let it be

Let’s press rewind on my life, back to the spring of 2010.  I had just become an RRCA certified running coach and realized there was so much I could to do improve my running.  Especially the way I trained for and raced the marathon.  I had run 6 marathons at that point, the fastest one in a time 4:35:09.  I was brimming with excitement and could not wait for summer to arrive so I could start training for my big huge enormous PR at Marine Corps Marathon 2010. I knew with complete certainty that I had not yet tapped my potential as a runner and was very excited to apply all my new knowledge to my running.

And then I found out I was pregnant.  An amazing blessing and a total surprise.  I knew I would run throughout my pregnancy, but I had NO intention of running a marathon while pregnant.  That is just not the way I roll.  So I deferred my registration to MCM 2011.  I ran and walked and moved my body as much as I could for the 41 weeks that I was pregnant.  All the while, thinking and dreaming about my comeback to running after baby was born, when the time was right.

me 40+ weeks pregnant, on the treadmill

My baby boy is now almost 9 months old.  It has been an amazing journey towards the start line of the marathon that I will run on Sunday.  When I first started to run postpartum, I was scared.  Parts of me hurt that I didn’t realize could hurt.  I didn’t know if it was “normal” to feel the way I was feeling – I had never tried to run so soon after having a baby.  A one mile run would cause my pelvis to ache, my tailbone to throb.  I had to run to the bathroom constantly, even during the shortest of runs.  But I made a plan and I respected my body and I made sure the hurt was not the “dangerous” kind of hurt and I got through it.  I forged ahead and kept my eyes on the prize.  I have had many ups and downs over the past several months.  The ups made the downs worth it though.  I have never had to fight so hard for my strength.  I am a firm believer that to experience the truest of joys in life, we have to know what it feels to struggle and to suffer.  We have to persevere and it will be worth it.

The thing is though, anything can happen on race day.  The past 7 marathons that I have run have taught me that.  I have been thinking about my goals for Sunday’s race and I DO have them – I really believe I am capable of a sub 3:40 marathon, of qualifying for Boston and shaving another 25 or more minutes off of my current PR.  I truly honestly believe it and I want it to happen.  I am going to do my very best to make it happen on Sunday.  I will give it whatever it takes and fight to the finish.  Race smart, race strong.

But I want to enjoy the experience, no matter what the outcome is.  I have been dreaming about this race for far too long to let the time on the clock be the ultimate decider of whether or not I have a good day on Sunday.  There has to be a balance between striving and giving it all I’ve got, and also trusting and surrendering myself to what will be, will be.  I read an amazing post yesterday but Elizabeth Waterstraat.  Do you read her blog?  If not, you should.  She is awe-some.  Anyway Elizabeth is an Ironman and a mother.  What she said yesterday really struck a cord with me.  She talked about The Power of Stillness especially as it pertains to racing.  She says “The best races come from executing your plan, going on “autopilot.” In other words, trusting your stuff.”  On Sunday I am going to have to TRUST MY STUFF.  To know with all certainty that I am doing my part – that I am giving it my all – and then I have to let it go and just BE in the moment.  Not over think it, and perhaps not think at all even.

I know I’ve poured myself into this race for the past several months and that I want so badly for it to have a certain outcome.  But now, with a few days left between me and the Start Line, I am realizing that I need to surrender my control of that a bit.  To trust my stuff, to run my heart out and to let what will be, BE.

9 thoughts on “let it be

  1. Good luck in your race, I think it is going to go very well (was peeking at some of your training stats). Have a fantastic race…and enjoy every step :).

  2. Great post Jess!!! YOU CAN DO IT! You have put the work in, your body is ready, mentally you are ready… you got this!!! I am so excited for you and can't wait to hear about how it goes. 🙂

  3. Great post. You have put in an incredible amount of effort and I'm amazed at the speed you have gained in the recent months. I like your attitude and I wish you a fantastic race. I will be out cheering people on, but I am not sure when and where I will be.

  4. Love this lady!!!! We do have to give up, we can't control everything but we can go out there and do our best and be proud of our bodies and running. Congrats!! You have done it already, marathon or not, you have rocked it in my opinion

  5. amazing post!! I believe in you!! You are going to have a great race. I so respect what you have had to sacrifice and struggle through to get to the start line this weekend as strong and as fast as you are. I always ask myself, “Am I giving every ounce of what I have at this moment and not sacrifice the end?” If I can answer 'yes'…then my race was successful no matter what the time on the clock. go get'em, girl. You've totally got this.

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