives.    Truth be told, I often write for me as like running it clears the mind.  I’m not sure that what I say is filled with any wisdom or helpful to anyone but me, but I write anyway.    For those who followed thinking they would get expert running advise, I’m sure they realized they came to the wrong blog.   Yet here we are.   You, me and maybe 2 other people.   It’s ok, it’s like meeting a friend for coffee except I’m still in my PJ’s with unkempt hair and slippers.

So often in life we focus on the wrong things and don’t even realize it.   At the time, they seem important and at the time they are, but then something happens in our lives to change that focus.   We focus on the size of our jeans, how fast we can finish a race, following our diets, and so many things that seem like the right thing to focus on……. Right up until we put our glasses on and what is really important comes into foucs.

We should be focusing on things like….. How do I feel in these jeans?    Did I fully enjoy the experience of the race to it’s fullest?    Am I happy with the outcome and if not, why?  Is what we our putting into our mouth nourishing our body and mind and do we full good about it?

Focus…..

Sometimes you are on the right path.   Sometimes the path is expected.   Most often we end up on a path that we never thought we would be on.   The path is hard.   The path is not where you expected to be, yet you are there.    You can stomp your feet and fight tooth and nail that you don’t belong on that path, but that changes nothing.   You can do everything right, but still end up in places that you never thought that you would be.

That is life.

There are no guarantees.

There are no promises.

There is only what is and the acceptance of it.

Fighting to be on a different path will not change the trajectory of the path you are on.    The only way through is to forge ahead.   To face the bumps, the bruises, and the obstacles that fall into your path.    Only then can you get to the other side and from there you can choose a new path to follow.

So to bring this back to my running………

I’ve hit some bumps in my training for my birthday half marathon (yes, that is what I am calling it from now on).   In the whole scheme of things, my training has come to the bottom of my to due list and I am ok with that.

Focus

So with that, I have been running but not necessarily to train but because it is what I needed to clear my mind.    I will get there in April as ready as I will be and I’m ok with that.   Besides, I’ve got time and I will be as ready as I will be and no more.   My goal for the day is to enjoy the day and I’m happy to report that it’s turning into a party as I’ve got some running mama friends joining in too!    This is why I fell in love with running….. Because of the peace of mind it gave me and the strong friendships bonded over the miles.

Focus

focus

 

Just Run

Life is messy.

Life is complicated.

Life has it ups.

It always has it’s downs, but with any luck they don’t last long.

It’s the little things in life that makes up the big things. Often we forget that. We forget that with friends. We forget that with family. We forget that with many things in life including our running. We focus so much on the big goals… The pace, the distance, the races that we forget the important reasons to run.

Going back to basics has been good for me. Not just with my running which has actually improved. Feeling better. Running negative splits not because I was watching the pace, but because my body naturally wanted to run them. Having no expectations and just enjoying running.

Taking this step back has also allowed me to reconnect not just with my body, but why I love running so much. For me, running is a place to clear my mind. To think. To spend time with friends chatting the miles away. I forgot all of that. I forgot that I didn’t start running because I wanted to PR, running set number of miles, or anything except that running was my happy place.

Sometimes you just need a happy place. A place to let your stress go. A place to let tears flow. A place to chat about unimportant and important things with a friend. A place to let your mind wander. Most of all it is supposed to be something that helps alleviate  your stress not add to it. If it adds to it, your doing something wrong.

I was doing it all wrong.

I’m happy to report that I am finally doing it right. I am looking forward to getting out the door again. I am making plans to run with friends again. I am allowing my running to help me destress and not stress me out. I may be running slower that I had been trying to run, but I am also running faster than I thought I would. That being said, I am NOT even remotely looking at my watch when I’m running. Time is not my goal right now. For now, I am running. I am running and that is enough. That is more than enough and all I want.

Life is filled with so much pressure. So much expectations. I am not an elite athlete. I’m never going to be on the podium. To be honest, for now, I have no desire to do more than what I am doing which is…..

To Run.

 

Great Expectations

We all have expectations in life. Great expectations. We all have a vision of how we want our life to be. Expectations are good, but what happens when life doesn’t live up the vision of what we think it should be? This leads to disappoint and sand ness.

All those years ago, actually only 7, when I started on my fitness journey there was no expectations.    I didn’t know what my body could do.   I didn’t know what a good time for an event was.    Hell, I really didn’t know anything….. Except that I wanted to do something.     Because I was starting from zero, I put no expectations on myself.   I jokingly said that my only goal with my first ever race, Iron Girl Sprint Tri, was not to die.   To me that was enough of a goal and anything after that was a win.

There was no… I should hit this many miles. I should hit this pace. I should do this or that for training. I knew nothing, so I expected nothing.

When I ran my first ever half which I signed up for because I was running just to run with my MRTT (Mom’s Run This Town) Mama’s. I was running 8 miles and more just to run them. Then on one run one of the Mama’s, Janna, said, ” You should sign up for the Superhero Half. Your ready for it.”

So I did. I had no expectations. I just showed up for the car ride to the event. While in the car, the seasoned runners spoke of pacing, race strategy, fueling and such. When they asked me mine, I had none. My goal was to finish.

Thanks to Janna who took me under her wing, I finished in 2:09. She knew about pacing and she also knew that I could finish in under 2:10 and she got me there. I just ran when she made me run and had a fun time doing it.I further admit that I didn’t even know that 2:09 would be a good time for a half. To me it was just about running to run and having a good time.

Then something happened, I started putting expectations on my running.   I also became ” a serious” runner.    I learned of pacing, training strategy, and proper fueling and for a while I even had a kick ass coach.   And while I still enjoyed running, it lacked the simplicity of when I first started.  I put expectations on myself and I was able to live up to my expectations right up until I couldn’t which was right after my thyroid surgery left me with Hypoparthyroidism.   And even after I came to terms with that, I still put expectations on myself.   Expectations that I could no longer meet.

You know what? I’m done with expecations! I want to find the joy that I had when I first started running.    I want to stop overthinking, overanalyzing, and just find the joy in allowing my body to do what it can do.   No matter the pace.   No matter the distance. 

The thing that screws us up so much in life is not accepting what we have and being upset it’s not what we think it should be. Sometimes getting out of our own way is the best thing that you can do. Sometimes you have to make a conscience decision to let things go, to reassese, and just allow what is to be enough.

With this thought process, I had picked the Hal Higdon Novice 1 training plan for the NJ Half at Rutgers.   No, I admit, I am not a novice runner; but I want to be.   I want to run with no expectations.   I have been so focused on doing what I thought I should do that I was missing out on what I could do. I am going back to seeing what my body can do.   To discovering where I am today.   And while I may have had this thought in the last 3 years I really have not embraced it in my running.    I am now. 

You know what?….. I’ve been enjoying my 2 training runs so far.   I have just been running to run.   No expectations.   No watching the pace.   Just letting my body decide.   It’s been good.   The runs have felt good.    I have felt good and the bonus is that both runs had negative splits which will not be the expectation nor will it be.  

So I will be happy to run where I am today. Not where I was 3 years ago. Not where I think I should be. Not where other people are. Not about pace. Not about anything, but enjoying where I am at this point and that will be enough.

Rolling With It

Sometimes it feels like life is a ball of yarn that you must keep re-rolling because as time passes it unwinds and gets messy.   As it unwinds, it frays and the dead ends need to be cut off before rewrapping (sorry to my knitters if this is bad analogy).     If you don’t continue to wrap it back up, eventually your yarn will become knotted and unusable. So it’s best to deal with the mess before it’s too late. That’s where I’m at.

Waking up in the morning feeling like you’ve already come back from your run. Needing to be stretched and rolled does not make lacing up your running shoes quick or easy.    That doesn’t make it less necessary.

A mile and a half in and already tingles in the face.    Still working on determining when to take my Calcitriol and calcium because it’s obviously not enough time before I hit the pavement.   Race morning that should not be a problem since I won’t be starting till the 11-ish or later time frame.   I’ve got to work this out and also get morning stomach issues under control.

I feel like I was given hope only to have it taken away.   One of the reasons that I signed up for NYC Marathon as Sandy Hook Promise Runner was because I knew that I was going on Natpara.  Yes, I believe in their cause and am proud to be a runner for them, but I would have supported from the sidelines.    I knew the training would be different than the last year without it.    I knew how hard, frustrating, and exhausting it was without that PTH hormone and I didn’t want to do it all over again.    Now I had no choice to do it all over again, but now in a matter of weeks and not months.

I wonder if I have enough time to get my body used to running without Natpara at the distance I need to be running.   Yes, I’ve done it without Natpara in the past.   The big difference is that I did it from the start.   I had the time to adjust as the weeks went by.   Adjusting and learning what my body needed, when to add calcium, and building up.   Now instead of months to figure this out, I’ve got weeks to get my body and my mind on board.   They are still adjusting.   It’s harder than it should be both mentally and physically.   Knowing that does not make it easier.

Yes, I’ve got the base.   I can look on the bright side and know that for most of the training cycle that I had what I needed and could get the runs in.   I was even running at a pace that I was happy with again.   I didn’t think it would be my marathon pace, but I was doing alright.   Now in these next few weeks as I’m still adjusting my meds, I have to do what I have to do.

What I have to do is train where I am at today.   The bottom line is…. What choice do I have because I’m not quitting.   That is not an option.    To be totally honest with myself is that there is really not much that is going to keep me from the start line.   So with that said I better buckle up and go in trained the best that I can and know that it is going to be a bumpy ride.

I’m going into this marathon trained not as I should be, but as I can be.   It will be enough.   It has to be enough.   There is no other option

Doubt is the killer of all dreams……

And while this above statement is true, there comes a point where you have to face what the doubts are telling you   Running without Natpara, the PTH hormone, and dealing with that loss.  Knowing that I have to adjust expectations, training, and goals. Wondering if I will have what I need to get to the finish line.   Knowing that there isn’t much that will keep me from it either.

Training will be what it will be.   If your looking for tips on how to train for a marathon, this isn’t it.   But having already done 6 marathons, I am comfortable saying that I know I can adjust.   Maybe I walk more that I should although who determines how much “should” is.   I will do what I can and no more.

Who knows maybe I will surprise myself.

I’m Ok, Are you?

I admit that I have not yet seen Brittney Runs a Marathon…. YET!

I admit that I love the trailer! I can’t wait to see it and am planning a girls night out with my Moms Run This Town Running friends. Runners LOVE, LOVE, LOVE running stories…. We love to watch them. We love to read about them. We love to tell them. I can’t wait for this movie.

It looks very cute to me. Maybe a little bit like your typical rom com type movie, but with a running twist. Since I love running stories and also rom com’s this seems like a win win situation. I must also admit that per the trailer it reminds me a bit of me. I still remember after turning 40 when I told my husband that I was going to sign up for a Sprint Triathlon after not doing any type of exercise for years and his response was….. “Well maybe you should get off the couch first” but in a loving way. Besides it’s all good and they don’t call the program I used the Couch to 5K for nothing.

Anyway,   very excited about this movie and then I read a Runner’s World article (What ‘Brittany Runs a Marathon’ Gets Wrong About Running While Fat)…..

Hmmmm…..

I’ve been dealing with this since I started running.   I started running to get back into shape.   To take my life back after birthing 3 babies.    When I started my youngest was in Kindergarten and I claimed it the Year of Me.   And while I did get into shape, I did not necessarily look like I got into shape.    I did initially loose weight, but after my thyroid surgery I gained 20 pounds.   It is what it is.

I am healthier  (not counting the whole Hypopara thing)

I am more fit.

I no longer get winded going up the stairs.

I have more endurance (remember I was able to run a 50K running for 7 hours)

Yet……

With all of this every year when I go to my doctors for my annual physical, she looks at the numbers.

Cholesteral – Really good

Blood Pressure – Awesome

Health Questionare – great answers

Weight – What the Hell

I switched doctors once after my previous one told me that “a women your age, should have small breakfast, salad for lunch, and a protein shake for dinner since metablalism slows as you age.” Yeah, I get that whole metabolism thing stopping, but No thank you. Besides, it’s really hard to train for a marathon if you are not properly fueling.

My current doctor at least looks at the whole picture. She knows the numbers don’t tell the full story. Plus my weight minus the bump after my surgery has pretty much remained stable. On top of that…. Have you seen has muscular my legs are? lol

Told you:)

Here is the thing…. Would I like the number on the scale to be lower?   Sure.   I’m not going to lie.    Does that mean I am unhappy with myself?   Not really.    I don’t let my weight define me.   It is what it is and I’m ok with that.   If I wasn’t, I would do something about it.   So what I would say running has done for me is to give me the confidence to know (for me at least) size doesn’t matter.    And for anyone who will judge me personally, professionally, or in my running by my size……

Well they probably aren’t someone I would be hanging out with anyway

You Can’t Hide From You

We all do it. Have our moments when we are by ourselves and think…. No one is around. I can….. eat the cookie, drink from the cereal bowl, stay in my PJ’s all day, skip a workout, ect, ect…..

Most of the time what we do in private is our business and it doesn’t matter. That being said, often what we do when no one is watching is more imporatant than when you have an audience.

Easy case in points….. Making sure that someone notices you giving a big tip, doing a good deed but making sure everyone knows you did it, being an ass to someone who can’t say anything back because you can, playing the martyr to anyone willing to listen but leaving your part of the story out. This also holds true to training.

What we do in private is our own business. Everyone has their own thing. Focused on their own goals as it should be. Everyone has to stay true to themselves, their goals, their expectations and just focus on doing what they need to do. Just do it. Do what you can. What you’ve trained to do with no doubt.

The problem arises when people aren’t true to themselves or their training. Anyone can make a training run look spectacular if you stop your watch every time you stop, walk, or take a break. While the miles may get done, it does not give true sense of what you can do or prepare you for where you are going. For some this leads to pressure to perform on a given race day for a performance that you might not be ready for. For some this may lead them to cross lines that shouldn’t be crossed and cheat. In the end though, they really are only cheating themselves out of seeing what they really can do..

Training isn’t usually glamorous. Training isn’t usually all that fun. It is hard. It isn’t always easy and honestly if it’s easy then you aren’t training hard enough. Truth be told, sometimes you just don’t want to do it. (Sounds fun, right?) But the truth is that no one suffers from short changing your training than you. Only you can be honest with your effort, your outcome, and knowing if you pushed when you needed to push. Not your friends. Not your running group. Not the crowds. The only thing that can push you to both train and cross the finish line is you. It comes from a place deep inside. Internally. If you wait and need external motivation to get you there, you will fail.

Now I’m not saying that external forces can not be motivating, because they can be. The crowds of NY can carry you in ways that someone who has never experienced running a marathon can never understand. That being said, when you are out running a 50K in the woods, there tends to not be any crowds to carry you and even during a road race there are solitary places. There certainly aren’t any crowds to carry you through training. This is why every runner, every athlete, needs to find their inner voice. They need to find their why?

Everyone has their own why. Everyone has their own reasons. Some have more than one reason.

When you push yourself to run when you don’t feel like it….To run faster, farther, and for longer than you want without the crowd, without the finish line, without the medal; you are better for it. You are a better runner. You erase doubts. You gain confidence in yourself and your abilities. Because the biggest truth is if you can’t do it when no one is looking, it will be almost impossible when everyone is.

So find your Why? Find your inner voice. Do what you know not only needs to be done, but what you know you can do if you allow yourself to do it. When I started training this cycle, I had my doubts. I had trouble completing 3 miles. I’ve been plugging away. Then last night, I noticed something. I ran my 5 miles and could have kept going. I felt good. I felt confident. This is what training does not just to the body, but to the mind.

Keep doing you.