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“The whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside your head that wants you to quit.”  –George Sheehan

I was never good at sports, mostly because I lack the killer instincts that drive players to push ahead of one another, to be at odds, to crave validation in being the best. (My mom always recalls a middle school basketball game in which I handed the ball over to a girl on the other team. Hilarious, and yet a perfect picture of how weirdly uncomfortable I am with competition.)

That’s not to say I don’t get excited about placing in my age group once in a blue moon – but it’s not what drives me. I’m an introverted loner who’s propelled by personal goal setting. That’s why running and racing suits me: I’m always up against the girl in the mirror, and drawing inspiration from the girl running beside (or ahead of) me. The competitors are my muses, not my rivals.

July 2 was the exact middle of 2014. I’d set a goal to run one race per month (check) and 700 miles for the year (errr…not-so-check). At 168 miles for the year so far, I think that second goal won’t be happening. But the point was to purposely shot for the moon hoping to catch a star. Maybe 500? Something to aim for at least.

I’ve been taking a laid-back approach to running this year which has worked out well, but I’m a little uneasy now about my fitness level for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco this October. I entered on a whim and didn’t really expect to get picked. Surprise – Happy 32nd birthday!

It’s time now, as Mr. Sheehan says, to get competitive with the voice inside my head telling me to sleep in, to take it easy, to doubt that I’m good enough to take on the hills of San Fran. I don’t have to PR on this one, I just have to make it to the finish! Alongside 25,000 other women who I think are also mostly there for the experience, the beauty, the camaraderie. There to be inspired.

I posted my 16-week training plan here if you want to check it out.

Run and inspire on, friends.

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