I can do (really) hard things

I am linking up with Marcia at Marcia’s Healthy Slice, Erika at MCM Mama runs and Patty at My no guilt life for Tuesdays on the run, where this week’s topic is Something new running has taught me this year.


2016 was an outstanding year for me when it comes to running. But the biggest take away is that I can do really hard things. 

I have been running for over 10 years but my first half marathon was in April of 2015. I had never done any longer distance, never used a training plan, never run more than 3 days a week.  While I never back down from a challenge, don’t lack in self confidence and know how to make a plan and stick to it, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I could run a marathon and live to talk positively about it.

Well, fast forward 18 months after that first half marathon and I have since trained for and run two marathons (Paris race recap here, and the New York marathon recap here). Of course the race is hard, but so are the months leading up to the race.

  • Researching a training plan
  • Anticipating the plan / finding a coach
  • Running 3 to 4 days a week (or more)
  • Taking care of my body so that it can carry me through to the end, uninjured
  • Consistently doing a dynamic warm up and stretching after my runs
  • Adjusting life so that I could train correctly (less social life, more sleep)
  • Changing my eating habits
  • Running alone at zero dark thirty
  • Explaining 1 000 times the benefits of the run / walk method (and that yes, it is ‘legal’ to walk during a marathon)
  • Trying out racing & fueling strategy for such a long distance
  • Doing several long, slow runs that lasted up to 5 hours
  • Running 26.2 miles

And I did it twice this year.


This experience has spilled over into the rest of my personal and professional life. I figure if I ran a marathon, I can do pretty much anything, no matter how tough. So when I start to get overwhelmed, down on something, want to complain that something is hard, don’t know how to attack a problem, I just tell myself… I can do hard things. And I am confident I will make it through. Because I trained and ran 2 marathons in a year.

What has running taught you this year ?

Comments: 8

  1. Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy December 7, 2016 at 2:56 pm Reply

    Oh yes you can!

    People are constantly encouraging me when they see me walking at races. 🙁

    • Karen - Fit in France December 8, 2016 at 7:09 pm Reply

      That drives me nuts but I know it is out of good intentions

  2. Marcia December 7, 2016 at 4:10 pm Reply

    Running has taught you a beautiful and important lesson. You’ve had an amazing year!
    Marcia recently posted…Panama City Beach Half MarathonMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 8, 2016 at 7:08 pm Reply

      Yes, it has. Thank YOU for all the inspiration !

  3. Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner December 7, 2016 at 5:26 pm Reply

    Isn’t it just amazing when you realize that you really can do so much more than you thought you could?!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…“Tri” ing to Organize my 2017 Race ScheduleMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 8, 2016 at 7:07 pm Reply


  4. Coco December 8, 2016 at 2:55 am Reply

    So awesome! I am so impressed that you completed your training — and your marathons — without injury! You really were disciplined and consistent.
    Coco recently posted…Tis The Season For Christmas CookiesMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 8, 2016 at 7:07 pm Reply

      Yes, it did require a huge amount of discipline.

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