If You Don’t Believe, Who Will?

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on May 18, 2010


Dearest Yellow jacket, we had some GOOD TIMES! You will forever be a part of my half marathon glory! :lol:




You can bet your behind that they believe they are strong!

I wonder what their mantra is?


I was so inspired by this man who looked to be in his 70’s finishing 13.1 miles!


I wanted to quit so many times during this race because I had sharp stomach pains (i think it was from not eating early enough!). I stopped and walked a lot, and I just felt defeated. I had to keep repeating the note that was on my back just to get through the race.


I was never more happy than to cross that finish line (race recap can be found here).

When you think you can’t do something, remind yourself of a time when you reached a goal.

Today I struggled on a 10-mile run and I had to keep reminding myself of times when I did succeed with this distance.

I had to tell myself, ‘You are so much stronger than you think’ over and over until I believed it again.

The run:

  • Distance: 10 miles
  • Total ascent (hill climb): 1121 feet
  • Avg heart rate: 162 bpm
  • Max heart rate: 179 bpm
  • Avg pace: 9:21 min/mile
  • Time: 1 hour 33 mins.


Mile Splits:

  • Mile 1: 9:06; ascent- 121 ft
  • Mile 2: 8:52; ascent- 100 ft
  • Mile 3: 9:04; ascent- 108 ft
  • Mile 4: 8:55; ascent 141 ft
  • Mile 5: 9:14; ascent- 110 ft
  • Mile 6: 9:53; ascent- 105 ft (my water ran out and I had none the rest of the run)
  • Mile 7: 9:33; ascent- 117 ft
  • Mile 8: 9:41; ascent- 113 ft
  • Mile 9: 10:11; ascent- 117 ft (I struggled SO much with this mile!)
  • Mile 10: 9:04; ascent- 89 ft (My goal was to finish strong!!!)


I’m not going to pretend like saying those words will instantly make it easy because that just isn’t true, but thinking about times when you have succeeded at something provides HOPE and inspiration. Maybe it was a piano recital that you rocked or your first 5k race or the time you headed to the gym in the dark even though your 8 month old had you up all night.

Each of us have victories each day that we often pass by without recognizing.

When you are struggling, think of the good times. Think of the times when you made a positive step in the right direction and think about the feelings you felt. Connecting the memory to the positive feeling will motivate you to want to feel those same emotions again.

Today’s run was not easy and I wanted to QUIT many times- I was feeling tired from lack of sleep and doing a lot of physical work this morning. Aside from that I was bored after mile 6- I was looping the neighbourhood and did not play any music on this run. However, by believing in myself I was able to push past my mental block and remind myself that sometimes the obstacle is more in our mind than on the pavement.

I’d love for you to tell me about a time when you succeeded that sticks out in your mind- it could be rocking a presentation, a race, a speech, beating an illness, an exam, a job interview, getting through a training workout, helping someone out, etc. Share your glory!

One thing that sticks out in my mind, and will forever, is when I passed my Oral Defense for my Master’s degree. It was quite possibly the most grueling 3 hours of my life and also the most anxiety-provoking thing I have ever been through. Whenever I am anxious about a meeting, speech, or other anxiety-provoking situation, I remind myself of the oral defense and how I overcame my fear. I tell myself, if I could get through that, I could get through anything.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

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Kellie May 18, 2010 at 7:09 pm

When I ran my 1/2 I remember wanting to not even start the race. It was dark, early and I was alone (my family was on vacation). I knew that I would feel worse if I didn’t try and the feeling of accomplishment crossing that finish line was amazing!


Karly (Becoming My Best Self) May 18, 2010 at 7:21 pm

I did my first half marathon in San Francisco in October. Still to this day, I still don’t consider myself a runner, so why I decided to run a half marathon is beyond me! I admit it – I am a challenge junkie!

I knew I was going to need some extra support to get through at 22km in one piece. My boyfriend couldn’t be in San Fran with me but he wrote me a little note and stuck it in a mini ziploc bag and tucked it into my fuel belt. He told me I couldn’t read it until I absolutely had to. Well, knowing that I had that note with me during my run definitely kept me pushing! And around the 15km mark, I finally gave in and read his note. It was just the encouragement I needed at that time. I crossed the finish line in one piece and a big smile on my face.

The fact that you can do 10 miles on an average day makes you a rockstar Angela!

You will rock your half, I know it! :)


Triathlonbabe May 18, 2010 at 7:33 pm

What a great feeling it is to accomplish something you never thought you would or could. I’ve a succeeded in a few great things to me in my life. I lost 90 lbs. after struggling with weight issues for many years. I ran my first marathon and finished. I did my first Olympic distance triathlon and finished. I rock climbed almost 120 ft for the first time in my life. I have the same mentality as several of your responders, I thrive on positive as much as possible.

Way to go to all of your accomplishments!


Rachel May 18, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Can’t think of one major success that sticks out right off the bat. But what I do know is that I’ll be thinking of this post, and others struggles and mantras when I’m competing in my first half-marathon in two weeks! Thx for always fostering such a positive environment on your blog. p.s. first time I’m reading outside my reader — and I love the new look!


Tammy Root May 18, 2010 at 7:41 pm

I felt the same exact way as you after I defended my dissertation!! It was grueling, exhausting, and stressful. It was one of the hardest things I had to get through. I think of my defense when I have a public speaking engagement (which always terrify me) and I too say, “…if I could get through that, I could get through anything.”


Amanda May 18, 2010 at 7:50 pm

RIP yellow jacket! You’re not having the best of luck with your lulu’s are you? First you rip your pants during a bike ride and now this. Sorry Ange!


Kara @ MyWellnest May 18, 2010 at 8:07 pm

See it. Say it. Do it.
That’s the mantra I apply when going after something I want to accomplish.
(It’s borrowed from former UGA Gymnastics coach Suzanne Yoculan.)

Your race photos are so inspiring!


Jessica @ The Process of Healing May 18, 2010 at 8:14 pm

You are such an incredible inspiration girl! When I ran, I always repeated the same thing, “You are stronger than you think you are.” While it wasn’t a quick fix by any means, it helped me IMMENSELY. Now, when I think that I just can’t make it another month with this stress fracture… I remember how very far I’ve come. It’s been almost 6 months, going on 7, and I’m still here. I’ve made it. I haven’t given up yet and I’m not about it.


Julie @savvyeats May 18, 2010 at 8:46 pm

R.I.P. yellow jacket… losing a Lululemon item is very tragic!

I can think of a lot of instances, but the most recent would be my 25 1/2 mile bike ride this morning. My legs were so incredibly tired at the end because I had been biking into the wind for the past 10 miles, so I just kept telling myself “finish strong, finish strong, you’re almost there!” And before I knew it, I was back at my car!


Sophie @ yumventures May 18, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Congrats on making it through the race! you are so strong and inspiring :)


Eunice May 18, 2010 at 9:03 pm

I started running earlier this year and I have to admit that it’s been difficult to push through when I’m not feeling a run. I really need to start repeating that to myself. I am stronger than I think!

A few years ago I was in a situation where I was basically left homeless after someone I was close to stole from me. It was the scariest time of my life, and I still get goosebumps when I think about how hopeless I felt. I made it through though. Not only did I find a way to recover financially, but I was able to forgive the person who did this to me. If I can do that, then surely I can run that last mile! :)


The Healthy Apron May 18, 2010 at 9:29 pm

What a great, motivating quote!


Rachael May 18, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Motivational post, for sure.
I consider myself to be pretty strong, and getting past a rough childhood (though I cultivated a relationship with my parents in my 20’s), a severe eating disorder, two assaults and most recently, a late-term miscarriage have left me extremely grateful and proud to be where I am today. I bounce well :)
I loved the shot of the elder running – I think it’s odd that we so often write older folks off, when for most of history, they were completely venerated. Power to him!


Katy May 19, 2010 at 9:58 am

Hi, Just found your blog and I am loving it. It is quite inspirational! I am trying to eat more healthfully and clean. I read that you pack your lunch. What do you typically pack?


Cristy @ bottegalyla.com May 19, 2010 at 11:13 am

Happy Birthday!!!

Yep, tough times stink but you have to just keep getting up, dusting yourself off, and running :) Thanks for all of your great posts!


Jessica May 19, 2010 at 11:47 am

Hi Angela! Been reading for a few weeks now. I’m a runner myself, training for a marathon in September- my first :-)! What kind of gizmo do you use to track your miles and elevation? I love that you always have a per mile breakdown and would love to have one. Happy Birthday!


Heather ODonnell May 19, 2010 at 3:09 pm

I am definitely going to put an OB message on my back during my first half marathon next weekend. Thanks for the reminder!!


Jess May 19, 2010 at 3:53 pm

This was the perfect post for me today!! I have my first 10k on Saturday and started having back pain today. I was already worried about the distance but… I am going seriously repeat that line over and over after about mile 4.

Thank you!!


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 19, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Please don’t run if you are in pain!


Dee May 23, 2010 at 11:35 am

this was a very inspiring post. :)


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