She Believed She Could, So She Did


Like many in the Northeast training for a spring marathon, I’m waving the white flag.

Snow. Ice. Freezing temps. Nonexistent pavement. School cancellations. More snow. More ice. Less pavement. More cancellations. They have all made training really, really difficult.

I have had the added benefit of running a mini-hospital for the past few weeks. (Poorly, I might add. I’m no nurse. But I have Lysol’ed everything in this GD house that doesn’t have a beating heart and gotten used to delivering meals on trays.) We went to Mt. Tremblant for our February vacation a few weeks ago. I highly recommend it to anyone who is healthy.

My youngest got a fever of 103 the first night we were there and then we all fell like dominos. I spent a week with fever and chills in a lovely condo with a stunning view. As did the rest of my family. We cut the trip short when my two boys started coughing like lifelong smokers (they’re not) and headed home for antibiotics.

In the 2 weeks since we returned, we have had TWO DAYS where no one in the house was sick. They were just finishing up their antibiotics when someone brought home the stomach bug going around school. The past week has involved a lot of laundry.

I can’t even put down in writing how lame my training for Boston has been because I will have a panic attack on the spot. ON THE SPOT. I almost feel like I need to write a letter of apology to the BAA for not taking their race seriously enough. But I have! I swear I have been doing my best, but this winter has been tough. Weather, kids’ sports schedules, illness and the short days have not been kind to my training. See, I’m already writing my letter.

Illness and snow this week made my midweek runs shorter than I had hoped. I had plans to run 20 on Sunday to gain a bit of confidence, if nothing else. And then I was grazed by the stomach bug on Friday-Saturday. And then I spent most of Saturday night awake with a vomiting child. Watching Nick at Nite during the wee hours holding a bucket is not how I usually prepare for a long run.

I woke up at 6:15 on Sunday (which I quickly realized was 7:15 thanks to the F&*%*&% time change) and decided just to go for it. It would be slow. It would not be my finest long run. But I believed I could make it through.

Got dressed, ate, put on my Garmin and it crapped out on me. Fully charged. I have long suspected that my Garmin hates me and now I’m convinced.

Now it became a quest. I thought I knew a route that should end up being around 20 miles, and rather than screw around trying to fix my Garmin, I decided just to go.

I’m so glad I did.

The first mile was a little shaky. I still didn’t feel 100%. But I kept “I can do this” at the front of my mind and tried to push all the other stuff to the way back.

Around 2 miles in, I relaxed. I literally felt the tension leave my body. What was I stressed about? I love running. When I’m sad or tense, it makes me feel better. When I’m happy, it makes me happier. Getting ready, I was thinking of it like a chore. It’s not. While every second might not be easy or comfortable, I LOVE running. It’s what I do.

The roads were still pretty snowy and icy but the air – the air is changing! Spring is coming – I can smell it and feel it. The temps were really comfortable and it was nice to run with less layers. I felt so light. So happy to be outside.

And I did my 20. Slow, but steady. Got home and mapped it, and it was 20.25. Right on the button of what I wanted to do. Was it my fastest run? No way. Was it my strongest run? No. But I did it. And I felt pretty freaking happy about it afterward.

I believed I could, so I did.

It’s the same mantra that carried me the last 6 miles of Philly, and hopefully will carry me through whatever Boston throws my way. I believe I can, so I will.

Do you ever dread a long run only to start it and wonder what the hell you were stressing about? Anyone else tackle anything they’re pretty proud of lately? C’mon, Brag to us. You know you want to.

12 thoughts on “She Believed She Could, So She Did

  1. Life is a marathon. And a sprint. and all the other things. You have to believe. I knew that I had a BQ in me, but I didn’t know if I could do it at Phoenix. Erica believed in me, she got me started, then I believed, and I did.
    Kudos my friend. KU FREAKING DOS

  2. I don’t know how you east coasters do it. The fact that you’re still running is absolutely amazing and truly admirable. You’re going to do great regardless of feeling like you’re not adequately prepared. You’ve got heart sister!

  3. Thanks, Helly! I think we are still doing because…we have no choice. And as much as we complain, we are kinda used to the crazy weather. If I do well at this race, it will be more due to heart & head, so I need to get working on them, too. And my expectations aren’t crazy – I’m not expecting to PR or BQ. But it’s an important race to me, one I might never run again, and I want to be able to look back and feel like I ran it well.

  4. Total beast mode. I could never have run 20 miles on such short sleep. But you’re right–the weather IS changing! It’s supposed to be in the 40’s here ALL WEEK! Hooray for outdoor running!!!

  5. Nice job, getting out there (Despite all the set backs!) I love hearing success like this; brings a smile to my face! I signed up for a 20 mile trail race that takes place mid-April, and have been taking it easy (aka: not running enough -1x/week of 3 miles does not cut the mustard) with training, when my friend reminded me we only had 5 weeks until the race. (GULP!) So, I sucked it up and we went out and did 15 miles. I was unprepared, unsure my body would hold up, afraid my knee would hurt from the IT Band tightness I usually have issues with, but low and behold, 15 miles later, sun shining brightly, I finished. And felt only a little sore the rest of the weekend. This weekend, 13 – next weekend will be 17. Yep. I’m a runner. I can do this!

    • You sure can! Good for you for getting out there and getting it done. Love it. And love that you felt so good afterward. You are a runner for sure! GL with the remaining long runs and the race!

  6. This is exactly how I felt about my 18 last weekend. I was totally dreading it and I decided to just relax, take my time, and do the best that I could. And it was pretty great! I’m going to need to remember your mantra in two weeks when I go for my first 20!

  7. I can totally relate, training in the northeast for a 20 mile race. Started training with a chest cold and then a head cold (total of 6 weeks) then the crap weather and now 12 days before my race and I’m coming down with my husbands cold. Yay!

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