“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” Mark Twain
There is nothing more motivating in the world than being told I can’t do something or become something great. To be told “there is always someone better out there than you” …or… “don’t you want to do what most 30 year olds are doing” …or… “if you were really great, you’d already be at the top”… I realize much of that is other people’s insecurities just exploding from every end, but it still leaves a mark – an imprint of doubt in my mind, but the best part about it….proving that I can actually be great! We all have it in us, its a matter of choice. I firmly believe we all have potential beyond our perceived limits and can defy what others deem impossible.
I was asked the other day why I want to ‘make it to the top’ in the ultra running world (because running is a hobby, it’s hard for some people to comprehend running for that distance, that time, or for anything other than weight control). There is no sure answer to that, but it’s the exact same feeling one gets when they say ‘I want to be an astronaut.’ It doesn’t make sense to anyone that doesn’t want to be an astronaut (and can even sound ridiculous!), but its so incredibly fulfilling to that individual…its motivating – its a driving force to reach that achievement.
As I look back on my first official year back from injury and just needing time off (and it was a solid 2 year hiatus!), I feel incredibly proud of what I have accomplished. Rivs has done a complete 180 to my running, fueling, mental state….everything! For that I am grateful and have already won the greater battle. I wanted to go out with a bang in my first year back…so the NF 50 mile Championships was it. That was the one. I programmed myself to do everything Rivs said and keep myself injury free. Goal one: make it into the elite corral. Check. Goal number two: A top 10 finish.
Six months ago I reached goal one – I qualified for that status and made the cut. I felt proud and a little closer to beating the odds. When a few predictions were made as to winners and team picks via different running resources, it was discouraging, but yet again, motivating. My fire was immediately lit. I never understood why Rivs said, ‘it would be cool if you started with all the other runners.’ Ahhhhh, what?! I get it. And it really would be because as a dark horse going into Saturday’s national event, I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I want to make heads turn and people wonder. Realistically a podium finish might be a challenge, but I do believe in my heart I can hit a top 10, and if all goes as planned, top 5. It will be one of the hardest races of the year, physically and probably mentally, but I’m prepared for that. I’m prepared for the highs and the lows that all races bring. And let’s be honest, the best part of the race is the finish – owning it and knowing you did everything you could.
Matt Fitzgerald’s voice continues to echo in my head, “how bad do you want it?” It’s on repeat and has been for some time. I answer every time I ask myself that question and every time my motivation grows. Something inside is lit right now and I truly want to show the ultra community I can be someone other than a girl that runs in Wisconsin.
My goals for this week….follow the training plan as is, and continue to eat well – race week nutrition is key! Prep and plan ahead – always good, right?! I will most likely do some strategizing with Rivs and work on my mental state – reminding myself to stay calm and collected. Certainly, I want to try my hardest. Who knows – its anybody’s day in my opinion – anyone including me could flop hard – but knowing I went out and gave it everything, that’s what’s most important to me. I will earn my spot at the finish and I will earn my way to the top. So now we shall see…
With me this weekend….Swiftwick Socks and Orange Mud gear; as well as my reliable Altra Running Olympus 1.5s. VFuel will be stocked with crew and on me as well.