I Think I Can

Tomorrow I will run 12 miles.

At mile 2 you will say, “Your foot hurts; do you want to injure it again?”

I will think about my injury two years ago. I will remember that I ran the marathon anyway. I will keep running.

At mile 5 you will say, “Your lungs are burning; at least slow down.”

I will remember that I quit smoking four months ago. I will breathe deeply. I will keep running.

At mile 7 you will say, “You’re tired; just walk for a minute or two.”

I will take a gel. I will drink some Gatorade. I will keep running.

At mile 10 you will say, “You’ll never make it to 12. Just quit now.”

I will recall running 26.2. I will tell myself 2 is nothing. I will keep running.

Today I am resting, recovering, preparing.

Because tomorrow I will run 12 miles, no matter what you say.

You are the voice inside my head. Tomorrow I will prove you wrong.



This morning I found myself all choked up because it’s a “rest” day. If you are a runner, you know that rest days are tough psychologically. Your body needs to recover, but your mind wants to be out on that trail. I’m planning to take my last long run before my half marathon tomorrow, and I’m all over the place emotionally. Training has been going really well until this week. I’ve had some pretty crappy runs over the past few days, and I know it’s because I’m all up inside my head and scared to death of failing.

If you follow this blog, you know this race matters a lot to me. If not, here’s the back story: I ran the Chicago Marathon two years ago with an injury. My time sucked, but I finished. The following year, I signed up again but never started training. I cheered my husband on from the sidelines and swore I was done with racing. This year I quit smoking and needed a new, healthy addiction, so I signed up for two half marathons, the first of which is in 11 days. I’m happy to be doing what I love. I’m stronger and faster after having given up smoking. But that voice inside my head? She is as loud as ever. Wish me luck tomorrow. I’m hoping I can shut her up for good — or at least for 12 miles.

12 thoughts on “I Think I Can

  1. I want to say something like, I know you can do it, you will be amazing. Because you can, and you will.

    But what I am going to say is, I know, and I understand. I have been there more times than I can count. I have doubted my training, doubted my ability to do what I have been preparing to do, and felt like I couldn’t run another step. I have had an absolutely terrible three mile run three weeks before a race and been scared to death that the race would go just as badly. I know, just like you do, that most of this is mental, but is doesn’t make it less real and less terrifying. The best we can do is run through the fear and the doubt, because we’re runners, and running is what we do when we don’t know what else to do. Be fierce. Kick ass. I’ll be thinking about you.

    • Sam, can I just tell you that you are awesome? This was exactly what I needed to read today: the honest truth from someone who really gets it. Thank you, friend.

      How was your race??? I haven’t been on Twitter much lately and have been neglecting my blog faves terribly. I need to go check yours now.

  2. Go get ’em. I’m only discovering this whole running/training thing but I see glimmers of this stuff in your wake… It’s inspiring to see others doing more than you can.

  3. I can’t wait to catch up with you Friday night. I’m doing a 5k Sunday, Race for the Cure, and I’ve never ran 3 miles. I’ll need tips. I’m still trying to enjoy running… and it’s people like you – and this message – who inspire me to try again every time I tell myself I’m not a runner. It’s totally mental.

  4. If you can quit smoking, you can run twelve miles. I’m sure that darn voice didn’t like you quitting smoking, either! I loved that poem, it was very relatable and inspiring. You should submit it to a runner’s magazine!

    • Thanks, Kianwi! I’m glad you liked it. And it’s so nice to hear from you. Hope all is well in your world.

      I will be thinking of your supportive words and everyone else’s when I hit the trail tomorrow.

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