Fear --> Faith

A year ago, I wanted nothing more than to compete at the Olympic Trials 10k. I'd thought about the Trials every day for 2 years, on each run striving to improve myself and get closer to my goal. More than anything, I wanted to be on the starting line, but instead, I was at home, watching the race on TV, glass bottle of wine in hand.

Fast forward 11 months to May 2013, a month before the 2013 USA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships (the equivalent of the Olympic Trials in a non-Olympic year). Unlike the year before, I'd earned a spot on the starting line, by virtue of my 33:01 10k PR. And also unlike a year ago, racing was the LAST thing I wanted to do. Whereas in 2012 I would have given anything to race, in 2013 I found myself full of fear, dread, and doubt... 

Stormy track workout, representative of the stormy spring I've had...
You see, I've had a roller coaster past few months. Running was not going well and some health stuff was way out of whack (more on that in another blog post). I'd tell my body to do X and it would do Y. I'd say, "Run faster!" and my legs would say, "Hell no!" Talk about the polar opposite of being in the best shape of your life... A body that's failing you doesn't exactly inspire confidence, and once those seeds of doubt are planted, they grow like weeds, taking over your sense of self and replacing the faith and confidence you've nurtured over the years...

So I was faced with a choice - end my season early and scratch out of USA's, or solider on and give it a go. 

What'd I pick? No cliffhangers or suspense here - I picked the latter. I'm here in Des Moines, athlete credential in hand, gearing up for my first track national championship in about 8 hours!

And I'll be showing up at the starting line not with doubt or fear, but with a renewed faith in my abilities. After sorting out the health issues that were plaguing me the past few weeks, I've run workouts that are reminiscent of the Kaitlin of last spring. And with solid workouts, confidence gradually returns.

Add to that plenty of encouragement from Coach Dad, Assistant Coach Little Bro Brendan, and Main Cheerleader Mom, mix in super support from Dena Evans and New Balance Silicon Valley, and finally stir in lots of love from my fiance, and you've got an athlete ready to race a 10k!

Earlier this month, I set the following goal for myself: 

And at 8:20 PM CT tonight, that's exactly what I plan to do! Hang with the pack (and try not to get lapped by Shalane!), run with confident thoughts in my head and joy in my heart, and HAVE SOME FUN! Because that's why we're really out here, right? Because we love it! :-)

Tune in to http://www.usatf.tv/  to watch me joyfully race 25 laps (and be sure to catch my little bro Brendan in the men's 10k right after my race!). Go Greggs! :)