Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Doing Something Every Day That Scares Me

This week, I started training for my fourth marathon.

I'll be running the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 6th, 2012. 

And (deep breath) I will be attempting to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Which means that I need to run 26.2 miles in 3 hours and 40 minutes. Just looking at those words on the screen is terrifying me. 

My goal here is not based on past performance in any way. My fastest marathon time is 4:56. Essentially,  I will need to take 1 hour and 16 minutes off my marathon time in order to qualify for Boston. And probably more than that if I want to actually be able to register for Boston. (With the new qualifying times, folks who run faster than their qualifying time get to register first.) 

Running a 3:40 marathon is not going to be easy. I am not expecting that it will be easy. I keep telling myself that am prepared for the level of commitment and training that it will take to achieve this goal. 

Mostly,  I'm scared. I threw out my first training plan because it scared and overwhelmed me. (My second training plan is better anyway.) I'm planning some track workouts with some super speedy people, and I just hope they don't laugh me off the track. (Runners are nice. They wouldn't do that.)  I don't want to get injured. (I know how to foam roll, ice, stretch and do yoga to help prevent injury.) 

What if I can't do it? What if I fail?

I don't want to be the kind of person who lets fear prevent her from doing something. I want to live with Eleanor Roosevelt's mindset, and "do something every day that scares you"

When I think about training to qualify for Boston, the thought that stands out above all else is this:

What do I have to lose by trying? 

Aside from a few hours sleep and maybe a toenail or two, I cannot come up with an answer to that question. So I'm going to try. I will do my long runs and tempo runs and interval workouts. I will tell the butterflies in my stomach that if they're going to hang out, they'd better use their wings to help me fly down the road. I will feel my fear, and I will do it anyway.


  1. Very eloquent words. I am so impressed by your tenacity...and envious of your stamina!

  2. I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when my fear is gone I will turn and face fear's path, and only I will remain.