“I’m scared.” A new runner approached me this morning and said these words, voicing trepidation about what lay ahead and crossing the finish line. Hopefully I provided a good response at the time, but I thought about those words all the way home. I’m sure this runner is not the only one feeling this way, so I wanted to share a few thoughts on this topic with all of you.
First of all, it’s perfectly okay to be scared. In fact, it’s very reasonable and appropriate. Finishing a marathon is a big challenge, both physically and mentally. Each of you attempting the marathon for the first time is asking your body to do something difficult. You can’t just roll out of bed with little or no running experience under your belt and expect to cruise across the finish line. It takes hard work. It takes a lot of time. There are no shortcuts. You will be transforming your body, one mile at a time between now and February 14. There will be days where you get out there and feel great, and there will be other days when you won’t. There will be days when you are excited about what you are accomplishing, and there will be days when you won’t even feel like getting out of bed to train.
Every one of those feelings is perfectly okay. WHAT MATTERS MOST IS WHAT YOU DO ABOUT IT. Do you tell yourself “I’m scared, or I don’t feel like it; therefore I won’t even try?” I hope not, as that’s a guaranteed recipe for failure. Or, do you do what each of you did today? Show up and do your best. You came, you went out there, and you faced the challenge. You put your worries aside. You believed in yourself, and look what you accomplished. A shout-out to each of you!!!! Be really proud of yourself.
Stick with it, and in a month from now, you’ll be thinking ‘I can’t believe how far I went today. I remember when I thought 2-3 miles was hard.” And, as crazy as it may sound to you now, when I am telling you in January that today we have a “short” run of “only” 12 miles, you will be very comfortable with that distance.
Each of you can do this. Your teammates and the staff are here to support you. Your coaches are here to guide you on this physical and mental journey. Your job is to show up, do your best, and most importantly, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.