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inspiration needed

August 3, 2009

so this half-marathon coming up at the end of September….

I looked online yesterday and it said 56 days till race day….

and the one emotion i’m feeling right now? Scared.

I don’t know if I can do this, I don’t know if my body will let me push it that far, I missed my 6 mile training run yesterday. I planned on going, but it was storming then by the end of the day when it was cool enough outside i was just so exhasuted I wanted to rest. I was walking my family dog with my mom last night and I just came out and said it.. “I don’t think i’m going to be able to do this race”

It felt weird blurting it out and actually meaning it. I just don’t know if i can do it. The thing is, i’m scared I won’t be able to finish. I haven’t ran more than 6.5 miles ever, and in 2 months i’m supposed to run double that? I’ve been doing okay with my training schedule, but missing a few runs here and there. but the thing is… every run is hard. I haven’t felt like i’ve been improving, and for some reason it’s like i’m staying at the same level. I’m just confused.

This morning when I checked my e-mails, I came upon my daily inspiration. I signed up for daily inspiration e-mails atย recently and today’s fit my situation perfectly. It was like it was written for me and only me.

“Dear Ashley
Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.
– Robert F. Kennedyย 

A life lived in fear is a life half lived.
– Anonymousย 

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fall seven times, stand up eight.
– Japanese Proverb

Can you achieve your goals? You can’t reach your goal if you haven’t defined your goals. And you can’t succeed if you don’t try – and then pick yourself up and try again each time you fail.
Put your best into your life, and you will be rewarded with happiness regardless of the final score.”

Thinking about this gives me hope. If i try to run this and fail? So what? I tried right? It’s better than wishing I did it and never even attempting it. When I have a hard run, I need to pick myself back up and just do it again. I’m going to write these quotes down and keep them near to remind myself of them when it’s needed.

Do you have any advice on how to get my mental aspect of the running back? I feel sort of at a loss right now. Thank you all for your endless support. It means more than you know!

30 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2009 8:34 am

    Hi Ashley! I think we all have days where we think, “I can’t finish this… _____.” I think you will definitely finish the half, even if you have to run at a slower pace than you’d like. I keep telling people that I ran a half last fall without really training for it. I ran 3-5 miles consistently and just kept it really slow on race day, so I could finish. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that to everyone (mostly because I was so sore for the next week!), but it just shows that it is possible to run and finish, even if you don’t think you’re in tip top shape. That said, I think you can definitely run and finish the half! Hang in there. Remember that day to day, it may be tough, but at the end, the finish is worth it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Jenny permalink
    August 3, 2009 8:39 am

    aw, sweetheart — though i can’t offer you any tips or advice from a runners point of view (because i ain’t no runnah at all!) what i can tell you is to just do your best — thats all you can do! i know that sounds naiive and cliche — but it’s true ๐Ÿ™‚

    hope you have a great day!

  3. August 3, 2009 9:33 am

    You can do it, and will.
    The mental part is sometimes harder than the physical. Stick with your training and it will help boost your confidence.

  4. August 3, 2009 10:24 am

    Mind over matter!! Mental struggles are much, much harder to get over than the physical part. I’m basically an echo but it’s true – I know this for a fact from my years of training in my sport. It’s so easy to psyche yourself out!

  5. August 3, 2009 11:11 am

    i love robert kennedy! he says some great stuff. and all the other stuff is real quality too. you WILL be able to do this, you have lots of time left also, and so many good vibes pushing you along the way ๐Ÿ™‚ not going to lie, running for me is HARD. between the mental aspect and the physical hardship of my knee giving out on me, i wonder if i could ever run more than a 10k. i really admire your ambition, you are going to rock this!

  6. August 3, 2009 11:14 am

    Hi Ashley,

    Unfortunately, I’m lacking in the running department. Although, I agree with those quotes that you provided. They are def. motivating enough to continue training. I hear that when ppl train for a race, there are ups and there are downs. Maybe this is just one of those downs. Besides I know for sure that you’ll be proud of yourself when you finish the race.

  7. August 3, 2009 11:39 am

    I’m having similar thoughts about a race in 20 days! I keep telling myself “Even if I have to take a walk break, I’ll be proud of myself for doing the race at all.” Honestly — showing up for a race you’re scared about is half the battle. You’ll be fine!

    Also, a friend recently told me that training up to 5 or 6 miles is way harder than making the jump up to 10-13 miles. You can do it!

  8. August 3, 2009 11:42 am

    You can do it! You have been training long and hard. Not every run will be good in the training process, and you will have days like this one. Just keep running. Before you know it, you’ll have another good run that will give you more positivity. Trust me on this!

    Sometimes your body will feel like you can’t do it. But when it comes down to race day, you’ll be amazed! If you can’t run the whole time, stop and walk. Just do anything to cross that finish line.

    I have faith in you. You’ll do great!

  9. August 3, 2009 12:28 pm

    You can TOTALLY DO IT! It’s normal to feel that way (I ABSOLUTELY felt exactly the same most weeks before my race). Missing one long run isn’t a big deal as long as you don’t make a habit out of it (which I know you won’t)


  10. August 3, 2009 12:36 pm

    You will be able to do it. I’ve run several races and missed long runs. Just get back at it and you will be fine.

  11. August 3, 2009 1:08 pm

    i know exactly how you feel – my first half marathon i was sooo scared, but you know what. race day, you WILL be ready. with all the people cheering and people running around you, you will be just fine!

    just try to keep on schedule, keep those positive thoughts going and good luck! i am scared shiteless for my marathon too ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. August 3, 2009 1:36 pm

    You can do it! If you stay postive and think you can do it, it will help so much. I know the feeling because I feel like I can’t even run a 5K in September but I am trying to stay positive and just run very slow if I need to. Good luck!!

  13. August 3, 2009 3:32 pm

    girl you can DEFINITELY do it in 56 days! you know you can ๐Ÿ™‚ don’t be scared! I think it’s important to juts keep reminding yourself that it’s just running and it’s just for fun! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself ๐Ÿ™‚ You can do anything you want! And you’ve already committed yourself so don’t let silly little fear stop you!

  14. August 3, 2009 6:10 pm

    On the day of the race you will be sp full of adrenaline, you’ll hit 10 miles without even realizing it…and then it’s just the homestretch! I know a missed training run can be discouraging, but hey– that’s training…you will miss runs here and there, but on the big day you will exceed the expectations you have for yourself ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Brittany permalink
    August 3, 2009 7:37 pm

    Hi my love,

    Can I just tell you that whenever I read your blogs, it makes me want to just go for a run instantly to release my stress and sort through my thoughts. I want to also tell you that YOU CAN DO IT!!! I know you can. Keep up your training and keep thinking positively. Before my race I only ran 7 miles….and I finished my race!! It does not matter how fast you go…just pace yourself and think about what an amazing accomplishment this is. When you are in the race, the people beside you will pump you up so much that sometimes you won’t even like you’ve been running as much as you have! It’s like a mini cheer leading squad rooting for you the entire way. I know you will be just fine…you are doing GREAT!!!!

    Love you and never EVER say that you can’t do something that you really want to do. Of course it’s a challenge, but I know you are ready for it ๐Ÿ™‚


  16. August 3, 2009 8:03 pm

    ditto everybody.

    the race is in 2 months –

    how many days a week are you currently running? I know that when I trained for my first ever race back in April (a 10miler), I was running 5 days a week – IT.GOT.OLD.FAST. Currently I am training for a series of 4-10mile trail races and trying to do it with 3 days of running. M, W, and a Sat long run. with lots of weights & cross training in between.

    While training, I think the most impt thing is to NOT miss your runs. If you miss yoga, so what. If you miss weights, so what. Try hard not to miss the specific training runs though. You can do this. and you will do this. You can theoretically get up to 10-11miles and still be able to bang out 13 on race day.

  17. Menden (Skinny Menny) permalink
    August 3, 2009 9:23 pm

    I’m definitely not a runner, so I don’t have any specific advice for that, but I just wanted to say to GO FOR IT!! We are all behind you 100%, you know that, and even if you end up walking part of the way, who cares?! Just the fact that you’re following through with a friggin’ half MARATHON is a huge big accomplishment, right? I want to live vicariously through you, lol! You can do it…keep up the great work and just keep on truckin, ok? xoxo
    (oh and I love those quotes – thanks for sharing :))

  18. August 3, 2009 10:34 pm

    I know you can do it! You’ve been training so hard and if you can’t make it, no problem, you walk for a little bit. At least you tried!

    It’s a sign that those quotes were sent to you today. It is like they’re meant just for you!

  19. August 3, 2009 10:49 pm

    wow, what a great batch of quotes. i think that this one says it all: Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.

    if you dont even try this race, you have zero percent chance of finishing it. zero. anything we dont try, we cant do! and who wants to live like that?! you are going to pull together everything you have and kick ass!!!! just try not to put so much pressure on yourself. so what if you cant run the whole thing? so what if you dont place? i am just so impressed that you can run the 6.5!!!!! you are SO awesome and powerful and PLEASE dont forget it!!!!!!!!

  20. August 3, 2009 10:53 pm

    i think what you are feeling is very very normal. first, 56 days is still a long time- plenty of training time left and even if you do not think you are improving persay– you really are. by the end of your training you will definitely have the stamina you need to cross the finish line. and like holly said, race day is a completely different ballgame- you will get hyped up on the entire atmosphere and believe me YOU WILL FINISH! just make your goal be to finish. dont have a certain time in mind. enjoy the run- you will be very pleased with yourself this way. also- maybe get a running partner? i run with my sister and that gives me a lot of motivation! im training for my first marathon. and i move into loyola college on august 24th- so if you want anyone to run with- just shoot me an email or something- i would love to have a running partner down at school! haha

  21. August 4, 2009 12:22 am

    Ashleyyyy oh Ashleey. You definitely don’t need me to tell you this, but I’m going to say it anyways. YOU CAN DO IT hon!! The race is 2 months away, and that means you definitely still have time! I’m SURE everybody who is signed up for the race knows exactly what you’re going through right now, and you know what? I’m sure you, just like the people who show up on race day, will be a little teeny bit afraid of the chance of not finishing. But hey, you’ve won half the battle just by showing up at the race. Thing is, you’re not just showing up, you’re training all the way until the day and not giving up! That’s what sportsmanship is all about right? So what if you don’t finish girl? Let that be something you worry about AFTER the race! Keep striving for the goal you set for yourself! You’re almost there!!! REALLY!!! You can do it Ashley. ๐Ÿ™‚ You out of all people can do it!

  22. August 4, 2009 2:56 am

    Ashley! You can do this! I truly, truly know you can. Just remember how far you have come already. Remember when 3 miles was a long run? Remember how strong you felt after your 10k? You can do this! You still have plenty of time for training, and we both know that so much of it is mental, anyway. I have 1000% faith in you.

  23. August 4, 2009 9:01 am

    you can definitely do it! it is so scary doing something that you’ve never done before, but my only goal in every race is simply to finish – period. If I have to walk for a minute, fine. I’m still doing more than I could 2 years ago, and that’s good enough for me.

  24. August 4, 2009 11:25 am

    You can do this! I know you can. Good luck!

  25. August 4, 2009 11:55 am

    I’ve seen this t-shirt on


    Dead Last Finis is greater than Did Not Finish, which greatly trumps DID NOT START!

    You can do it! ๐Ÿ˜€

  26. August 4, 2009 12:39 pm

    If you can run 6.5 miles without stopping you can run a MARATHON. A halfsie won’t be a problem, I promise.

  27. August 4, 2009 3:21 pm

    Here is the thing…we all think we can’t right up until the moment that we do. You will be surprised at how much adrenaline will fuel you on race day and you have to go in to it with the attitude that run or walk…doesn’t matter!! Crossing the finish line will be absolutely worth it…if you can start to imagine that feeling of pride right now, I’m pretty sure you’ll get back out the door.

  28. August 4, 2009 7:50 pm

    Hi Ashley, I’m not a runner by any stretch but just attempting to run this half marathon by signing up and training is already a race won. You can do it! You are strong enough and your body can carry you. You just have to allow your body to. Keep going, girl! We’re all rootin’ for ya!

  29. Courtney permalink
    August 5, 2009 8:05 am

    Wow, what great quotes. As a runner myself, I think many times we seek perfection in our training, races, etc, however every run and race can be about the experience, a learning experience.

  30. August 5, 2009 9:58 pm

    You can finish and you will finish Ashley!

    I think the only thing that helps me shake that mental farting is stopping- redirecting your thoughts – and then continuing running in a new mind set!

    “Warships of thoughts, slave ships of thoughts are no longer allowed in the peaceful harbor of my mind. “

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