a different kind of but

It’s 4am and I’ve been up for a while.  Sometimes this happens – I’ll get up in the middle of the night but I am usually able to fall back asleep with no problem.  Not today.  Today I woke up and my eyes were not closing, my mind was busy and I knew that if I stayed in bed I would just stare up at the darkness and THINK.  In a totally unproductive way.  Not good.  So instead, I got dressed for my long run early, made a hot cup of coffee and sat down with my Believe I Am training journal and got it allllll out.  I feel incredibly at peace right now after that.  It was just what I needed.  To sit alone with my thoughts and write them out on paper with pen in hand.  Come to terms with what’s bugging me.  Let it go and get to the bottom of it.  To build myself up from the inside out.

To remind myself to have faith in who I am and in what I believe I can do.

The thing is, I know that I have the fitness to run a strong, really-amazing-for-me marathon, in one week.  I do.  I have earned it.  I have seen it and I have felt it.  Why then, do I keep hearing the word “BUT” in my head?

I have the fitness, BUT anything can happen in a marathon. I could get my heart broken.
I have the courage, BUT who knows how I will feel on race day.  Maybe I just will feel off.
I have the strength, BUT two of my kids are sick and maybe my immune system will fail me.
I have the determination, BUT my stomach could blow up on me and I could spend many minutes running in and out of port o potties along the course.
I have the experience, after 9 marathons, BUT who has the kind of year I’ve had, PRing in the marathon by an hour+ and then wants to chop off another 25 minutes in just one cycle??

I am so sick and tired of hearing the BUTS in my head!  I’ve decided that if I’m compelled to use that word, I am going to have to use it in a better, more positive, way.

Sure, I cannot predict the outcome of my race BUT I can decide how I feel about it!  This is my story to tell.  I get to decide what colors are in it.

Sure there are so many things that may be out of my control on race day – that is the nature of the marathon! – BUT I can control how I handle them.  I CAN control my attitude and I CAN control my perspective.  It truly is up to me and THAT is a beautiful, amazing thing!

People always talk about the heartbreak of the marathon and there is sooo much truth to that.  I have felt it many times over – BUT there is so much beauty to it and this is one of the reasons why I keep coming back for more.  I’m sure you know this quote “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”  I live my life by this quote!!  I would so much rather love and live passionately and purely, and get my heart broken and shattered, than to never feel those amazing feelings that love brings to me.  It is the way I am built and may be one of the reasons that marathoning resonates so well with my spirit.  My heart may get broken on race day, that is a simple truth I must accept – BUT it will be worth it a million times over.  And I will pick up the pieces and build myself back up no matter what.  It is never the end, only the beginning of something new.  Every single marathon teaches me something about myself – every single one – and I am so looking forward to what awaits me on race day no matter what the time on the clock says.  THIS fact excites me and soothes me – and gives me so much hope.  It reminds me of why I am even doing this – not for some time on a clock but for self improvement and self love and passion and joy and living.  I feel so ALIVE in the throes of a marathon.  So very alive and grateful.

So, no more bad buts.  No more.  I am done with them.  I am going to check myself every time I go to say that word.

In one week from today I will get ready to spread my wings.

And FLY.

With a HAPPY heart.

14 thoughts on “a different kind of but

  1. I don't think I've ever seen your hair down like that. OMG– you have amazing hair! Beautiful. Back to the post– this is a wonderful post. “Buts” get in the way of so many things. You will run the best race that you can next week. Period. No buts. It's import to acknowledge that anything can happen, BUT– that is completely separate from your confidence and all your hard training. Your hard work, your confidence, your race strategy– nothing will change that. No buts there.

  2. It's the journey that is most important. All those hours, days, weeks, and months you put in are what matters most. Of course race day is the “icing on the cake”, but you'd never have the cake without all the other important ingredients. You've seen the numbers – on the track, in shorter races – you have IMPROVED SO MUCH, and are such a stronger runner. Im running my 1st marathon and am very nervous, and I often catch myself doubting my abilities. But I'm putting in the work and reminding myself that my HEART is in the right place and it's heavy : ). Remind yourself how much running means to you in and of itself. Enjoy that race – you've already “won”

  3. You have had a great training cycle, so even if it doesn't pan out, you've had some great runs. And MCM is just an awesome marathon. Good luck! Sending positive thoughts that it's an awesome marathon for you.

  4. This is a great post. It is so true that we put up barriers for ourselves with that simple word, but. I think that realizing it and fighting back like you're doing against the negativity of the word 'but,' and turning it in your favor is a great exercise in confidence building. It will be tough BUT you will overcome the challenges and have a great race.

  5. You are going to do fantastic! Easy for me to say, since I'm not running it, but you have put so much work into this! As long as you give it your all, you'll do great. A good post!

  6. Oh Jess. I so absolutely 100% know exactly how you feel. I was having the same thoughts last week leading up to my race. I kept thinking…I KNOW I am capable of xx, BUT what if…so even in my “goals” post, I was super hesitant to put big goals out there because I just knew that there is always a “but”. Now that I am on the other side of it, it is easy to look back and say that I should have just trusted the training and believed in what I knew I was capable of, but it is really hard to say that until you can look back and see that things went as well (or better) than you hoped. I just know that you are mentally and physically tough enough and prepared enough to handle ANYTHING that 26.2 throws at you and to get past it to have the race you have been dreaming of and preparing for. So many positive and hopeful thoughts coming your way this week, my friend. YOU GOT THIS!!!!

  7. I completely understand where you're coming from and love your attitude about it! Don't let the doubt in your head hold you back- you've put in the training, you've totally got this!! Regardless of what race day throws your way, I just know you're going to FLY on that course!!

  8. Yes! Why does that doubt always creep in? Glad you were able to hash it out and journal about it. Leave it on the paper and go do what you can do! Run your best and enjoy it!

  9. ooh, don’t listen to that taper madness in your head. TRUST your training. BELIEVE in yourself. have so much FUN. i love your attitude at the bottom-you are right about the rest-you only can control what you can control-but i know you will give it 110% AND you will kick some A! I can’t wait to track you on race day!!

  10. You have gorgeous hair!!! I'm laughing right now because I wore my hair down (post-shower) to pick my girls up from preschool yesterday and this woman that I see every.single.day commented on the fact that she has never seen my hair down. I guess I have it in a messy bun/ponytail and I'm in running clothes 99% of the time. Oops! Most of your pics are running-related and your hair is always up. Anyway, I'm getting off-topic…

    I love this post. You are so right that YOU get to write this story! And YOU get to choose how it ends. You have put in so much work and all the ingredients are there for a great race. Just relax (ha!) and know that you have done all that you can up until this point. I seriously can't wait to read about your race!!

    I'm just starting my Boston training and think I will go ahead and order a Believe I Am journal to track my training as well as my thoughts. It will be great to look back on it and remember all the hard work I put in to make the race the best I could. 🙂

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