The Little Engine that Could…

This past Saturday, my 9-year-old niece ran her very first 5k run with me!  She did AMAZING and I am SO proud of her 🙂

It was a *very* chilly start to the race and we were doing stretches and Tawnie was doing running jumps off a ledge to stay warm.  Finally, the National Anthem started and it was time to line up.  I asked her at the start line if we were going to try to run the whole thing… she hesitated and said she’d try!  I told her without a doubt we could do it and we were not stopping to walk 🙂

And she did it!  She ran the ENTIRE race (well, with the exception of 0.14 miles that I let her walk halfway through… 🙂 ).  It wasn’t for lack of trying either.  I became her biggest cheerleading along the route.  I told her running is all mental and she needed to stop telling herself “I can’t” because I *knew* she could!  I told her she was like the Little Engine that Could… all she had to think was “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!”  And that became my mantra for her throughout the race.

This morning, during my regular 8 mile training run, it hit me- that same mantra applies to me!  I *know* I can hit my speed targets.  I *know* I can set a PR in Tucson.  I *know* I can push myself.  I just need to do it!  So, I changed up my route this morning and tackled some of my favorite hills on Fuller Road.   I practiced running down them fast to begin practicing for Tucson the mostly downhill course could really help me, if I practice right and start believing in myself again.

I’m ready to hit the track in the morning with Andrea J. and Marzia B. for my speed work 🙂

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