Suck it up, Buttercup

Last week was tough.  It made me really wonder if I have a faster marathon in me.  It made me wonder if I’m actually capable of doing it.  It made me wonder if I even want to do it.  It made me wonder why I’m running another marathon, why I run marathons at all, and why I even run at all.  The words for the week were frustration and doubt.

I think once self doubt starts creeping in, everything else falls apart.  I got last week’s schedule, saw my Wednesday workout and immediately thought, I can’t do that.  Mistake one.  Once you decide you can’t do a workout, you basically give yourself permission to quit.  The workout was:

3 mile EASY warm up

3 mile tempo @ 6:50‘s

.5 mile easy jog

2 mile tempo 6:30‘s

2.5 mile cool down

Now, the reality is that I CAN do this workout.  Dino doesn’t pull the paces he gives me from thin air, he bases them on recent race times and workouts.  I can do that workout.  I CAN do that workout.  But guess what?  I didn’t finish that workout.  I decided I wanted to do it on the treadmill because there’s no good flat route from my house and I thought I should avoid hills as much as possible if I had a chance of hitting those paces.  But all morning I kept telling myself how much I hate doing longer intervals on the treadmill.  Mistake two.  I got on the treadmill and did a 2.5 mile warm up and then wanted to get on with it and started my three tempo miles.  I made it 2.5 miles in the upper 6:50’s and then did .5 easy.  Started my next 2 tempo miles at 6:40, made it 1.5 miles and then did .25 easy.  Was going to do another mile, made it .5 miles at 6:27 and called it a day.  Cooled down for 2 miles and swore off running forever!

The next few days were really difficult.  I felt defeated.  Frustrated.  I felt like giving up.  And then I got a little tough love from Coach.  I told him I didn’t think that I could do it and that we needed to rethink my goal for Boston.  His response:

Keys to Tara’s success: 1. You need to suck it the hell up. 2. Run easy when I tell you to run easy, my easy, not yours! 3. Run hard when I tell you to run hard, because you can.

He’s right.  This is a hobby.  It’s not a job.  I don’t have to do it.  So either do it or don’t, but SUCK IT THE HELL UP.

I’ve been reading Marathon Man about Bill Rodgers, 4 time Boston and 4 time New York champ.  I’m really enjoying the book.  One of the interesting thing about him is that the first two times he ran Boston he dropped out.  And after a bad run in New York and nearly dropping out, he considered giving up the marathon, thinking he might just not be a cut out for racing 26.2 miles.  This was BEFORE he went on to win Boston and New York 4 times each.  It made me realize that everyone doubts themselves, even the greats.  Everyone wonders if they’re good enough.  If goals were easy, they would be a whole less satisfying when we finally met them.  Goals should scare us a little.  They should be hard.  Attainable, but only with work and dedication.  I saw a quote this morning that resonated with me:

Never let your desire to improve undermine your confidence in the hard work you’ve done.

I need to stop worrying about what I will or won’t run in April.  It doesn’t matter.  A year ago this week, I found out my foot was broken and needed surgery.  A month from today I will be a year out from surgery.  I went from not being able to run at all to a marathon in 6 months.  I’ve worked hard.  I continue to work hard.  And at the end of the day, I need to trust in my training and believe in myself.


So, yesterday I ran a super low key running club 10k.  There were no bibs or timing chips.  It only cost $2 to run.  It was on a partly paved, partly very muddy trail.  I had an idea of what I hoped to run, but decided just to run.  Run because I can, because I enjoy it, because I feel more like me when I’m running.  I finished in 42:33.  I had hoped to run under 42.  But at the end of the day, I’m happy.  I came in 10th, first female.  I can’t say that I’ve totally found that self confidence I used to have, when I believed 100% that I could run a sub 3 marathon.  But I’m working on it.  It’s part of the game.  Some weeks you feel great, it feels easy and you have no problems seeing yourself blowing your goal out of the water.  Other weeks it feels hard, you question yourself and your abilities.  Winning is getting out there no matter how you feel.  Saying this isn’t my best week, but I’m going to do it anyway.


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