Monday, October 29, 2012


A few people have asked me in the last week or so if I am still running. Ummmm, YES. That is a given. :)

A dear, sweet friend told me a couple of weeks ago that she wished she could send me a "running reset button". (She also offered words of encouragement, support, and inspiration). Her comment stuck with me, and I realized that I did need a reset button - physically and mentally. The last couple of weeks have involved a lot of soul-searching and a lot of thinking about WHY I am running, why I am training, and why I have chosen the goal that I have.

What I decided/realized/remembered, is that I am running because I love it, and it is a part of who I am. I am training because at this time I am enjoying seeing how good I can be, I love racing, and I find joy and satisfaction in setting goals and working hard day in and day out to achieve them. And I set the goal of trying to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials in 2016 because in my opinion, that is the biggest running accomplishment possible for me. To be able to line up and race with the best of the best in an Olympic Trials race - even though I would be FAR behind the winners, would be the greatest honor and accomplishment I could experience with my marathon running.

Sure, there are plenty of reasons why I may not reach my goal.

I do not have years of running or racing experience. Less than four years ago I had never run more than a mile at once. I do not have tons of natural talent. I do not have a running group with other runners (and faster runners!) to learn from and to push me. At 35 years old I do not have age or time on my side. With 12 kids and a very full life, I have other priorities and do not just focus on my  running and training - or sleeping.

So some may say that my goal is out of reach - that it is unrealistic. Some may think that I have accomplished all that I will accomplish in running. Some may think I am crazy for putting such a lofty goal "out there".

But you know what? There are plenty of things that I do have going for me. I have huge determination and work ethic. I have the ability to run high mileage and lots of tough workouts and not get injured. I am an eternal optimist. I have an indomitable spirit. I have made a whole lot of progress in three years, and have three more years to keep at it. I have a LOVE of this sport. I am stubborn. I have the best support system ever. I have a plan. I have faith.

I have a full, beautiful life. I am married to my true love and soul mate. I have twelve (!!) kids who bless me beyond words. I have family and friends who lift me up in every way. I live in the most amazing place. I have a deep love of God and faith that carries me through good times and through life's challenges.

Whether I achieve my running goal of the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials or not, I am a happy, blessed person living a wonderful life. Goals are great and important, but the journey has to be rewarding, joyful, and satisfying, even when (especially when) the journey has it's rough spots and involves a whole lot of hard work.

This last couple of weeks and this trip to New York is my "reset button". I am going to NY and will be enjoying time alone with Josh, time with family, and time with friends. We have some incredible opportunities and experiences awaiting us in the Big Apple. I am going to run the race that I love through a city that I love, in what is looking like will be perfect weather. I am going in to this race with no pressure and no goals other than to enjoy the experience, and I am running it FOR ME.

And then I am going to come home, recover, and get back to work with a refreshed spirit, a rested body, a new coach, a plan I am confident in,  and my indomitable spirit - ready to enjoy every minute of the journey.

“Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.” – James Allen

“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” – Pamela Vaull Starr

No dreamer is ever too small; no dream is ever too big.” – Anonymous

At first, dreams seem impossible, then improbable, and eventually inevitable.” – Christopher Reeve  


coach dion said...

OK so you need a kick!!!

Let me tell you a little story about a cute girl I know...

I joined my running club back in 1990, I ran ok and ended up friends with a couple of the other guys and girls who ran OK. One of these girls was a young lady by the name of Dawn, she was aged 37. Over the next 2 years she decided she wanted to break 40min for a 10km. So with the help of Fran, she together with a couple of other young ladies did a couple of sessions and at the Ottery 10km in 1992 she ran 39:59. She was amazed, and ticked that box...

Now in 95 I broke up with my long time girfriend and wait for it, in 96 I hooked up with Dawn. Now like any good Man I married her in '98, and beat her into shape!!! (OK beat isn't the right word) But in the years that followed she ran a 38:30 10 a 60:16 15km and a 86:12 half (her marathon of 3h12 was ever that good, but she didn't like the long runs) Now most of these times were run when she was 45-46!!!

So your age isn't a problem, and the fact that you have only been running a couple of years counts in your favour.

Have fun at NY (with Sandy) and then get back and run a couple of fast times on the short races and then next summer take another knock at the marathon.

Good luck

Kelly said...

Did I miss something? New coach?

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

Keep running and reaching for that dream! I think we all need a reset from time to time. I take time every winter to hit that button.

L.A. Runner said...

Sometimes you remind me of me. I hope that isn't too insulting! Haha. Having big goals is an awesome thing. We share those. :) The thing about awesome goals is that the disappointments hurt badly. While I hate to recover and rest, it really is important and that "reset" is valuable mentally as much as physically.

Wishing you the best in NYC and I hope this new coaching relationship gives you what you need.

bobbi said...

Not a ton of natural talent? I don't think so :)

I am so so happy to see you get away to NYC with Josh, take in the whole experience, and run for the joy it brings you in a magical place. I hope it's just what you need.

I am loving your journey (you inspire me so much!). I am glad YOU are loving your journey too. Enjoy New York!

Jen@runfortheboys said...

Love the reset concept. I am blessed to be a tiny part of your support system....and I fully intend to yell my heart out for you at the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon!!! You have what it takes and are an inspiration to us all :-)

Have SO MUCH FUN in NYC!!!

Adrienne said...

One of my favorite quotes that several coaches use is that progress is never linear. I take a lot of comfort in that when things start going awry and know its all part of the big picture.

Hope NYC is exactly what you hope for and use the 'reset' how YOU see fit!

Kathy said...

Erin, you are amazing! Yes, I believe in your goal. But the most important thing is that the goal is not the focal point of your life. You have SO MUCH MORE!!!
Training is tough, it is so easy to lose track of why we run to love. I am very glad to hear about your reset. Very, very smart.
Keep loving what you do! There is no point in having such a plan unless your heart is in it!

Beth @ Miles and Trials said...

I'm going to use that idea of a "reset" button. It can work in many areas of life when you just need to refocus and get a fresh start.

I think it is awesome that despite some setbacks, you are still determined and committed to your goal. And those qualities are just as important as the physical training.

I hope to see you in NY. I'll be hanging out in the Blue Wave #2 Start marathon morning.

Terzah said...

I am so glad to hear you are running NYC for you and to be with Josh! It will be an experience like no other and it WILL refresh you for your goal. You show 'em, girl!

Julia said...

i think sometimes we all just need a lil reset in our lives. sometimes i get so far ahead of myself and just need to slow down physically and mentally for a second...get back to the true meaning behind why I am doing what I am doing...and start over there! for me! i will be thinking of you while you are out living it up and dominating in NYC:)

Canuck Mom said...

We all need a little reset sometimes. Goals are tough to struggle with. I understand. I had a goal in my head to get a 4 hour marathon at the Marine Corp Marathon this past weekend. It was my first official marathon. I had the unexpected though when a new thing happened, my ITB acted up at mile 23. So my first marathon was a 4:16. I have heard from many that is a top notch first marathon and that I will only get better, but it was not my goal. So now here I am 2 days post marathon and hitting my reset button to get out of my funk and be proud of what I accomplished. Resetting is so important.

jessie said...

Hey, listen, the fact that you can run 80+ miles a week and not get injured is talent, plain and simple. I can't do that and never have been able to, even when I was a kid. Always rooting for you!

Teamarcia said...

Was there ever a question that you wouldn't run NYC?? Why wouldn't you? Dreams and goals are yours alone. Who dares judge another's? YOu go girl! ENjoy every step!

Suz and Allan said...

Have a great time in NYC and for the record I don't know of anyone else who works harder than you do. You really are an inspiration!

Carissa @ Sole Sisters Running said...

I love that you list out all of the things that spur you on toward reaching your goal. I know personally its easy to look at a proverbial mountain in front of me and focus on all the reasons I might not be able to climb it. Thanks for reminding me to focus on the positive.

Jill said...

You don't need to justify anything; your dreams and goals are yours and yours alone. I hope you are able to GET to NY after the devastation that hit ( so so sooo sad!) and spend some much-needed time alone with your husband! YOu rock!!


Laura @ Mommy run fast said...

Time to reset is so important! I'm sure you'll come back refreshed. Enjoy NY!

Sitesx6 said...

I believe NO GOAL is ever ever out of reach- and the journey TO THE GOAL is just as wonderful.

I started running at age 45! (45!) Less than a year after starting I ran the Chicago 10 mile. For me- the journey and goal was FANTASTIC and I learned so many lessons.

Today for the first time in 6 weeks (!!!) I ran for the first time again (after a struggle with an injury). I'm back- I have new goals- and the journey will be WONDERFUL.

Don't let anyone tell you that you can't reach a goal. YOU CAN AND YOU WILL.....and if you fall a little short- AT LEAST YOU HAVE A GOAL and improved in so many ways along the way.


Kristen Lawrence said...

I don't think you should push the goal aside, I will say that I do think you race too often though. Did you really run 5 marathons this year plus a few halfs? I'm not one to give coaching advice but how can you train fast when your body is still recovering? Wishing you ALL the best, you have tons of huge PRs in your future!!

robinbb said...

I feel like last year I hit the reset button on my running and this past year has been one of the best years of my life in all ways. I am happier and running better than ever. My goals never changed, but how I am getting there is what changed. And I am doing so much better since that reset.

Good for you in noticing that you can hit that reset button. You will be thankful for it.

Natalie R. said...

Have an awesome time in NYC with Josh & your mom and dad. You were never one to be in the dumps for too long! Be patient, it will come.

Annie Crow said...

Thank you for having this goal and writing about it - for being bold. Reading about your journey has emboldened me to claim my running goal - to qualify for Boston. I know this will be years in the making and that is just fine. Thanks for the inspiration!