September 06, 2013

'Stronger Than Every Fear'

Kind of the best quote ever (taken from

"the real victory isn't the act of smashing through the tape and crossing the finish line; it's not seeing your name first on the list or standing on the highest step on the podium. this is not what makes your legs shake with fear and excitement. victory, the real victory, is what is deep down inside each one of us. it's what we can't believe will ever happen despite all the training and will on our part, and yet it is finally what happens. despite all the thinking and brandishing of calculators, after so many hours of preparation, after so many days of training, of telling ourselves that we can win - or simply finish the race - it is as if something in our unconscious is constantly telling us that it is impossible, that it would be too wonderful, too brilliant, too incredible for it to become reality. that what we want to achieve is only a dream. and when you cross the line, when you look behind and see that it is real, that you are flesh and blood, and that what seemed possible only in dreams has become real, you realize that that is the true victory"

-Killian Jornet (25 years old, amazing runner and athlete, and far wiser than I'll ever be)

Killian puts into words what I have not been able to comprehend myself.

The other day when I was recreating my training plan to reflect training by time instead of by miles, I got into this crazy zone of calculating paces and minimums and if I ran this fast for this many miles, I would build in this much cushion time before the cutoff....

You can seriously drive yourself crazy doing that.

And, while I thought I was helping myself at least feel like I could finish the race, as a friend told me and I couldn't quite see right away, I am actually hurting myself.

Even consciously, I seem to be constantly telling myself that this is impossible. It would be too wonderful to finally finish this distance. Too brilliant that my training and hard work would actually pay off. Too incredible for my body to accomplish this and have my dream of finishing a 50 miler become reality.

I'm struggling to have faith in myself (the irony of the blog title 'Diary of a Badass' is not lost on me at this moment...seeing as I usually cannot convince myself that I am actually a badass). I am notoriously hard on myself for workouts and bad running performances and I've kind of built in this negativity towards myself with fitness. 'I'm not strong enough. Oh sure, you sound impressed that I can do this distance, but let me detail to you how unimpressive it really is and how weak I actually am.' I'm SO good at that.

Someone will say, 'WOW! You did a 50K? That's a lot of K's!'

And I'll say in response, 'Yeah...well, I finished, but it took me 10 hours, and I wanted to quit the whole time. Actually, the only reason I finished was because I met this new friend and she pushed me to the finish line. I didn't really it's not that impressive. Anyone can walk that far...'

When someone pays me a compliment, in two seconds flat I am talking them out of it. Giving reasons and excuses as to why they shouldn't say that about me. It's one thing to be's another thing to be completely pessimistic about yourself. And unfortunately, I'm always the latter.

I often use the fact that I walk during my runs, or that I'm a back of the packer to justify my negative view of myself as a runner and athlete.

Yes, I run at a 12:30 pace, but I can carry myself through 31 miles. I should be proud of that.

Like they say:

I really love this one:

I say AMEN to that one. I think I need it poster size, hung up all over work and the house so I can have a constant reminder. I have had so many days/moments since starting my training for this fifty miler where I have just wanted to throw in the towel. It is not easy to train for a fifty mile trail race. It's made even harder when you have a constant bad attitude.

So, I need to let all my fears go about not being fast enough and missing a cutoff or my body falling apart. One of the great things about ultras is that they are unpredictable. You can do everything in your power to prepare, but you never know what the day will throw at you.

I'm going to stop beating myself up. I'm going to do my best. And it's going to be good enough for me.

After all...I just need to K.I.S.S.

(keep it simple, stupid). Running is just putting one foot in front of the other.

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