Had I known eleven months ago what I know today, I can't help but wonder what would have happened during my first BQ or Bust attempt.
I knew that training to run a 3 hour 30 minute marathon was going to be exceptionally difficult physically. But I wasn't prepared for how hard it was going to be mentally. Just this past weekend, I had my last shorter long run (I say that delicately because I know a 14 mile long run for some of us is insanely far. But when you're 4 weeks out from a marathon that you've been working towards for 11 months, 14 miles is a welcome relief from 20 miles. Distance, pace... it's all relative.) I was planning to run with my friend Jeanie who is not only a strong runner but she always helps me believe in myself.
Last week, Jeanie told me that she wanted to run 8 minute miles and immediately, I caught myself defining myself. I didn't think I could run a normal long run that fast so I said that I would stay with her as long as I could. And then I actively worked towards having a good attitude about it. 11 months ago...hell, even 2 months ago, I would have panicked. I would have allowed this fear of "I can't do that" and "that's terrifying" to keep me up at night. And then I'd feel like crap because I'd scare myself out of trying.
I see this all the time, both in myself and from the emails that get sent to me from readers, even though we put in the work, the hardest part about climbing self doubt mountain is believing in ourselves. To not only say, "I don't know if I can do this but I'm going to try" but then take the next step to say and believe, "I don't know if I can do this but I've worked my ass off to get here so I bet I can".
Why is it so difficult to trust that our training is actually preparing us? That's why we do it, right? To build the strength and confidence necessary to kick ass and take names?
I hate that I struggle to believe in myself. This entire training process, Josh has been trying to find a way to make me care more. And after I ran the New York City Half Marathon this past March and couldn't care enough to push the final two miles to run sub 1:40, he told me that he wished that that would make me angry. Because it was frustrating that I didn't care more. And I was a little disappointed, but he was right, I wasn't caring enough.
But watching myself actively work to not believe in myself, that pisses me off more than any failed BQ attempt or missed goal. Because at the end of the day, if there is one thing I know how to do, it's believe in myself. My livelihood depends on it. My heart and soul depend on it. Listening to myself doubt whether or not I believe in myself lights a fire under my ass like non other.
No more pity parties. No more giving in to uncertainty.
It's no longer fake it until you become it. Because I know I can. I've done the work. I've seen the progress. Now I have to trust that I'm there.
Try it with me.
No regrets, no excuses.