Category Archives: marathon

Face your fears.

I heard someone say, “do one thing every day that scares you.”  Not the kind of “stick your head in the lions mouth” kind of scary, but perhaps more along the lines of welcoming new challenges and not letting those pesky inner voices talk us out of them.

Sometimes, we have an internal dialogue that says, “I can’t do that.”  “I’ll fail.” or “I’m too ________ to do that.”

Maybe we know how we got that negative internal dialogue, maybe not.  Either way, we can choose to listen to the negatives and reinforce the belief of failure; or we can challenge it, argue with it, tell it to shut up, or ignore it completely.

Personally, I think we’ve been letting that negative, critical voice have waaaay too much control.

So here’s my dilemma.  In case you’ve just come to this blog, I’m getting ready to turn 50 in April and decided to run a 1/2 marathon to celebrate.  Initially, the 1/2 marathon was/is set for mid-November, but that’s months after my auspicious birthday, so I found one that is the weekend before I turn 50 – and I signed up.

I used to run when I was in my late teens and twenties.  I ran with ease and I ran often.  I’m not at all sure why I stopped but now at 49 3/4 I’ve decided to take up running again.

I notice that my thoughts are playing a HUGE part in the preparation for the April 1/2 marathon.  I have a running plan (you have to have a plan) and last weekend I ran (or really walked & ran) 4 miles.  It was fun, it went quickly, I was super proud.

And, I was sore this week after the run.  Stiff from not stretching enough or the right way, an old soccer-knee injury griped all week about being much too old to run a marathon.  I have some arthritis in my foot that’s complaining too.  Blah, blah, blah.

The weekend, the plan says, “run 5 miles.”  I think how pleasant the 4 miles were and I think, “great.”  Then in the next nano-second, I think, “Sh*t  I can’t run 5 miles – that’s a long way!”  I find that I’m holding my breath while I think about the 5 miles and the plan – THE PLAN.  I feel anxious that I can’t do it.

It’s driving me nuts.

So as I work with my dear clients on facing their fears and pushing themselves to do something new and different, I’m also doing a lot of internal work on facing mine.

The PLAN calls for running a bit and then walking a bit and repeat till finished.  I got an Ironman watch to help with time-keeping.

Ironman watch from timex

Ironman watch in "Power Pink"

Two different marathon running friends suggested the Jeff Galloway method for running. He calls it the run-walk-run method, I call it the PLAN.  I love that the cover includes the words, “You can do it”

Jeff Galloway's 1/2 marathon book

You can do it!

Sunday’s the day – as soon as it’s in the 40’s, I’ll run (and walk) five miles.  It’ll be fun, or scary, or some combination thereof.  I think a big part of this running endeavor is about confronting those voices and getting on with what’s in front of you.

A friend said to me, “You can do it.  Just go left foot, right foot, etc., and you’ll be finished in no time.”

So here’s to facing my fears and you facing your fears, quieting less-than-helpful inner voices, and doing something new in this new year.  You can do it.  That’s my goal this year, embrace “You can do it” in all it’s glory, messiness and opportunity.


Why do you run? Part IV – a cautionary tale

The questions:  Why do you run?  Why do you run marathons?

Meet Pete Greaves, age 52, marathon runner

I ran my first marathon (Austin 1995) because I had always wanted to run just one.  I typically spend January burning off the excesses of the holiday season and running had always been the best way to do that.  So, in January of 1995 I started running 3-4 days per week and built up to 8-10 mile runs. I didn’t have any major aches and pains so I started to toy with the idea of running a marathon.  I continued to run and decided to attempt the 1/2 marathon in February (I think) and see how it felt.  I had a very good experience in the 1/2 and decided to take a shot at a full marathon.  I had been told to take my time in the half and multiply it by two and add 10 minutes to get an estimate of what my time might be in a full marathon (I don’t recall my time in the 1/2).

By any expert’s standards I was very under-prepared or trained to run a full when the race day rolled around (3/5/1995).  My longest training run had been 16 miles.  I had planned a 20 but the weather turned cold and rainy that day and I cut it off at 16.  Nevertheless, I decided to give it a try.  The race day conditions were clear but warm (a runner’s nightmare).  I felt great through about the first 16 miles then started to hurt. At mile 18 I was in considerable pain and the temperatures had really gotten warm. By mile 20 I felt like my feet had been cut off and I was running on stumps. I plodded on for the final 6.2 miles doing a combination of running and walking. With 2 miles to go, If I could have averaged a 12 minute mile I would have broken 4 hours.  But I didn’t. I crossed the finish line in 4 hours, 3 minutes and 40 seconds.  It was a great feeling to cross the finish line but I was in major pain and told myself “I will never do this again as long as I live.”

Famous last words!

I ran six more beginning in 2002 and ending in 2006. I did NYC twice and Boston once.

This is the last installment from my marathoner friends.   Special thanks to Pete, Hilary, Ray, and Roger for their generosity.

In case you missed them, here are the links to the previous entries:

Hilary Moffett, age 25

Ray L., age 35 60

Roger Soler, age 50

Run, Rock, ‘n Roll – me, about to turn 50

Why do you run? Part 3

The questions: Why do you run?  Why do you run marathons?
Meet Hilary Moffett, age 25, marathon runner

I began running when I was 13 or 14. My parents are both runners and instilled in my siblings and myself the important of physical activity at a very young age. So, I began running! I used to do it on the weekends or sometimes even in the morning before school because I had sports in the afternoon. I decided I was going to run marathons when I was in the hospital after my brain surgery. I remember sitting in bed and not able to move much less run and I thought to myself “When I’m better, I’m going to run a marathon”. I made good on that promise when I was 19 and ran the Omaha marathon. I just finished my 5th official marathon and have passed 8 years of being cancer free!

I love to run because it is a special sort of meditation for me. I like to be alone on the road and to just breathe. I love the feeling of the body working in unison in the most natural human motion. I sometimes listen to music, sometimes I don’t—just depends on my mood! But the most important thing to me is the time it gives me to work through emotions and problems. I have found it is my prescription for anything: anxiety, sadness, fear, anticipation. They all tend to melt away after a nice run. And then, when I’m finished, I love the feeling of exhausted muscles that have done me well.

So marathons, specifically, are a mix of emotion for me. I like to look at it as just another long Sunday run. Someone once gave me that piece of advice and it stuck with me! There are moments when I think I’ve gone crazy, to be doing what I’m doing. There are moments of overwhelming emotion and reflection, times when I actually problem solve in my head, and much of the time passes in a present daze of a clear head and soft feet. It is an extremely spiritual practice for me and, like most that rely upon a practice to keep them sane and aligned, I always feel better after a good run.

Hilary recently qualified to run in the Boston Marathon in 2012.  Thanks for your contribution Hilary, you are inspiring!

Here are the past stories, in case you missed them:

Ray L., age 60 but feels like he’s 35

Olympian Roger Soler

And why all this stuff about marathons?

Why do you run? Part 2

In honor of turning 50 next year, I’ve decided to run a 1/2 marathon.  You can read about that decision here.  Now that’s decided, and I find myself thinking a lot about running, and wondering why other people run, and why run marathons.

So I decided to ask a few friends why they run and over the next few days, I’ll post their stories.

The questions: Why do you run? Why do you run marathons?

Today’s marathon man is Ray L. age 60:

I started running back in the mid 80’s, when I wasn’t a very active person and my marriage was starting to fall apart.  It was a way to relieve some stress and to have some ” alone” time.  My running consisted of running around the block a few times ! I gradually built up to my first 5k–the Jacksonville Beach Summer Run–Running on the beach became my favorite thing to do–the movement of your body and the ocean waves rolling onto the shore just seem to go together.

Over the years I gradually increased the distance; and in 1998 ran my first marathon–the Marine Corps Marathon in D.C.  Running thru our nation’s capital and crossing the finish line of that first marathon was an experience I will never forget–I was in such a “zone” that I didn’t even see my family standing @ the finish line with a HUGE sign saying “congratulations Dad !”  I was surrounded by 1000’s of people yet I felt like I was the most important, and only person around ! I felt so proud of myself–something I didn’t always feel about myself!  I think I slept with my finishers medal on that night ! It made my family proud of me also which just added to the euphoria I was experiencing.

Training for a marathon has taught me self discipline–if you’re going to succeed you know you have to get up in the morning and do your training runs–I learned how to plan and use my time.

Why do you run?  via

Marathon running has boosted my self-confidence and self-esteem, has made me a stronger person both physically and mentally–It’s amazing what your body can do when you put your mind to it.  You cross that finish line and think “WOW” I did it, I’m a WINNER-no matter how long it took!  But watch out–it becomes addictive!

Ray has a great spirit and I appreciate his contribution to the Why do you run? series.

In case you missed the first installment, check out Soler’s Sports own Olympian, Roger Soler.

Why do you run?

In honor of turning 50 next year, I’ve decided to run a 1/2 marathon. You can read about that decision here.  Now that’s decided, and I find myself thinking a lot about running, and wondering why other people run, and why run marathons.

So I decided to ask a few friends why they run and over the next few days, I’ll post their stories.

The questions:  Why do you run?  Why do you run marathons?

First up is Roger Soler, age 50, marathon runner:

I started running because I liked the competition, and I found out I was good at it.  The more I trained and run the better I felt.

Eventually, after 10 years of competitive running, I decided to do a marathon… For distance runners it is the “ultimate” goal.  I have run over 30 marathons with a personal best of 2:17 at Boston in 1988.

Now, I only run for fitness, and marathons are not in my plans.  But I run a Half marathon a couple of time a year.  They do not take as much training.  ~ Roger Soler

A note to readers, a marathon is 26 miles and some change.  Roger’s fastest marathon was completed in 2:17 – 2 hours & 17 minutes.  That means he ran about 13 miles an hour.  Holy cow that’s fast.

Roger Soler ran for Peru in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.  You can read more about him here. He has a deep connection to San Antonio and to the running community.   I’m grateful to Roger Soler for sharing his story.

Run, Rock ‘n Roll

Am I running away from turning 50? Or, am I running toward 50 with my arms open wide?  It’s a little to early to tell, but today,  I registered for the San Antonio Rock ‘n Roll 1/2 Marathon .  I only signed up for the 1/2 because I figure if  I really like running ridiculously long distances, I can always switch to the full marathon, but I don’t have to commit to that just yet.

I’ll turn 50 on April 20th, 2011. I am not worried about turning 50, it actually feels kind of cool. I don’t want a big party, I might want a little dinner party, or maybe a trip out-of-town, but mostly, I want to be strong and healthy as I pass that milestone.

I have been mulling over the “marathon thing” for a while now. A few years back, a therapist friend of mine was training for a 1/2 marathon for her 50th birthday. Frankly, I thought she was nuts. However, today she seems like a sensible woman and I’ll take some inspiration from her accomplishments!

Did you know that when you register for a 1/2 marathon, they want to know exactly how long it will take you to run the course? That was incredibly funny to me. I don’t even know if I can finish, let alone know how long it will take.

I said, “I’ll finish in 3.00 hours”  actually, that should say, I guessed “3.00 hours”  I’ve only done 4 miles and that was exhausting and so far, a one-off event.

On what promises to be a chilly Sunday morning in November 2011, I’ll join  30,000 other maniacs in downtown San Antonio.  I’ll  keep you posted on the training, the psychological journey, and I’m sure a tiny bit of whining along the way.

For now, time for some Central Market Hatch Green Chile Chips.  After all, it’s never too early to do some carb loading.