Strength, courage, wisdom.

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I made a big breakthrough last January when I learned to throw ninja stars with my mind. I’m not kidding.

My last track race had been back in April of 2004, the day I realized I was not going to make it the Olympic Trials because the pain in my foot was probably a stress fracture. I love the steeplechase, but at that moment I hated it for breaking my foot.

Fast forward almost eight years as I was getting ready to run my first track race since 2004, an indoor 5k. Twenty-five laps.

That’s me on the rail. Calm, cool, and collected.

Most people would probably be freaking out, but I had the good fortune of be able to use my Believe I Am cues. I had been practicing them during my workouts, and had specifically trained myself to use my ninja stars.

Ninja stars and an entry from my BIA journal last December

I was a bit nervous, of course. I’m not a robot. Lauren Fleshman (yes, the pro runner who said “balls” on national TV) tweeted me a reminder to focus only on the things that I could control.

January 2012 entries and race day success!

Since I started using my Believe I Am journal last December I’ve been able to focus better in races. It’s also nice to have the ability to reflect back on past training and races. One of my favorite features is that there is actual space for journaling, with tons of blank pages for your deepest thoughts and dreams.

Pre-writing a blog post this past summer.

And if you carry it with you everywhere you go like I do, you might just get Frank Shorter to autograph the cover (even if he spells your name wrong).

We ran into the 1972 Olympic gold medalist on our way to Eugene for the Olympic Trials this summer.

My goal for the next few months is to focus on strengthening my core and remaining injury-free. With only an eight week build-up before my marathon this December, the injury risk is very high. I’m going to use my Believe I Am journal to track my running and strength training and focus on writing about how I’m feeling to head off any potential injuries.

What do you use to mentally prepare yourself for big races? How do you deal with nerves? How do you keep track of your training… do you use a training journal?

8 thoughts on “Strength, courage, wisdom.

  1. It takes a lot of courage to step on the track after so many years away! I haven’t done a race on the track in 10 years, but considering it in the next few years! I know I’ll have to be mentally ready just like you.
    Good luck on your core work and remaining injury free! I’m excited for your marathon!

    • Thanks Jen! It’s incredible how your body remembers exactly what to do, even after a long layoff. I’m sure you’ll do great when you decide to re-visit the oval!

  2. Super cool! The journal has helped me have a better perspective before and after races!

    Any track races in the works this next year? Jen it would be great to see you on the oval too! Track is where it’s at!:)

    • Definitely! I wanted to do more last year but sickness kind of got in the way. I fed my addiction in Eugene with the Olympic Trials 🙂

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  5. My goals too have been to strength train and remain injury free! I am recovering from PAB (pes anserine bursistis) due to SUPER TIGHT and over worked adductors overcompensating for weak outer hip muscle areas…

    I have the newer version of the journal, but its interesting to see the similarities/differences are between the two! I just ordered the Ninja Star shirt from Believe I am and can’t wait to get it in the mail soon!!!

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