Saturday, October 6, 2012

You can, if you BELIEVE you can- Marathon/Ultrarunning

These pictures were taken today on my favorite road route
The route is around Crystal lake. This story is my thoughts I had
during today's run.
Random conversation that makes me smile- I was chatting with my daughter sharing my wish that I could run Mogollon Monster 100. My husband and I had hiked these trails on a road trip a few years ago and it is beautiful. The course has big climbs and its at a high altitude. Very different conditions than I have ever done.  I told Tasha I wish I could run it but I don't know if I can. It may be to hard for me. She just looked at me in disbelief and sternly said, "well if you keep talking like that you won't be able to". My 12 year old daughter was right. My Dad lives near Mogollon Monster and he said he would crew for me. I'll keep this on my bucket list. If I do what is needed in training I can finish this race one day.

I love running in the fall months. After the hot summer training the cool weather makes the runs feel fast and easy. October always make me think back to when my "running life" began, 5 years ago training and running the Chicago Marathon. I would have never guessed that this simple decision would be so life changing. I had grown up my entire life believing I could not run. I had tried a few times but had failed miserably.

I love running now and I especially love all the people I have met because of it. It has been beneficial to my entire family. My husband took up the sport and enjoys going to races with me. My daughter (age 12) has grown an interest to trail running. This has allowed her to have something in her life that helps define her and make her in to a confident young lady.

I didn't begin my "running life" as a natural, in fact I did not like training at all. It was going to take me believing in myself before it was going to work. I slugged through all my runs, lonely, because my lack of confidence kept me from training with anyone.  I started by running 1 mile...then 2 miles...I very clearly remember the first time I made it to 3 miles. I thought I would die. I wanted to quit so bad but I forced myself to keep moving forward. It was not fast. In fact I remember being a little worried a walker would pass me and that would be really embarrassing. I finished that 3 mile run but I still did not believe in myself. My non belief was really making training tough.

View from the road during my lake run

Today I ran around Crystal Lake (it's an actual Lake). A 4.3 mile run. Back in 2007 it took me a long time to gather up the courage up to attempt running around Crystal Lake. I don't know what I thought would happen if I tried and didn't make it. I would have to walk...uh... so what? But for some reason I didn't try for a long time.  When I finally did, it made me feel pretty good. I thought to myself, "Wow...I ran around an entire Lake".  This was a tiny victory for me, it would take a little more convincing for me to BELIEVE I was a runner. I used the Hal Higdon Marathon training program. I finished all my runs but still went into race day unsure of myself. It takes a long time to get rid of a life long belief that you are incapable of something.

Chicago marathon day came, I don't think I have ever been that nervous in my life. Would I be able to make it to the finish line? What would happen if I didn't? How hard was this going to be? I started the race with the 30,000+  runners and before I knew it I was having fun! Training worked. It was easy. This was the first run I truly enjoyed. The crowds were amazing, I soaked in the Chicago sights, I felt healthy! I was so happy, I was a runner! I finished my marathon and for the first time I believed that I was a runner.

Now I can dream big- When I run around Crystal lake it is now a short run to me. I only get nervous now when I'm doing speed work. But I love that kind of nervous. During my run today I was planning my upcoming races in my head. The cool weather and beautiful sights made it easy to visualize a successful race. I'm training for Rock n Roll Arizona marathon, January 20th and have a goal of qualifying for Boston Marathon. I believe I can. I also thought about my BIG race for 2013. A 100 mile race. I have been working for a few years trying to figure out how to run a 100 mile race well. I've had quite a few finishes but I haven't had my dream race yet.Where everything goes perfect. I believe I can. It's so crazy, 5 years I am...dreaming of running my perfect 100 mile race and really believing it is going to happen for me.

When I start my run at Lippold this is the view I see from
the parking lot. I love how it changes through the seasons.


  1. Interesting how running takes us down paths more varied than the ones we run upon; how the physical becomes secondary to the mental aspects. I know you can do Mogollon if you prepare like you know you need to. Best wishes my friend!

  2. Well said Mac. 2013 isn't going to be my year for Mogollon because I already have my eye on another race around the same time of year. Every race/run I do helps build the mental confidence to get me there. I will.