Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Strength

I had an awesome run this morning. My workout was nine miles with 5x800m repeats. I drove myself to the (very dark!) high school track at 5:30am and ran a five mile warm-up. I shed a layer (it was only 26 degrees so I started out bundled up) and then hit the intervals.

Almost two weeks ago I did a very similar workout on the treadmill and it about killed me (and shook my confidence a little because it was so tough).  Today, IT ROCKED. I never felt like I was running all out, I never felt like I wanted to quit, I never felt like I was going to throw up or pass out or die, I never felt like I couldn't finish, and I definitely could have knocked out more of these repeats.

And my times? 2:55, 2:56, 2:57, 2:57, 2:54 (which means all five 800's were under a 5:59 pace). When I saw my times, despite the track being windy and despite not giving it an all out effort, it was a huge confidence booster.

At first, running alone on a cold, dark track was a little creepy. (And I can't help but think how fun it would be to do a workout like this with other runners and a coach there!) But after a while it felt pretty awesome. I felt tough. I felt strong.

Speaking of strong -

I do not usually buy myself things that I don't "need", but for my birthday I gave in and finally got an Endorphin Warrior Bracelet.  I have wanted one for quite a while.

It came on Monday, and it is awesome. I love it.

They have a lot of great bracelets, but here is the one I chose.


I went back and forth on which one to get, and even ordered a different bracelet and then called and changed my order.

"Strength" is the word I chose.

Running has helped me find my strength in many ways. Running has made my physically stronger, but it has also made me stronger as a person, inside and out. For a long time I struggled with feeling insecure, and being a runner has helped me so much with that.

When I look at my wrist, whether I am running, racing, working, playing with the kids, doing laundry, or whatever, this is the perfect reminder.

It reminds me that I have strength. It reminds me to be strong - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

It reminds me to think of all the places I get my strength from - Josh, the kids, my parents, family, friends, my faith, God, and of course - from deep inside myself.

It reminds me not to quit, not to give up, not to doubt myself, not to get overwhelmed, not to give in, and not to let go of my dreams, no matter what life throws at me. It inspires me to push myself, to hold on to and believe in the strength within me, and to have the strength to work for what I want to accomplish.

With Boston less than three weeks away and a challenging last few weeks personally, a dose of strength, and a reminder of my own strength, is just what I needed.

When I ran my first marathon I had "Courage. Faith. Strength." on my pace band, and I still use that as a mantra (and variations of it) often when the going gets tough on a run in or in a race.

Do you have a power word? What one word would you put on your wrist?

22 comments:

Annette@(running)In the Right Direction said...

Ok...so have I told you lately that I love you and your blog. I feel sometimes you write what I think...(major difference is I didn't have those goal times for my 800's ;) I haven't written lately because my training is getting tough...and I'm pooped! I found myself doubting what I can do the other day when running...your blog gives me one of my needed boosts to keep on keeping on! I am so excited for you to run Boston

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

Can't believe how quickly Boston has rolled around. Your life has been exciting lately. So much going on...well I guess that is the norm for you though.

Anyway, you constant smile and attitude is awesome. And those paces are jealousy-inducing!

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

I can't wait for RW's so I can read all about you even more!

And, love your choice for the bracelet. powerful word.

Run with Jess said...

Great bracelet! I have the same with the word "Unbreakable" on it. Your 800s are incredible! You're gonna blow Boston away girl!

Mallory said...

Awesome post. Great run on the track. It's such a good feeling when you have an awesome workout that reminds you of all that you can accomplish. Your new bracelet is great. I love that you picked strength. I enjoy that word but also "live." I have "Live Your Life" tattooed around my left wrist and it is always a reminder for me to go for my dreams.

Jill said...

Woohoo, RW can't get here soon enough, I can't wait! :)

I don't have a one-word, but have several things I think of when it gets tough. Lately, I've been saying "Find your strong" - which is from Saucony or Brooks or one of those large corporations.

LBTEPA said...

I have 'dream big' on my road ID and a little neclace of jigsaw pieces from the good cheer company with 'fearless, grateful, blessed'. Such good reminders

Old Runningfox. said...

That was an awesome workout you did, it must have really boosted your confidence in the run up to Boston. Wish I could still run those times.
My wrist band has 'Run for your Life' on it (the same as my Blog). If I'd to boil it down to just one word it would probably be BELIEVE.

misszippy said...

Love the endorphin warrior bracelets--I have one with Believe on it. Wear it all the time.

Nice splits there, young lady! I do like the track--builds so much confidence, not to mention speed!

Jen@runfortheboys said...

You ROCK! You are one of the strongest people I know and that is the perfect word for you. I love your workout today!!! You are one strong tough beautiful graceful inspiring loving faithful graceful CHIC!!!!!

~lavender~ said...

Erin,

I love your choice for the bracelet! I actually have three words from II Timothy 1:7 tattooed on my right wrist(power, love, self-discipline)that I reflect on when running. They keep me focused on staying strong when I just want to give up and remind me that it's with God's strength that I can persevere. I thought I was the only one who had power words:)

coach dion said...

Alone in the dark, nice running...

OK I'm lucky I've got people I can run with in the evening, So my hat comes off to you training hard on your own in the dark, and knocking off some great times.

Mummy Loves to Run said...

Firstly LOVE your blog... you inspire me daily.

If I had to narrow it down to one word it would be "Believe". Its all in the mind for me.

I love "Dream it, Believe it, Run it"

Good luck with the rest of your Boston preparation and thank you for sharing your journey!

Shannon @ Tales from an Average Runner said...

Very nice post! If there was one word I would have it would be Focus. I see on their website now that they have that option. I might have to look into making an investment. :)

Coach Rick said...

It was so nice to discover your blog. You have an incredibly inspiring story.

I hope we have an opportunity to meet in Boston...where I KNOW you will run like a Kenyan!

Sam said...

Just read your great article in Runners Mag. My husband and I have 12 kids and we are headed to Boston for my hubby to run the Boston Marathon. Just found your blog and I can tell it will be one of our new favorites...BTW, I am adopted and love it!

Party of Ten said...

Just read your article in RW...loved it!! Thanks for the inspiration :) Can't wait to catch up on your blog, I am happy to be a follower :)

Anonymous said...

I use the mantra
"Health. Strength. Discipline. Endurance."
I really repeat it over and over again going up hills.
It helps me focus on my foot strike rather than the hill before me!

So glad you're training is going well. Loved the write up in Runner's World - just got my copy yesterday. You are truly and inspiration. God bless!
Jamie in Arkansas

christa said...

I got my copy of RW in the mail last night, when I got in bed and started reading it, I saw you!! I never would have recognized you in the picture of you in Vietnam. Wow!!

Casey said...

I saw you in my latest Runner's Word magazine, and I said to myself, "I know that woman!" Of course, I don't KNOW you, I just blog stalk you. :) May you have STRONG legs for Boston!
A fellow runner and adoptive mom cheering you on-
Casey in VA

Abbie Anderson said...

I love love your site. I have 3 little girls and love to read about your running and mom stuff. I’m putting together a huge giveaway in conjunction with a novel about a runner. We’ve received some amazing sponsors for our giveaway and hoping you will be a part of it. Our idea is to promote our book and the products as well as your blog. Hopefully a win win for everyone involved. I sent you an email with more details. If you didn’t receive it please email me at bubcoats@hotmail.com.

Christina said...

"Strength" is a great word, love the bracelet. What a neat idea ... I may have to do something special for myself after I complete some running goals this year. My word perhaps might be "strong". I run because it makes me feel strong. Confidence. :-)