There is scientific evidence that belief is a very real factor in performance. If you believe you can do it, you will.
This is not to say that by simply believing that achievement is possible. I’m not going to jump off a building believing I can fly. Belief is built by doing the work, every day, and respecting the process.
I have no doubt that I have the physical capability to run a sub-three hour marathon. Zero. It is in my legs and it is in my heart. I know it’s a big statement when that would be more than 11 minutes faster than I have ever run the distance before, but I have never been more prepared.
Based on my half marathon PR a couple weeks ago, the fancy running calculators give me a predicted finish time of 3:00:23 to 3:02:24. But I know I can do better than that.
All I need to do is prove it.
That will be my mantra on the tough miles when my legs are screaming to slow down. Prove it.
When my hips begin to ache and there are still miles to go. Prove it.
When the very act of breathing starts to feel like a desperate panic, I will breathe deeper and keep going. Prove it.
When I catch sight of my husband and my kids cheering me on from the sidelines, I will remember they are learning what passion, drive, and accomplishment looks like. Prove it.
Just two short years ago, it took me over four hours to run a marathon. Breaking 3-hours is really an arbitrary time goal that is no more of an accomplishment than 3:01 or even 5:01.
But for me, that magic number symbolizes the impossible. The ridiculous. The unbelievable.
It symbolizes climbing a mountain that I never thought was climbable. It means years of putting my head down and taking a single step over and over and over again until one day I see the view from the top of that mountain and look back at how far I’ve come.
Sure, there are other mountains bigger and steeper and higher. But this is my mountain.
As we pack up and get ready to leave for Richmond in the morning, I know I’ve done all I could have to prepare for this race. I’m feeling good, but anxious, and more determined than ever.
The weather is looking a bit cooler than I would prefer: a chilly 36 degrees on the starting line, only warming up to the low- to mid-forties by the end of the race. But a little too cool is good for racing and it’s certainly better than being too hot. Boston this year was about 30 degrees warmer.
I have no more runs on the schedule, other than a quick 15 minute jog tomorrow and a warm up on race day. The work is in my legs and in my mind.
There is nothing left to do now but prove it.
If you’d like to track my progress in the race click here and enter my bib number 498.