Friday, October 9, 2015


I needed a new training log to kick off the new season, so this week I bought the Believe training journal. It’s more of a workbook/journal than most running logs and has lots of places to write goals and work through various aspects of your running game. Of course, it also has the space to record your daily progress, and it gives some suggestions about things you might want to track. Tucked in between the things I already log (workouts, pace, how it felt) and the other things I probably should (sleep, iron levels) was something I instantly knew I had to start tracking this season—gratitude.

Coming back from an injury, it’s easy to be gracious. When you’re hurt, you long for the wonderful amazingness of running. What you would give to just jog for a few minutes! When you’re allowed to run again, it’s pure joy. Yes, this is what you missed!! You’ll never take it for granted again!

But then, you know, you do it every day. And it gets kinda monotonous. Wouldn’t it be nice to skip it? Sleep in? Not put yourself through grueling race-pace miles wondering why the hell you do this to yourself?

Right now, I’m loving it, driven by a femur-induced absence that made my heart grow fonder. But I know those (literally) dark days will come.

And—as always—I’m going to go after PRs this season, and—as always—it will be tough. I’ve got a long road ahead and lots of challenging workouts to struggle through before I can expect to have a challenging workout I nail. But this season, more than any other, I want to be grateful the ENTIRE time. Because this season I have the opportunity to (a) run, (b) chase PRs, and (c) train to do both those things at a ridiculously prestigious race.

So I’m writing it all down. Each day, something I’m grateful for, running-wise. This week, I’m grateful for making it back to routes I’ve missed all summer, for the chance to run with teammates again, to cheer others on at the Army Ten Miler.

And I’m grateful for both new and old running logs. I happened to flip back through an old log to see what shape I was in this many weeks before my last successful marathon. It turns out that, this week, I ran the EXACT same weekly mileage and the same length long run at a similar pace. (Of course, then I was coming off a season of racing 5Ks, and this time I’m coming off a season of racing boredom in a pool, but SHH! We’re being grateful remember?! I am doing better at core and strength these days, so there’s a win.) I’m not as far behind as I thought, and I’m grateful for that.
Trying to stay this thankful for every run.
My mission won’t be easy. I can be am a bit of a brat. My optimism makes me expect too much, I compare myself to others (which serves no purpose but to stoke jealousy), and—on top of that—marathon training is capital E Exhausting. There will be cold, dark, icy mornings. Treadmill days. Bad races. Frustration. All those tough workouts where my goal paces seem far away.

But I want to be grateful anyway, for the bad days, the days I don’t want to go, the days the run doesn’t make me feel amazing. Because I get to run, I get to train for the Trials, and that’s capital A Awesome.

Dream big,

P.S. This is semi/kind of/okay, grasping-at-straws related, but my amazing cousin wrote a book called Choosing Hope that came out this week. (I’m choosing to be grateful…  See? It’s related.) I’ve just started it, but you should check it out. Her story and her attitude are truly inspiring.


  1. Loved reading this! I had my first track workout in over two months yesterday. Just like you, my optimism makes me expect too much as well, and saying that I have a long way to go to get where I want to get is saying the least. Right now, marathon pace seriously feels more like 5K effort, but the least I can do is keep trying until it'll finally feel easier. And you are so right: WE GET TO RUN, WE GET TO TRAIN. So let's do this ;)

  2. Yeaaaa, marathon pace currently feels like mile pace to me, yikes! But we'll get there! :)

  3. You know I love reading about your training - ESPECIALLY those early runs where you note that your previous marathon race pace now feels like tempo pace. That's hugely helpful for me when I start training again and am frustrated with myself when my tempo pace is so much slower than I'd like it to be. So thank you so much for your honesty, Teal. And your optimism. I love this idea of being grateful - I am in the same boat as you, coming back from a layoff. (combo injury/normal post-marathon break) How are you liking the Believe training journal?

  4. As I limped down the stairs on my inflamed left knee today, I thought again about the importance of doing my physical therapy. I don't wanna do PT, but I do soooooo wanna run. Thank you for inspiring me (again and again and again)!!!