joining the club

On Saturday morning I ran 18 miles with the last 4 miles at race pace.  I started out slower, running the first 5 miles at right about a 9:00 mile.  Those miles were really wonderful as I shared them with my good friend Amy.  I’ve been doing most of my long runs solo this training cycle and it was just so nice to have Amy’s company for the first part of my run.  She is working really hard and seeing great improvements in her speed, efficiency and endurance and I think we will be running more together as training progresses, which makes me super excited!!

The paces I’m training at this time around are for a 3:30 marathon finish (my BQ time is sub-3:40, so this should give me some wiggle room), which would be an 8:00/mile average on race day.  According to the McMillan Pace Calculator, my long runs should be done at a pace somewhere between an 8:31-9:31 mile.  I’ve tested the waters here and have been really happy that all of my long runs have been at the faster end of that range, usually right about an 8:30 average.  Sunday’s run was no different.  I averaged an 8:32 pace and my last four miles were 8:16, 7:49, 8:01 and 7:50.

I finished strong.

The other day I read a post by Eric Eagan that really got me thinking.  He talks about his dream of qualifying for Boston and how we often make excuses for why our dreams don’t matter or why we will never accomplish them.  He also talks about failure – and how not reaching our goals right away is not only okay, but good for us.   He calls it the “Failure Club” – and I love this idea.  Keep fighting, keep failing, pick yourself back up and go after it again.  This post really struck me to my core, because I know that a year ago I had the same kind of mindset when it came to my running – I was a bit shy about my running dreams and didn’t let them thrive.

Not any more.  That is not the way I think these days.  I am okay with failing.  I will not give up on my dreams.  I will shout them from a mountain top for all the world to hear.

One a year ago my 5k PR was 25:22, which is an 8:10 average pace.  I remember running that race and thinking to myself WOW, that was fast. That was HARD.  Because it was.  I was absolutely SPENT – heavy breathing, nausea and legs that felt like they were made of jelly – when I crossed that finish line.  I gave it my all.

The fact that I am now training to run 26.2 miles at a pace even faster than that, and that I know I am capable of  it, just stuns me.  Every time I think of it, I cannot help but smile.

I know I haven’t crossed the finish line of a marathon with a BQ time yet.  But I also know that it WILL happen.  Maybe on March 17th.  If I don’t get it then though, you better believe I will pick myself up and try again.  I am not afraid to fail.

So, do not doubt the possibilities.  Do not rule anything out.  Do not stomp on your dreams because you think they sound silly (or because someone else does!).  As my friend Dorothy would say – no dream is too big!

BELIEVE in yourself.

If there is even the tiniest sliver of a dream shining inside of you, don’t ignore it.  Don’t dismiss it and put it off for another day.  Say it out loud.  Go after it.  Do NOT be afraid of failing.  Join the club!  

16 thoughts on “joining the club

  1. Awesome post. You will get your BQ. You will smash that BQ. Nice run this weekend. I have a marathon pace run this weekend and I am kinda looking forward to it. 🙂

  2. Ahhhhhh. So excited for your race. I'm sensing big things for you… Your long runs are STRONG!

    I know exactly what you are talking about. 10 months ago, I ran a 3:56 marathon, and I felt like I was going to DIE at the end of it. Then last month, 3:38 with a STRONG finish. On a hilly course to boot! Still can't believe it!

    But I knew I could do it. My training was there and so was my mind.

    You've got that 3:30!

  3. Love this post! I'm hoping for a 3:30-3:35 later this spring, too, and would have never thought to shoot for that a year ago, either! Congrats on such a strong 18 miler! You are definitely on track for that BQ, so excited for you!

  4. Seriously loving this post. I hope to let my sliver of light shine through – its been tough lately. 🙂

    I can't wait to see you tackle this thing and show it who's boss!!

  5. I LOVE THIS POST! I am training for my very first half marathon on March 4th, and I want to run my first full in the fall. There are lots of reasons why I shouldn't run – health-wise – so the fact that I am even trying to do this is HUGE for me. Maybe one day I can say I BQ-ed too! Can't wait to see how your race goes!

  6. I too love this post. It is amazing how many excuses we can come up with. I read Eric's post too and was totally inspired by his goal as well as this amazing community of folks who are dreaming big. No doubt that you will qualify for Boston and will be cheering for you!

  7. Great post!! This is actually just what I needed to hear today. I have a 5k coming up and really want to PR it but have been fighting an injury for the last 3 weeks so I've been disappointed with the thought of not hitting my goal but, I think I'll just join the “club” if I don't and pick myself back up and try again. 🙂
    Thanks for the post!!

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