Do I have grit? That was the question I was left with after the Chicago Marathon. When I looked back on the race and remembered how I fell apart in the last several miles, I couldn’t help but question my willpower and inner strength. I didn’t push through the pain. When my body told me to stop, I listened. I had spent 18 weeks training my body and preparing it to cover 26.2 miles in less than 4 hours, and all I could feel was disappointment — a pain that endured much longer than the aches I experienced on the […]

Trust yourself

It’s 5 p.m. on a Saturday and I’m in the middle of running 48 laps around the indoor track at the gym. It’s an easy run that I don’t have to think much about, but given the fact that my last run was outside in shorts and a t-shirt (who knew it could get into the 60s in February — in Wisconsin?!) having to run in circles inside is quickly becoming a bore. So I do what normally works when I feel my mental focus fading on a run: think about the race I’m training for. As I start picturing […]

Take care of your vessel

It’s Saturday morning. My head hurts a little from the very little sleep I’m running on but here I am, lying on my yoga mat with some 200 other people inside the Milwaukee Art Museum. “Now let your knees fall to the right side,” says the yoga instructor. In unison we come to this slight variation of the fetal position. I place my hands on my heart and close my eyes. Our 75-minute session is winding down and I’m ready to let the poses and stretches I just put my body through soak in. I breathe. As the yoga instructor […]

Failure & Success

My last post, “It’s Not All for Nothing,” was “oddly prophetic,” my husband told me. Indeed, because I did not achieve my sub-4 marathon goal time, nor did I even PR. At first my failure did not bother me. I still crossed the finish line smiling because I loved the marathon. There were moments on the course where I looked up at the skyline and thought “Wow, this is it, I am running the Chicago Marathon.” I was surrounded by runners and spectators the entire 26 miles. And perhaps the biggest thrill was getting that medal and knowing I had […]

It’s not all for nothing

Two weeks from now, at the exact time I’m writing this, I will be in the very early miles of the Chicago Marathon. This thought is both exhilarating and nauseating. I’ve been looking forward to running this marathon since I decided to start running marathons. I was thrilled when I was able to secure my spot at the starting line back in April through the race’s lottery system and I started training in early June. I’ve been mentally and physically preparing for this for a long time. But it’s also brought a tidal wave of nerves — nerves I haven’t […]

Trust Your Plan

This feels too easy, I should be running faster. Two minutes for a rest break? That’s too much time. Should I do some pushups or planks while I’m waiting? These were the thoughts running through my head during a workout a few weeks ago. I’m currently training for the Chicago Marathon, my third 26.2 and first World Major, and I’m determined to set a new PR and break through the 4-hour wall — a goal that requires shaving almost 10 minutes off my current PR of 4:09:57. While I’m confident it’s doable, I know that kind of time improvement won’t […]