• I Run Because I Can

    November 5, 2011

    Three weeks ago, I waited in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park with about 200 other runners to start our 20-mile training run into Manhattan, which, for me, was the longest of my preparations for the New York City Marathon. As I stood with the 10-minute pace group, listening to our final instructions, one of the volunteers said something that really struck a chord with me:

    There are hundreds of reasons to stop during a marathon, but we all have one reason to keep going. Figure out what your reason is.

    These words were exactly what I needed to hear, but, unfortunately, a specific reason didn’t come to mind. Although, I wasn’t worried because I knew it would eventually come to me, so I started my Garmin and off we went to tackle those 20 miles.

    I ran with Theodora and Sue, and the three of us chatted non-stop for the entire 3.5-hour run. At one point, we discussed our outfits for marathon day. (Hey, it’s important!) Theodora said she bought a new Brooks shirt, and Sue said she planned to wear a pair of running shorts with lots of pockets to hold her GU and Chomps. I hadn’t yet nailed down my outfit for the marathon, so I just listened and thought about some potential options for myself. Eventually, our conversation switched to another topic, so I didn’t think about my race day outfit again for the rest of our run.

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    For not having the most ideal training for NYCM, the 20-miler with Theodora and Sue went surprisingly well for me. When the three of us reached the end of the run in Central Park, I felt tired, but I could have run another six miles, no problem. (Hopefully, I feel that same way on race day!) It was my first time wearing my new I <3 Sweat shirt, so I joked that it must have brought me good luck and maybe I should wear it for the marathon. As soon as I said those words, it occurred to me what my reason was to keep running on marathon day: because I can.

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    Over the past several months, my body has gone through quite a lot: colitis, a hip injury, iron deficiency. Needless to say, it hasn’t been the easiest road to marathon day, but I’m ready for it. I’m also incredibly thankful to be able to even run it.

    When my ability to run was taken away from me, it made me appreciate it so much more. Nowadays, I never take a run for granted. As cheesy as it may sound, at the start of every single run, I take a minute to thank God for my health. Because of these issues, running means something totally different to me now, so what better way to remind myself of my reason than to wear a shirt that supports the Chron’s and Colitis Foundation and my friend Ali, who helped me so much during one of the toughest times of my life. I still remember those first few runs after I started to feel better. Each step felt like a blessing, and I haven’t forgotten than feeling since.

    On race day, when my legs are burning and I want to quit, I will remember my reason to keep going: I run because I can. Even if those last few miles of the marathon make me completely miserable, I am grateful for every single step.

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    If you’re spectating NYMC tomorrow, I’ll be wearing a bright orange I <3 Sweat shirt, and I would love to hear any bit of encouragement you may offer.

    Wish me luck!

    P.S. If you want to track me during the marathon, here’s how to do it: http://www.ingnycmarathon.org/entrantinfo/Join_In.htm. My bib number is 48034.

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    { 145 comments… read them below or add one }

    Verlin November 6, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Good Luck Tina! I love your “reason” for running. A few weeks ago I was complaining in my head about my stupid shins and how rushed I was, and how my run generally sucked … when I ran past my neighbour (approx. my age) sitting in her wheelchair outside her house. She will be in the chair forever – and I promptly quit whining. I’ve been trying to remember on every run since. Go Girl! Also, I MUST get one of those t-shirts. Any tips on how to get one?

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    Nicole @ Giraffelegs November 6, 2011 at 11:13 am

    good luck today!! You will do great!

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    Grace November 6, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Tracking your race – you go girl!

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    Christie November 6, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I am so excited for you! GOOD LUCK!!! You are going to kill it!

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    Amy November 6, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Watching it on tv right now….GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!

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    Lauren November 6, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Just tracked you online and you are more than 1/2 way there! You go girl!!

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    Rianne November 6, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Hi Tina! I saw you running today at the mile 12 marker in Greenpoint-Williamsburg, Brooklyn. You’re awesome!!!

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    Manda November 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Go Tina!!! :D

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    Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel November 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Great reason–I’d have to agree! I also keep hurting myself running (minor pain, but still). First ankle problems, then hip pain…and now I’ve hardly run much at all in the last few months. All this not-running has made me realize how badly I want to be running, though! Now, whenever I do run (even if it’s only a couple of miles), I’m grateful that I can run at all.

    GOOD LUCK AT THE MARATHON!

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    Kara November 6, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    LOVE your shirt!! Good luck girl!

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    Alyssa November 6, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    What an awesome reason to run! Good luck!! I’m sure you’ll do great! :D

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    CJ @ http://healthy-happy-whole.com/ November 6, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    oh my gosh this post is so touching! I cant run yet and I one hundred percent agree that you appreciate it so much more when it is taken from you. Please run a mile for me today! You have been such an inspiration to me in the few years that I have read and I am rooting for you all the way!!!

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    Carrie Kerby November 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Great job today!!!:)

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    Kim November 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Can’t wait to hear your race recap!

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    sue November 6, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Just checked your results – way to go, girl!

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    Pam November 6, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Great job today!! You’ve had quite the journey, but you stuck with it and came through to accomplish your goal, awesome!!

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    meghan n November 6, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Such a great motto! I can’t wait to read your NYCM recap…I see you rocked it!

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    Alli @ alli learns life November 6, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    i love this! I hope the marathon was amazing!

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    Felix Frank November 7, 2011 at 12:00 am

    I was reading through your previous blog posts and greatly enjoying the variety you have on here. I especially liked your post from January of this year that highlighted various workout routines for use on the treadmill. Looking forward to reading more of your blog.

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    Lani November 7, 2011 at 1:24 am

    Hope it went well!

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    Liz November 7, 2011 at 2:16 am

    Just checked your results from today – congratulations on a great NYC marathon. Can’t wait to hear a recap :)

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    de @ hazeleyedbetty November 7, 2011 at 6:56 am

    Way to go, girl!!! Looking forward to the recap!

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    Jen@FoodFamilyFitness November 7, 2011 at 7:03 am

    This post brought tears to my eyes, I hope you had a wonderful race!!

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    Jacki November 7, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Love your mantra and hope it worked well for you! I can totally identify! As I was training for the Rock N Roll half in Chicago in August, I was having hip problems. Afraid to stop training I motored on through the pain. I made it through the 1/2 but the hip inbalance triggered an old back injury to flare and I’ve been out for 4 weeks now. I can only sit about 1 hour at a time which is a HUGE improvement from where I was. Running is totally out for now but I can walk on the treadmill again. I’m happy to get the walking speed back up but I’m anxious to start running again. Your health is definitely important!

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    MizFit November 7, 2011 at 8:00 am

    you rock, sister.

    really that is all…

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    Chi November 7, 2011 at 8:53 am

    I’ve been following your marathon training blogs and found them inspiring. You had a fantastic finish time yesterday. Congratulations! Can’t wait to read your race recap.

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    Sarah@The Flying ONION November 7, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Best of luck!!

    And this post is purely motivational! Keep up your great attitude and keep on running! :D

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    Kathleen @ Ocean Full of Lemons November 7, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Last year I had back issues and was not allowed to run for 2 1/2 months – I thought I would go crazy!!! But it was a blessing in disguise since it truly made me appreciate my health so much more. I love this post since I can relate to it – thanks for writing it! Hope you had an awesome run yesterday, I bet you did great!

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    Emily November 7, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I think that is the best reason for running that anyone could have. And I know it, being just back to it myself, post-injury.

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    Andrea (From Seed to Stomach) November 7, 2011 at 10:25 am

    how did you do?! anxiously awaiting your post about the marathon!!

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    Nikki November 7, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Truly amazing. I love your reason for wanting to run and it’s extremely inspiring. The quote that you have about your reason does inspire me. I never think that I can run but maybe I can! I guess I need to get out there and run. How did you do in the marathon? I’m anxious to hear.

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    Susi May November 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Hope you had an awesome run! Can’t wait to read about it.

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    Chels R. November 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    I can’t wait to read your race recap! “I run because I can” is one of my main mantras as well.

    I also have the same I Heart Sweat shirt in that very color!

    Have a great week!

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    Sarah @ newlyeverything November 7, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Congrats Tina! I just moved from Boston to Atlanta and am a new follower to your blog. I LOVE feeling connected to Boston through your posts. Look forward to reading more!

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    Photos from November 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Inspired by you, I will say “I shoot because i can”.

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    Jamie Walker November 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Congrats – hope the marathon went well! We were thinking about you…

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    Cheryl November 7, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Congrats on your marathon! Am running my first Half in 2 weeks!!
    I love that shirt! Where can I get one?

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    Ellie@fitforthesoul November 7, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Awww amen to that, Tina! I love that quote b/c it’s so true for all of us in every aspect of our lives. Why do we do anything, really? Just because we’re blessed and we CAN! :D Thanks for that reminder.

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    Sarah November 7, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    dying to hear about your marathon!!! hope it went well. you’re an inspiration!

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    Electra @ Vanilla Bean Lean November 7, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    I LOVE this post. Working in the ER & Critical care really gives you a perspective and I say things like this often. That spinal cord injury patient wishes she could even just move her toes, let alone run. That gives me that much more of a push to give it my all – because as you said, we can. You rock! I’m a huge fan of this post :)

    I cannot wait to hear alllll about your recap – I’m sure you rocked the marathon out girlie :)

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    Lauren November 8, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    I love this post. Sometimes I think about this too. I run because I can, and for awhile I couldn’t.
    I’ve had joint problems in the past that made it hurt to walk, sleep, sit due to inflammation – but right now, for no reason I know of, I’m feeling fine. I get some flare ups, but they don’t linger like they used to when I was younger. I started running again and doing regular cardio a few years ago and I never take it for granted. Maybe one day I won’t be able to, but not today! I can’t wait for your recap!

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    ~Christy @ wonderofallthings November 8, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Love this post — the simplicity of running because you can is beautiful and poignant. I was training for a marathon taking place on my 34th birthday a number of years ago and after my first 13 mile training run I ended up with a stress fracture in my foot and couldn’t run come race day. That was it’s own reckoning. But to have listened to your body the way you have, and worked your way back, gratitude is the name of the game. Congrats — you have already “won”!

    Reply

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