I Run Because I Can

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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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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150 Comments

  1. Go Tina! So pumped you’re running this! It’s my ultimate goal and hopefully next November I’ll be heading down to Manhattan to accomplish my goal:)
    A good reason to keep going is a NYC bagel at the end;) Good Luck!

  2. Best wishes to you, Tina!! You have a wonderful outlook on running, and it helps keep me encouraged, as I sometimes wonder why on earth I’m putting myself through this craziness called running haha! 🙂

    Can’t wait to hear how it goes!!

  3. The hardest part is over. I’ve felt that the training is a great learning experience and it’s a milestone in itself. I run because I can and it brings me closer to God, good luck in the Big Apple.

  4. That is an awesome running mantra.. and an awesome 1 reason to have to keep those legs moving tomorrow.

    “I walk because I can.” Was one of the big sayings when I did the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for a cure this summer… so I can resonated with how your feeling. Walking 60 miles in honor of or in memory of those who were struck with breast cancer was an emotional I will never forget.

    So run your heart out and keep those feet moving… because you can!

  5. Great mantra! I actually used the same one when I ran the Portland Marathon last year, and it led me to a PR. Best of luck tomorrow! I’m running NYCM as well, though I doubt we’ll see each other (unless you’re in wave 1).

  6. Good luck tomorrow! When I run marathons, I also think over and over in my head, “I run because I can, and if it were easy, everyone would do it!”

  7. Tina, this is a really good post. I am glad you found your motivation and I hope you rock this marathon, you sure have been through a lot in the last few months. I am trying to come back from a hip injury myself and and still can’t run, so your story REALLY hit home for me. Good luck!! You will do great.

  8. I learned this very same thing last year while training for my first NYC. Like so many other things in life, you don’t realize just how lucky you are to be running until you suddenly can’t. Which then just makes you appreciate it more!

    Good luck to tomorrow! I’m running as well but in the first wave – I’ll be sure to leave you a trail of good luck 😉

  9. Love this, Tina, and I’m starting to feel the same way. A couple of years ago, I never would have believed what I’ve proven I’m capable of today. I keep running because I want to keep proving that point to myself, over and over again. It feels awesome.

    Kick ass today and enjoy the ride : )

  10. I asked readers on my blog the other day why they exercise, and one person said “because i can.” I just love that – so simple and powerful. It really made me appreciate what my body can do that others might not be able to do.

    Get out there tomorrow and ROCK that marathon, girl! I’ll be thinking of you. xoxo

  11. Good luck Tina! What an awesome post this morning! My best friend loves to run and she up until a year ago, was running 6 miles a day. She loved it. Then she got Plantar Fasciitis and hasn’t been able to run since. They say she has nerve damage. She misses it so much and would give anything to be able to do it again. So run for her today! 🙂 Good luck!

  12. Hello
    I appreciate your idea to run in a shirt supporting the c & c foundation. I have crohn’s myself and it has taken running away from me for 3 years. Prior to that I was very healthy, and ran 3 marathons. Earlier this year I had most of my bowels removed and while that brings along problems, I can run again!! I will live with crohn’s the rest of my life and deal with the repercussions daily, but I’m more thankful for running now than ever, and always will be. Good luck.
    Jen

  13. I loved reading this! It could not ring more true for me right now. I’ve just gotten over some serious injuries and have started training with my sights set on an ultra. When people ask me why, it’s hard to come up with an answer. It’s great to know there’s so many other people liked me that realize what a blessing running is… And do it because they can 🙂 good luck!!!!

  14. I’m so excited for you! I recently got tendonitis in my foot that I let go on way too long so was not able to run for close to a month. It definitely makes me more appreciative of actually being able to run now, even though I’m not quite up to where I was before, but some day I can and will be!

  15. I used to be a compeitive runner but I cannot anymore because of physical health. And I’m a couple of years younger than you. It breaks my heart every day and its been 3 years out already and I still mourn it.

    I like that you appreciate it. You never know when it will go.

    On an unrelated note, I suffer with severe iron deficiency, but I react poorly to supplements. Any thoughts because this has killed my energy and motivation more than it is already dormant.

    1. @Jackie: Hey Jackie, Just wanted to let you know that I have the exact same problem… have you seen a hematologist and a gastro specialist? I’m seeing both in December because there can be a lot of other fixes besides supplements. In the mean time, I’ve been trying to listen to my body and rest when it’s too exhausted and exercise when I can. (I had to quit competitive swimming.) Have you tried pilates? Best of luck 🙂

  16. Tina, you’re going to great and honestly think you’re amazing for doing this! When I think about running a marathon, I am limited and think I can’t do it – but you don’t think that, so get out there, SWEAT and kick that marathon’s butt!

  17. Your reason to run is the same is mine. After a blood clot, I was on thinners for 6 months and couldn’t run. Up until then, I had a love/hate relationship with running but had just run my first 1/2 marathon and was feeling inspired. I used those 6 months to keep my body strong and still remember that first run. The doctor had urged me to take it easy and walk/run. I ran 1 mile before I stopped. After that run, I reminded myself how good it felt to be back and that in the future if I ever felt too tired or didn’t feel like running to remember it was gift, a choice, and that I should feel lucky that I COULD run.

    Best of Luck this weekend and have fun!

  18. I discovered your blog a few months ago and have really enjoyed reading about your training. Great post today. Good luck tomorrow!

  19. I just wanted to thank you for this post! “I run because I can” is such a powerful statement. I love what you put up on your post at the bottom. It actually made me all teary eyed. I have always worked for people with developmental disabilities. My heart has always been with this population because I love empowering people to be as independent as possible and helping out in areas needed. I actually say “they are just differently abled.” Anyways, thank you for this post because it made me realize that I should have this attitude as well. We often take our health for granted. The fact that I have full range of mobility is more precious than myself and others realize. I am going to go for long run today and be thankful for this, and also cheering you on sister! Good luck and thanks again! Cheers to health!

  20. It’s a big motivator when you think of all the people who can’t do what you can. I don’t need any other reason to go to the gym.

    I’ve been really bummed lately because I somehow messed up my knee. I had an xray yesterday because I thought it was my ACL, but they said it was fine. I have to go in for an MRI now because they think it may be that I have a bucket-handle-tear on my meniscus (knee cartilage). All I’ve been wanting to do is get back to my routines, I feel lost and miserable without them. But I know I’ll appreciate it even more when I can finally get back to doing it.

  21. Tina! Good Luck!. You will do amazing. I have those very words framed on my desk in my office. I had injures as welll in the past year and a half (hip and stress fractured foot) I honestly feel so lucky to be able to run now. Have fun in the NYCM. Enjoy every step. Best of luck!

  22. Good luck! I’ve recently began running, only a mile right now and slowly, but I’m trying to keep that kind of mentality every time I do it, that I should see it as a privilege. Have a great race day!

  23. I love this post especially as someone who cannot run due to a childhood injury that caused chronic arthritis 🙁

    I got a little confused though. How does the I heart sweat shirt support the foundation? Is someone selling them as a fundraiser?

  24. What a great mantra! I sometimes tell myself this when I’m debating getting in a workout. I need to appreciate the body I have and all that it can do!

    I’ll be sending positive thoughts your way. 🙂

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