Confidently Running Out of the Haze of Doubt

Cowtown Marathon

Confidence is an amazing thing.

It has the power to make or break a moment in time. It has the ability to carry us to new heights or leave us inches from our goal or destination.

Confidence can be the difference between “winning” and “losing,” but more importantly, confidence can be the difference in taking action or sitting motionless in a haze of self-loathing – continuously saying, “I’ll just do it tomorrow.”

This can be applied to any facet of life – family, work, relationships…even running.

Country Music MarathonIn April 2009, my confidence to run was shattered. I was in the back of an ambulance, on my way to a Nashville hospital. I had been pulled off the racecourse of the Country Music Marathon for dehydration.

I was only 2 miles from the finish line, but I was done. Broken and bruised.

I wrote a blog post after “DNF” was unceremoniously placed next to my name in the race results. I admitted that I actually left my confidence in the back of that Nashville ambulance. I decided to leave it there after hearing the cheers from the finish line over the howling siren coming from my “chariot of defeat.”

That montage of sounds outside that ambulance sparked self-defeating questions that have consumed me for a long time:

• Could I have kept going? (It was ONLY two more miles!!!!)

• Did I quit?

• Did I sell myself short?

• What did I do wrong?

My goal was to break the 4-hour mark in Nashville and be done with marathons forever.

I failed.

– – –

Confidence is an amazing thing.

For several months after the Nashville debacle, I talked a good game about getting back on that horse and running another marathon.

I never did.

Confession: Staring down the barrel of 26.2 miles terrified me.

So…I battled my fear and doubt by not running at all. My running shoes found a comfy shelf in my closest and stayed there.

That was until February 2011. That’s when I found enough confidence to start a running streak that’s still alive today. For almost three years, I’ve laced up my shoes and run at least 1 mile blah blah blah. (I’ve written about my streak ad nauseam.)

I guess I appeared confident in my running, but I was far from it. When people would hear about my streak, they’d quickly ask if I’m training for another marathon. I’d just duck my head and offer a self-loathing, “No.”

Reminder: I had found some of my confidence, but not all of it. The thought of training for 4 months still made my palms sweat, and thinking about an 18-mile training run still caused me to throw up in my mouth a little.

During my streak, I’ve pinned a couple bibs on my chest and raced – I ran two adventure races and I ran a 10K – but they were all under a cloud of self-doubt.

Run a marathon? Yeah, right!

I might have been running for more than 1,000 straight days, but I definitely wasn’t racking up the mileage. Probably the longest run that I tackled during that time frame was 7 miles, and it got to a point where I would simply run my 1 mile and be done.

Train for 26.2 miles? Ha.

– – –

Confidence is an amazing thing.

RunningDuring one of my 1-mile runs in November, I simply whispered to myself: “I’m going to run the Cowtown Marathon again…and I’m going to do it in less than 4 hours.”

I finished my run and sat down with a calendar to put together a training schedule.

I had 14 weeks to get ready for a 9:10 pace over the course of 26.2 miles.

Get it on!

I’m 6 weeks into my training, and…

– I’m laser-focused on my goal to break 4 hours;

– I’m genuinely excited about running again;

– I’ve rediscovered the pure joy of pounding the pavement;

– I’ve been reminded how hard and far we can push our bodies,

Most importantly….

– I’ve found my confidence to lace ‘em up and get it on!

– – –

Live the ListThis is what I’m MOST excited about…

Breaking the 4-hour mark in a marathon is No. 10 on my current life list. (It has been on a list since that ambulance ride in Nashville.) So…in the spirit of “Live the List,” I’m taking other people with me on this 26.2-mile adventure.

I’ve recruited nine people to “pace” me during the marathon. Each person will run 2 to 3 miles. I’ll have someone with me every step of the way.

My team is made up of people who I love and/or inspire me. Some of them are runners, while others have agreed to lace ’em up, start training and become a runner. Some members of my team have never run 3 miles, and some are scared to death of running so fast.

Get it on!

I’m going to have my son Crash run the last .2 miles with me – across the finish line…UNDER 4 HOURS!

Why am I doing this?

Again, it captures the essence of “Live the List,” which is not about going on an amazing adventure by yourself. It’s about investing in other people and experiencing life together.

So…on Feb. 23, 2014, I get the opportunity to go on a wonderfully great 26.2-mile journey…

With 100 percent confidence!

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One Comment on “Confidently Running Out of the Haze of Doubt”

  1. Dave Quinn (@DaveQuinn247)
    December 30, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    Love that the shirt in your picture is from Bastrop. We’re ready to help you get it on in Cowtown! #TeamQuinn

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