Believe I Am: Sisters in Sport

It’s no secret that I record my training in one of Lo and Ro’s well thought out Believe I Am training journals.I am currently on my 2nd journal having already filled one with a year’s worth of training.

Edition 2 of the journal, which has a cherry wood cover

Edition 2 of the journal, which has a cherry wood cover

The benefits I’ve found in having a training log and, in particular, the Believe I Am training journal are almost too extensive to enumerate. However, the biggest advantage I have found to this journal (vs logging in excel or another online modality) is that it takes a holistic approach to the runner.

Because, obviously, I am more than a runner…I am also an acrobat! Cirque du Soleil should be calling soon.


Goals and “physical” training, so to speak, are framed within the context of your life as a whole. The journal serves to remind me that I am a person first and runner second (well, really third, fourth, or fifth in my life, I have a few other things on my plate!), allowing me to me to find patterns in my life which, unbeknownst to me, have a direct effect upon my training. In turn, I’ve found ways to improve my training and racing without necessarily changing the details of my training plan.

Well, let’s be honest here…who is making the training schedules? Hint: not the girl on the right.


Finally, the journal and company emphasize the power in turning negative thoughts into positive ones (“pulling weeds, planting flowers”) allowing for a phenomenon that I have observed in myself which I will call “attitude plasticity” (I’ll explain in a minute).

Example of a “good thought.”

Why am I mentioning all of this?

Well, as it turns out, I’m running the NYC Marathon this year!

Oh, hey self! You’ll be doing this again!

I signed myself up for the 26.2 haul on Monday – nothing like jumping in at the 11th hour!

To be honest, I had no intention or desire to run this year’s marathon (or really any marathon, #5krevolution all the way) until maybe two weeks ago. On a 16 mile run with Gia, I had a fleeting idea of “hey, maybe I could run another marathon.” And, fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view), NYRR allowed me to use my 9 + 1 credit that I had and the RC said she was cool with the idea. I’m feeling pretty fit, am actually excited about the idea (I know, what has happened to me?!), and realize this might be my last chance for the NYC marathon for a long while. So, I took the $256 plunge.

I’m left with 7 weeks to train and the #5krevolution is going to go on hiatus until January or so.

#5krevolution is NOT FORGOTTEN

My training is going to include weekly Rocky imitations. Who’s joining me?

Initially, I was a bit reluctant to share my training for this marathon on this blog as I thought others might be upset I was allowed in at the last minute and was sure I’d have a bunch of naysayers.. However, I think the shorter build up, impending residency application seasons + step 2 of boards, and injury stemming from last year’s marathon leaves me with a mindset and story that will be different from others. It could be a cool story and, to this science gal, “fun experiment” that I ultimately felt warranted sharing with the online world (all 5 of you reading – hi, Dad!).

A nice daily reminder…

In the 4 days since I’ve signed up for the NYC Marathon, I’ve been amazed how my attitude has gone from “the marathon is too long and boring” to “what an exciting opportunity I have!” Attitude is malleable (“attitude plasticity” – I’m coining that). Thoughts and attitudes can be changed if, well, you change them. You have the power to change how you think about something which really changes what actions you take and the outcome of a situation.

Thoughts become actions….

I truly credit Believe I Am with allowing me a system to start understanding this and using my mind to my advantage. And, trust me, I’m not always good at it, but I’m working on it.

Myself with one of the inventors of Believe I Am, much like Gretchen Wiener’s dad was the inventor of Toaster Strudel…

My goals for this years marathon are three-fold. They are somewhat vague and unmeasurable, but goals nonetheless:

1. To not be concerned with all of the concerns I should have. This hasn’t been too hard, thus far, as I have a more important concerns these days (residency interviews, school). Should I start to worry about something regarding the marathon, I’m going to write it down in the free-writing space of my Believe I Am Journal, cross it out, and then write down a corresponding positive thought.

Example…you can even write weed and draw a flower should you desire (or draw a weed, I’m just not that artistic). This was from actually one year ago! CRAZY!

2. To enjoy the challenge.Β The past two marathons I’ve run (New Jersey and NYC 2011), I’ve been almost obsessively preoccupied with the elusive Boston Qualifying time (well, elusive for me that is). And, I think it’s always soured the whole experience for me. I do have a goal “range” that I will use to train towards, but, I’m almost so unconcerned with time this go-round that I don’t even recognize myself. I guess turning 26 really mellowed me out and I don’t have the wherewithall to care. My main goal is to try my best and to enjoy it. Fairly simple, yet I’m not sure how I’ll determine “success” in the end. To be determined…

I #believeIam strong

3. To be healthy at both the start and finish lines and to be able to jog a Jingle Jog in December. The only reservation that almost prevented my from taking the 26.2 plunge was the fear of injury a la last year’s IT band blow up. Since Monday, I’ve developed a foam rolling compulsion and have done more PT exercises that I’ve done in the last few months. I’d rather be able to run throughout my 4th year of medical school rather than finish this marathon (although both would be nice). Staying healthy is priority #1. I want to be able to run a jingle bell jog with little CGT in December.

My little running buddy, CGT.

So, I’m going to use the “bigger picture” and the free writing space to track what prehabiltation/preventative care measures I do and to track any aches or pains I might have to, hopefully, pre-empt any big flare ups.

Looks like I need to fill in some things…

At the end of the day, as long as I get that sweet orange poncho, I’ll be happy. I have grand plans of monogramming it (block initials with time underneath, naturally).

Yep, really just doing this for the poncho. I have big plans for making this a fashion statement.


Ok, way past my bedtime. Good night! Until next time…



40 thoughts on “Believe I Am: Sisters in Sport

  1. So glad to hear you will be running the marathon! I think you are lucky to have have been able to enter, no naysayer here πŸ™‚ Hope these are 7 good weeks of training for you, try not to beat me too much, okay?

  2. Yayyyy! I hope we can hang out in Staten Island for a bit before the start this time. πŸ™‚ And psh to the possible naysayers, you still earned your spot for this year!

    I have a similar perspective as time goals. After bonking so hard last year, I was so happy to PR/run sub-4/run Houston 22 minutes faster than New York just two months later last year. I’m 25 now and the BQ time is 3:35 for up to age 34. I (we) have plenty of time to make it happen if we want it to.

    If I happen to run into you somewhere on the course, plz pace me.

  3. I can’t believe you are putting the 5K Revolution on hiatus, especially after I just joined. There may or may not be a 5K in my very NEAR future. Like very near. With that being said though, I am VERY excited that you signed up for another marathon. I can’t wait to see your monogram poncho. Great idea πŸ˜‰
    I like the idea of writing a training journal, but I am awful about it. I am good for like a week or two and then I fell off the wagon and stop recording my workouts. How do you do it??? Even though I despise Daily Mile I find it easier for me to keep track of miles.

    • I know. I don’t really even recognize myself anymore. But, good luck in your 5K! The revolution leader still acknowledges how awesome they are.

      I leave mine by my bed. The nice thing about the BIA journal is that the space to write about your day isn’t very big — so you really have to write what is important and, ideally, what you would look at on a quick glance of your training. If you want to write more, you can do it in the back (I put a star by that day and write it in the back). Sometimes I even star when I want to write and then do it later (ie if I don’t have time). Logging the every day literally takes me 90 seconds – probably as long as it takes you to fill out Daily Mile! If you leave the journal in a prominent place, its not hard to forget I’ve found.

  4. Meggie! This post excites me greatly. I have no idea how you got in so late (??), but detailz on your corral/bib/etc? Hope we get to hang before the start. And I love your attitude going into it πŸ™‚

    • NYRR let me still use my 9+1 after I emailed and told them that I a) had it and b) now could use it (and explained 4th yr med student, wasn’t sure what school schedule would be in april, so on and so forth). No idea what bib/corral/etc — I should probably find that out. Who am I not being type A about this?!

  5. Oh yay awesome about running NY!! Sounds like you have a perfect attitude, which makes all the difference. Don’t overthink & just let your legs run πŸ™‚ Also more details on the trapezing, please… I want in next time!

  6. I also use the Believe I Am journal. I started using it after I had an injury in the spring which helped me bomb the Cleveland Marathon. I realized I needed a different/healthier way of training and thought process about training. It has helped immensely! Beyond words. I’m also running NYC and happy you were able to get in last minute. It’s such a great opportunity and am glad you took advantage of it! Wishing you happy & healthy training the next 6 weeks!

  7. I’m really happy to hear this, Meggie! Great news! Screw the naysayers– I just ran a decent marathon on low mileage and had a blast. I think you made an awesome decision! Hope to see you out there running in the weeks that lead up to this crazy race! πŸ™‚

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  9. Glad you were able to get yourself in! Haven’t you been posting about long runs for some time? I kinda saw this coming before you even brought it up the first time…

    I have an excel spreadsheet that I keep track of stuff in. I am more of a computer person than hard copy person.

    • Yeah, the long runs at that time were actually still for #5krevolution training (don’t worry, I asked the RC because I was like “umm, this is precisely why I’m not running a marathon! let’s dial it down a little” — she then explained why I needed to do 16 miles, even if I protested). But, I guess it worked in my favor!

      I guess I worry about my comp crashing, but then again, I could lose that journal!

  10. Just recovering from hamstring strain (been out of PT for about 2 weeks now), so I understand the goal of no injuries! I too have a foamrolling obsession (I call it ‘foamrolling like a boss’ and PT strengthening exercises for hips, quads, hammies, glutes and calves). Being injured is a pain (pun) and no fun. Good luck with NY, can’t wait to read about your progress on your Believe I Am journal (I will be getting mine in the mail soon!)!!

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