Tuesday, October 4, 2011

BRING. IT. ON. CHITOWN.

Yesterday I woke up and felt so great that I was ready to lace up my shoes and head out to the Chicago marathon course 6 days early and give it everything I've got. It's probably best that I didn't because I most likely would have hit some traffic or quite possibly even be ran over by a city bus. So instead I took a walk with my dogs to reflect and rejoice in the keen feelings that have overtaken my soul. Feelings of excitement that have been overtaking my body at strange moments as of late, spurring on random goosebumps and butterflies in my gut that eventually overtake me in some rather gnarly emotions.

For me this is a good sign.

Last year in the premarathon days I was a steaming hot mess. Mentally I beat myself up to the point where I was already defeated by the marathon before I even toed the line. Physically I was dwindling away to a scrawny version of my usual self as I let my goals cause unnecessary stress and anxiety, and emotionally it was taking every ounce of energy that I possessed in my bony body to not bust out in a crazy manic tear fest. Needless to say by the time marathon morning rolled around I was having an emotional breakdown at the starting line wondering why the hell I ever thought that I would run a marathon in 3:15 and told myself I didn't belong there.

The fugly face of self-defeat around mile 16.

I basically ran the worst race of my life because I gave up on myself and lost belief in the actualization of my dreams long before race morning even happened. But as terrible as those 26.2 miles were, I feel very blessed to have had such a humbling experience. That race made me basically hit rock bottom with running where I then had to make a decision, was I running because I enjoy it or was I running because I felt like I had to. After a rather rocky patch I finally realized that I have been running all these years because it is something that enables me to experience life in ways that I never thought possible. It empowers and inspires me to press past the challenging moments and has a subtle way of putting everything into perspective. I run because it makes me feel.


As crazy as it may sound, I have more gratitude for this race over any other that I have ever ran. It taught me to find power within myself to be unyielding to challenges no matter how tricky a situation may be and to always pay homage to my gracious God for my gifts.

Now at this very moment, I feel prepared. Trusting that while my training wasn't perfect and there were plenty of bumps in the road, my level of fitness is at an all time high. Knowing that there will come moments during the race where I feel weak and slightly defeated but will continue to press on with all of the strength and courage that I have acquired this year. Believing that I am an athlete that has the power to conquer any challenge will be the fuel that keeps me moving.

When I compare this frail and scrawny girl

Finish line of Chicago Marathon 2010

Chicago marathon expo 2010. It's almost painful to look at how bitty I am here.
To this strong and confident woman

Yes, this is a slightly awkward photo

I can see the changes that I have encountered in a 1 year time span. Physically I have put on a few pounds and have gained quite a bit of muscle. Mentally I have become a fierce predator that is just waiting to pounce on it's prey. And emotionally I feel strong enough to fight the marathon demons that may come my way. 

I am more then ready to hit this course. BRING. IT. ON. CHITOWN.

21 comments:

  1. you look amazing!!! sooooo excited for you for this race :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Look at you! I love how you have taken such a hard race and period in your life and used it to help you grow into a mentally AND physically strong athlete. There is nothing worse than going into any situation mentally defeated - whether running a 3 hour marathon or a 5 hour marathon you have to know in your heart you can do it and be proud of what you've accomplished up until that point! SO excited - i'm a bit nervous because I have a sore shin and am probably only running a couple miles this week but I KNOW those extra couple miles aren't worth not healing up in time for race day! As long as I can convince my non-blogging friend Jamie to join the meet up of crazy bloggers we're in. I'm sure she's down - it's goign to be so inspiring to be with other runners before the race!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yeah-I just got goosebumps reading this. Bring it on is right! I can't wait to see what you do Britt. I know you have an AmAZing race in there. This is absolutely PERFECT mental prep. I will be stalking this race and virtually cheering for you every step of the way. You deserve what's coming to you in so many ways. Go get'em!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow. Beautiful post. I am glad that you had that experience back in 2010 because it brought you to this better place today. You are such an inspiration. I say it all too often, only because I mean it.

    I can't WAIT to read your recap. I've been following your training all along and it's finally coming up on the big day. I couldn't be more excited for you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. LOVE the strong confident woman!!! Great post and I am getting so excited for you to run this marathon! Almost makes me want to run one.

    ReplyDelete
  6. So exciting!! You're going to do GREAT!!!!! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love your confidence! I can't wait to hear about how well you do!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love love love this post. This marathon is yours, take it and enjoy it to a killer PR. You are inspiring

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ah, you are going to kick so much butt!! :D

    ReplyDelete
  10. So glad you're out there and excited to go! You'll do awesome on Saturday and the weather should agree for some fast times!

    ReplyDelete
  11. your words are just glowing!! you look strong, confident, and ready to kick marathon ass!!! i'm so ready for chicago and i'm not even running it!!! so many great bloggers running :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. It's SO CLOSE!! Seriously, your posts give me goosebumps every time. You are so ready for this! I am so excited for you. You are going to KILL this race!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I just found your blog! Wow you're ready for chicago... me maybe not. I'm definitely feeling the struggle you felt last year, but still hoping for the best. Good luck Sunday!

    ReplyDelete
  14. just found your blog!!! and just in time for the marathon! woo hoo! so many bloggers running this one. sounds like you have come a long way in a year's time and are more than ready to dominate this weekend! good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  15. YOU CAN DO IT YOU CAN DO IT YOU CAN DO IT!!! Girl, you are mentally AND physically there, I just can't wait to read all about your awesome marathon that is about to happen in just a few days!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love those strong pics of you! You are so ready and I am super excited to hear how awesome Chicago is!!!

    I ran by part of the course yesterday and they were setting up the spectator stands and I thought of you. I wish I could be there to cheer you on. Now that we will all be thinking of you and how strong you are and that you GOT THIS!!!

    P.S. Love your new masthead!

    ReplyDelete
  17. love the new look! sorry I can't make the meet-up! best of luck to YOU, I know you'll nail it!

    ReplyDelete
  18. So so excited for you!!! And love the new look of your blog! Sharp.

    ReplyDelete
  19. GOOD LUCK on sunday!!!! you are so ready!!! <3

    ReplyDelete
  20. you look...ready. good luck this weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  21. You look strong, confident and READY to own Chi-town. GOOD LUCK THIS WEEKEND BRITT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete