July 27, 2011

For they conquer, who believe they can.

"You also need to look back, not just at the people who are running behind you but especially at those who don't run and never will...those who run but don't race...those who started training for a race but didn't carry through...those who got to the starting line but didn't get to the finish line...those who once raced better than you but no longer run at all. You're still here. Take pride in wherever you finish. Look at all the people you've outlasted." - Joe Henderson

I've been in a rut, there's no denying that. I've tried changing the route, running with friends, buying new gear, slowing down, speeding up...nothing has been making a difference.

I would like to believe that every runner encounters a rut at some point in their life. If you haven't, count your blessings and share your secret please.

The thing about being in a running rut is that when this started weeks and weeks ago, it wasn't SO bad. I figured I would just lay down one or two solid runs and be back on track. After consecutively bad runs, my confidence started to take a serious beating. It's as if I'm standing in the middle of a field with a shovel, digging and digging myself deeper, and no one is around to pry the shovel from my hands.

Yesterday I was slotted for 4 miles, and then a 100min run with a friend. One day I will make hindsight my mistress. The four miles became three on the Custis Trail, so I was tired before the 100min even began. I tried cooling off in the car before the next phase, restocked my water...but it wasn't enough. What was supposed to be potentially 11 or so miles turned into barely 7. With a good amount of walking.

Needless to say (I'm not so ashamed to admit it...especially since I think I already told everyone that actually reads this anyway), when we parted ways I got into the car, sent one text message to my nola bf, and subsequently started sobbing....the entire car ride home. Then I sucked it up enough to get inside so as not to frighten my roommate, shut the door to my room and cried throughout my entire shower. Pity party much?

The thing is, I'm not scared I won't finish the marathon. I just keep disappointing myself, and I'm afraid that will soon translate to disappointing others. My running confidence has hit rock bottom, and it's hard to convince myself that a run will go well before I even lace on my shoes. How am I supposed to be there for friends on their brand new running journey and convince them that they are completely capable, when I am having such a difficult time convincing myself?!

A friend shared this quote with me yesterday, and while it undoubtedly refers to an Ironman race, I would like to think it can apply.

Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.

Sept 18: Philly Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon
Oct 15: Baltimore Relay
Oct 23: VA Tough Mudder
Oct 30: Marine Corps Marathon
Nov 20: Fountainhead Trail Race
Dec 3: DC Hot Chocolate 15k
Mar 17: DC Rock'n'Roll Marathon
May: DC Tough Mudder

Impossible is nothing.


  1. steph you can do this and you will get through the rut. no stressing out...remember the GOOD runs :) you finished a half marathon! go back to your blogs about the good runs (not the bad). running mental and you need some good thoughts :) use a key word or phrase like "you can do this" or "i'm strong" or "i rock" or "running is good for me." Just keep going :) try to relax....stop running for miles or time....JUST RUN for FUN :) seriously :) it'll come back :) it does for all of us :)



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