The Privilege of Exhaustion and Chasing Your Dreams


I am not sure why, but these past few weeks I have really struggled with what to write about.

I feel awkward just talking about myself and what I am doing all the time. I don’t want to become one of those websites where I just tell you about my day.

I want you to be able to learn from my mistakes, and use them to grow and be your best version of you, just like I am always learning and trying to improve.

So, when I sit here and think about what is in my mind right now, all I can I think about how tired I am.

I am right in that marathon grind.

The part we love and hate simultaneously.

I love that I am working so hard for a goal.

I love that I am doing everything I need to do to be ready for my next race, and I love that my mind is in a good place, just taking it day by day.

But that doesn’t mean this is easy.

It isn’t called the marathon grind for nothing.

Today, I wanted to put my words to paper keyboard to share with you the inner workings of my mind.

Maybe my words will resonate will you to show you that you are not alone. Maybe they will not.

But if you are not in this part of your life, maybe it will show you how your loved ones are feeling as they train for their next race, or maybe not even a race, maybe a big presentation, or some other goal they are chasing.

This might explain why they are grumpy 😉

Or too exhausted to move….

Tina tired

I am in the thick of it right now, you know, the part that is just one big slog. Although, having my Mental Training Podcast Series can help me out there.

Some days I wonder why I am doing it.

The other day I had a 60 minute ElliptiGO ride scheduled (on the trainer of course, riding the hills right now would be almost impossible for me!). I just had this overwhelming sense of UGH.

No desire whatsoever to do it. It just seemed like so much effort, and I just wanted to sit on the couch and stare at the wall instead.

But I did, and for that, I was proud.

A lot of the runs this week have been the same way. I just felt so tired, and like I was just shuffling along in mud.

I used podcasts and music during those runs to attempt to distract me.

But it doesn’t get rid of the tiredness.

Remember earlier this year I told you that a lot of runs I just have no motivation to get out there, well, there are a lot of those right now.

Then of course there are the workouts.

But they are also the ones that kick my ass.

I knew I would feel tired, and its funny, I always know its coming, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

Sometimes just randomly on a run, I get that feeling, the marathon feeling.

Where it just feels like someone straps sandbags to your legs, and every step feels like such hard work.

I then wonder why I do this?

Why do I want to do this?

Marathon training is so exhausting.

The pre race time is so nerve-wracking, and not in the good way….basically, how do I not screw this up.

The race is fun for a little while, but you spend the first few miles nervous, just wanting to get to the part where you can actually push, where you can lock in and just go for it.

But then it arrives, and as soon as it does, you wonder why the heck you do this to yourself.

Marathon training was hard. Staying positive during taper is hard. But it is NOTHING compared to this.

Why oh why do I do this to myself?

And then I remember, just how good it feels to challenge yourself, just how incredible it feels to cross that line knowing you gave your very best; to the training, to the recovery, to the race itself.

And it is during those moments, you feel alive.

It is all worth it.

And then we sign up again.

Yeah, I am tired right now, but I also know I am testing myself, really seeing what I can do when I give my all.

I am eating well, although of course I still have my sweets and treats.

I want to have a life after all, and if that means I do not have a perfectly chiseled body, then so be it. I am a woman, and I want to look back on this time and know I still lived my life.

I am giving my best to the training.

I am doing what I need to do to recover.

And yes, it is hard, but I am doing my best, and that’s all I can ask of myself, right?

It is easy to forget that during this time.

When I get caught up in the “ooooh maybe I can run this…..” I start to put that pressure on myself, like the world is watching, like I will be judged or laughed at if I don’t run a certain time.

Like my sense of worth is going to be based on what I can run.

But is isn’t.

I am still me.

No matter what happens, there is so much more to my life than running, and even if the worst case scenario happens, I will move on. I will get over it, and I will learn something about myself.

Sure, I want to “prove” myself.

I want that Saucony professional contract.

I want to run a sub 2:30 someday.

But I also want to live my life.

I want people to get to know ME, and then as they peel back the layers of my life, THEN they will learn that I have run pretty fast.

But during these moments, its hard not to get swallowed up in marathon training.

It is easy to think that you are the only one out there slogging away.

To get in that life is so hard thinking pattern, when in reality, I am very very lucky that I am able to do this.

I am healthy, and I am running well.

That is something so many people would love to have


I am not the only one.

There will be tens of thousands of people running CIM, and I am just ONE of those people training for it, and that’s just one race!!!

What about all the people training for New York (read this race guide!) or any of the other marathons.

We all work hard, and we all dedicate ourselves.

So why do I get in this feel sorry for myself state?

When not only am I CHOOSING to do this, but it is a privilege to be able to do something that pushes me, that strengthens me, and that shows me what I am made of.

I want to run for the rest of my life, but I also want to have a life.

And so it is during this moment, I want to remind myself, and also you, that you should be celebrating that you can be out there.

That you get the opportunity to try.

I am reminding myself of this during moments I forget, and I think you should too.

Yes we are tired, yes we are wondering if it is all worth it, and yes, we are pushing our bodies to a limit.

But having that opportunity to try is a blessing, I am going to do this for all the people who can’t, and dedicating one of my miles this next week to each person who needs it most.

Who else is testing their limits right now (in running or otherwise)? Can I run a mile for you?

dreams, goals, supportive

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  • carla birnberg
    October 17, 2016 5:23 am

    Good lord you are so so much more wise than I was at your age.
    And grateful. <3

  • What a great post Tina. So many things resonate so strongly with me, even though I’m close to twice your age and have about a tenth of your ability 🙂

    I’ve just come off a run which went horribly wrong yesterday! And I moped about this all day yesterday. Today at the suggestion of a running friend, I’ve written down all I learnt about myself yesterday and what I intend to do to change things. I feel much better having committed this to writing.

  • It’s because you work so hard that you get into a funk about why and why and OMG I’m so tired 🙂 BUT, this is what the cycle of training does. Right now I’m in my offseason and having a blast but, only a month ago I was where you are which is why they call it a CYCLE. You are doing all the hard work and are feeling the effects!! Just roll with it knowing there is so much more to Tina than running and we ALL know it but, we love to watch you shine, which is what you do when you’re competing. Go get ’em!!!!

  • Wow Tina! I love when you just let your fingers do the talking. What you just wrote is something that we’ve all felt. Ok, definitely NOT the 90+ mile week of running. BUT the feeling of WHY AM I DOING THIS??? You are doing this because you have a dream. And dreams take hard work. I know that there is so much more than Tina than running. We all do! Go do your work and get your dreams!

  • I can not tell you how much I needed this today. I’m two weeks out from my marathon and for the past oh, 3 weeks I’ve just felt horrible. Tired. Ill. Just felt like quitting!! But, I’m in the home stretch now. Thank you for reminded us what a gift this is. You are so wise Tina. <3 a blessing to the running community.

  • Your workouts are just exhausting to read about. I feel like these are the weeks that really test you though!

  • Yes! The marathon fatigue is no joke. I didn’t even realize how much it was affecting me until I had this week off post marathon and have had so much energy! I’m itching to walk or run, and have much more creative energy for social gatherings and spontaneous family outings… it makes me realize how much the training was affecting me. Yet it’s totally worth it to work hard and chase a big goal! The ripple effects from that kind of discipline spill into every other area of life. Hang on!

  • THanks for being so honest with your intentions, feelings, and thoughts. I swear I grow closers to you each time I read your blog and I admire you for being so dedicated in your grind.

    I KNOW one day on your blog you’ll be boasting about your new baby and I can’t wait for that day. I’ll still be following. 🙂

  • Soren Brockdorf
    October 17, 2016 2:04 pm

    I use Sweatwater Health to track my HRV, do you do anything like that? If so, is it any different this week than at the end of August?

  • I think it is great that you are recognizing how lucky you are! Indeed you are and you are right that it is a privilege to feel exhausted. I am curious about your desire to get a saucony contract. It sounds like after this marathon, you might have your sights set on a family? So when/why would the contract be helpful or matter? thanks!

  • Erica Gamerro
    October 17, 2016 6:07 pm

    When we are exhausted, the exhaustion can seem to color everything in a bad light. It’s so easy to go to “Negative Town” and live there for a bit. Your attitude of gratitude though, can so make leaving Negative Town easier! It’s so important to be thankful! Great post!

  • These are the posts that inspire me. I love reading your thoughts and feelings about training, goals and life. I feel like I can go anywhere and and read about 5 ways to do this or that… but THIS.
    This is what is truly inspiring and real. Thanks for always telling your personal journey. For those of us out there working hard for our dreams, it’s nice to hear from another perspective. I am so excited about what you are going to strive for at CIM. So exciting and it makes it worth all the hard work!!! 🙂

  • Amy Schlotthauer
    October 18, 2016 11:46 am

    so much love for the wisdom and authenticity shared in this post; one which I will return to again and again.


  • Sandra Laflamme
    October 19, 2016 12:05 am

    This is great! I am in the thick of the exhaustion training for #NYC right now and sometimes I just don’t know why. But then I have to remind myself that I am so lucky to be out here doing what I love. You will find your balance in chasing your dreams.

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