If you can dream it, you can do it

For the last two weeks, I’ve gotten really good about going to the gym. Amazing considering I was a slacker for the last 6 months or so (well, I did marathons, but I didn’t exercise at all besides those)! My new routine is to set my alarm for 6:15, snooze till 6:30, and be dressed and downstairs at the gym by 6:45. I’ve figured out how to get my favorite TV shows to play on my Droid, so I watch 30 minutes of whatever show I’m trying to catch up on (I am so behind!) while on the elliptical or Gazelle. It gives me a totally great start to the day, and I’m so happy I’m now in this routine! Now I just need to figure out how to watch my shows while I lift weights (or start lifting weights late night when I get home) and I’ll have a nice well-rounded regimen. And of course, pray I don’t get moved to a travel project where my routine will be all messed up.

Today’s show was the second to last episode of this season’s Biggest Loser (yes, I am way behind! No spoilers, please). This was a really cool episode and very relevant to me: the final four contestants run a full marathon! I especially loved seeing Daris come in 4:02, which was my San Francisco Marathon time and a PR for a very long time until I finally broke it in Alaska. So impressive! I definitely had dreams about writing to him and asking him to let me pace him sometime for a sub-4 hour finish. If anyone has any connections, let me know!

I thought it was really neat to hear the sentiments the contestants expressed as they did their first marathon – they were very similar to how I feel after doing 54. Namely what Koli kept saying over and over: If I can do it, anyone can do it. Honestly, that is one of my biggest mantras in life, and I’ve gone so far to stick a famous Walt Disney quote all over my computer desktop. “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Now of course I think that applies within reason, but I think my 50 states marathon quest is a very good example of something that was virtually impossible when I dreamed it up… but then I made it happen.

I still don’t really consider myself a sporty person – marathoning is something that I set my mind to doing, but I don’t think I’m naturally athletic or anything like that. I believe I got through this quest on sheer determination and stubborn Type A personality. You have to be very disciplined about your training, at first, sure; but honestly, no amount of training gets you past mile 20 or so. From there to the end, it’s really all mental. I often tell that to my pace groups to hopefully pull them through! At mile 20, everyone’s legs are hurting and they’re tired (yes, even my crazy marathoning legs can get sore!), but it’s how badly you want it that will determine whether you finish and in what time. My best advice for anyone looking to get through a marathon is to have a really clear understanding of what your goals for the race are and why you’re doing it – otherwise, it’s just too easy to give up, take it easy, and end up disappointed with the results. Believe me, I’ve done that more times than I can count.

Now I just need to remember that the same applies for me dragging myself out of bed to go to the gym. I have to remind myself just how much I don’t want to regain the Consulting 15! :)


  1. As always thanks for the inspiration, and congratulations once again.

  2. I loved watching Daris’ 4:02 time, too! I was secretly hoping I would do something like that. In fact, as I checked my phone right after the marathon, by brother sent me a text saying “Did you beat Daris?” Apparently by brother was able to pick up on my secret quest. :)

  3. This was just the post I needed tonight. I am running my first marathon (an almost life long dream) on 6.26 in seattle. At some point in my training I decided I wanted to shoot for a sub-4. Wish you could pace me! ;) I know, though, that most of it is going to be mental for me. I’ve been practicing my mental toughness on some hard work outs. I love what you said, “My best advice for anyone looking to get through a marathon is to have a really clear understanding of what your goals for the race are and why you’re doing it – otherwise, it’s just too tough to give up, take it easy, and end up disappointed with the results.” It reaffirmed to me that its okay that i have this goal for my first marathon, that I’m still going to have fun even if I have to push myself, and it is a goal that I CAN accomplish. Congrats on your amazing accomplishment. What an inspiration.

  4. Great post! Thanks for sharing your marathon wisdom.

  5. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve absolutly LOVED reading your posts as you tackled this dream. You are such an awesome storyteller! I can’t wait to see where life takes you next. :)

  6. Thanks for this post. I just wrote about my lack of motivation to run this week. This really helped get me focused on my goal of BQing. It’s definitely not happening without commitment and the right attitude.

  7. i have been following all your updates on FB, but too busy to comment! Wanted to say congrats!!!

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