Monday, January 27, 2014

Icebreaker, Architecture and Gifts

“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood.” -Daniel Burnham

I mean really, who isn’t inspired by late 19th century Chicago architects? (Just me?)

I’ve been getting new inspiration from a lot of different places lately. A few weeks ago I was running laps on the track at the Pettit Center in preparation for the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon. After warming up I found myself running with a friend who is also a running coach. He asked me what my goal was for the Icebreaker and I hemmed and hawed about it, mumbling something something about how I’d run a 3:50 in Chicago but running indoors is another complicated beast and I *thought* I could maybe sub-4 indoors. He looked at me and said, “See there’s your problem. Don’t say I *think* I can do it. Say you KNOW you can do it. It changes everything.” He went on to tell me that I was capable of running way faster than I thought I could and I how I could totally be more aggressive with my goals and blah blah talent blah blah ability blah. (I’m paraphrasing, obviously.)

It was a pep talk I needed. I also proceeded to knock out a 20 miler with 15 miles of it at an 8:30 average pace that day. So I went home and promptly changed my Icebreaker goal to be sub-3:50. I did all the math for what my average lap pace should be. I ran two more long runs at the Pettit drilling in that pace for the bulk of each run. MAKE NO LITTLE PLANS right? And then I ran a 3:46:29 on Sunday.

I don’t know why I hesitate with goals sometimes. Except that, wait, I totally know why I do. I feel like when I say them out loud to people they become really real in the Real World and then there’s a new sense of accountability. However sometimes it’s that sense of accountability that can be the push I need to get to the next level.

I have a goal for 2014. I wrote it down just before the new year and I tacked it to my wall but I haven’t told that many people about it. (Mainly because of what I just talked about above.) On Sunday though before the race when I was looking for a place to stash my bag I came across this photo:

I read this and something just clicked inside of me. Of course it is! How cool/lucky/amazing is it that I can go run 95 times around the track and feel strong and happy and empowered while doing so? During the race, every time I felt fatigued or started to slip off of pace I said to myself, “Running is a gift.” Because it is. And I’m actually pretty good at it! So I’m embracing the gift and going all out this year. 

I don’t *think* I can qualify for Boston. I KNOW I CAN.


  1. Congrats on a great race, Tracey! I think your time is incredible for an indoor race. I have no doubts you will achieve your goal of qualifying for Boston this year :)

  2. Thanks you two! It feels good to have encouragement. :)