Since I posted about my “secret marathon goal“, I’ve been feeling a little ridiculous. I’m not important enough to have “secret” goals and the point of blogging is to share these things, right? I guess I thought if I didn’t tell everyone, I wouldn’t have anyone telling me I can’t do it. I don’t wanna hear that. (Although when people tell me I can’t do something, it certainly adds a little fuel to the fire.) I decided to mention it in this interview with Everyday Hero so I guess the cat’s out of the bag. (What does that phrase even mean? Did someone put a cat in a bag once? BE NICE TO ANIMALS.) So, my goal:
Run a marathon under 4 hours.
My PR is 4:38 in the 2013 NYC Marathon.
Let me back up. I “consume” a lot of information. It’s a problem. I spend so much time reading and absorbing content and less time actually DOING things. I love learning. Especially now that I have more free time. (I didn’t even realize this was my problem until watching this video. I’m obsessed with Marie Forleo, by the way. All her videos are helpful and hilarious.)
In my “consumption”, I’ve read lots of stories about people who take hours and hours off their first marathon, but then talk about how they didn’t train for that one and were injured and dragging their leg along and walked the last 15 miles and forgot their GU or whatever and I’m all, “That’s my all-out-running PR on a perfect day and I hate you right now”. While still completely inspiring, these stories never particularly move me because even though I know the runners worked hard, I just couldn’t relate.
So as I was scrolling through Instagram on NYC Marathon day this year, I saw a post from a girl who went from almost my exact PR to a 3:59 in one year. I screen-shotted the text of her post because my mindset IMMEDIATELY changed. I could feel the shift and began thinking if she can do it, I can do it. I asked for some tips and she gave me the exact advice I give when people ask ME for tips: believe, get strong, do quality speed workouts and visualize. That’s literally exactly what I do when I have a goal and I’ve already begun doing this for my next (TBD) marathon. This girl inspired me to believe. I’ve been focusing on getting strong for months now and feel stronger than I ever have. I’ve been running faster. And when I’m having trouble falling asleep, I start visualizing myself perfectly executing a race. That’s usually the last thing in my head at night.
That’s how the seed for Ironman Lake Placid was planted. I saw someone who “looks like me” complete an Ironman. Someone who was a complete beginner. This quiet little voice in my head said “maybe you can do it too” and that was all I needed.
I’ve written about this this a lot; how when someone else accomplishes something, it opens the door for you to believe you can do it as well. And as I remember Ashley yelling to me out the car window while I was running my last Ragnar leg, “The body achieves what the mind believes”.
IT’S SO TRUE.
I’ll need help and time, but I can do this. I can run a sub-4 marathon. I’m surrounded by positive, encouraging people and with my support network, I CAN DO THIS. I know I can.
What’s your big goal? What inspires you?