I am scared, so the dream must be big enough

Checking out my countdown clock I am told I have 2 days to go until the Calgary Jugo Juice 10km race.

I feel sick.

Why you ask? Good question.

I can run 10km, I have done it before and quite recently in fact…last Sunday, the Sunday before, the Sunday before that…

But nerves are attracting the butterflies and the butterflies are scared off because my belly is filled with bats.

Can I do it? Absolutely.

So what is the problem?


I am afraid I will not push myself. If I go at a relaxed pace that will have me finish the 10k like I do on my LSD days, I will reach a time of 1:55:00 for 10km. For those of you who don’t run, that is super slow-mo speed. Most people will finish the race at about an hour to an hour and a half. If I push myself to my limit, I will finish in 1:40:00. I dream of finishing in 1:30:00. My body isn’t ready for that. I think I could push it but I’d be puking and Jeff Galloway frowns on puking during a race, that means I am over exerting.

There is nothing wrong with pushing yourself to the limits of what you can do. I know for a fact that my body can do more than I anticipate it will, but by how much? There is the question that no one ever gets to know the answer to. We can always do more than we think we can.

My support team is all happy and sunshiney, saying things like “It doesn’t matter if you come in last” – well, I fully expect to come in last…I just don’t want too. They say things like, “The medal is the same for first and last place finishers” I know, that is why I am doing it. My medal will be made of sweat and tenacity. THey say things like “You’ll do fine.” Sure I will, I have trained for this, my muscles know what to do – it’s the brain that scares me.

A whole bunch of ‘What if’s’ are rolling through my head.

  1. What if I can’t find parking?
  2. What if I injure myself and get pulled?
  3. What if I feel crappy race morning and can’t pull myself together?
  4. What if I run out of fuel/water/water and water?

That is the problem with race day. You plan and train for the best, but nothing ever happens as planned. You hope for a personal best but race day is like the Mickey Mouse Club equivalent to ‘Anything Can Happen Day!’  I can mull over all possible scenarios but the reality is I am nervous. My first running race…with my Dad…on his birthday…in a City that isn’t mine…on a course I don’t know…filled with Calgarians who taunt Edmontonians…


My coach says “If your dreams aren’t scary they aren’t big enough”. I didn’t think 10km was big enough. I am scared. It is big enough. I need this to take me to the next level. To calm my nerves I think I will go for a run in the rain – at race pace. I need to remind myself I am ready.




In addition to running the 10k in Calgary with my Dad, my other goal is to raise money for the Dream Team Make-A-Wish Project. I chose to run for the Dream Team project for several reasons, the team, the support, the coaching but the most important reason is to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Project. I have family and friends who have benefited from this amazing charity and it is time to give back. Our Team slogan is Because you can’t smile on the outside without feeling better on the inside. 

Please consider donating on my behalf, Robyn Engel Couture here DONATEYou enter any amount from $1 – infinity and beyond

I thank you, my team thanks you and some little kid who’s wish came true thanks you.

For more information about the Dream Team Project, please visit here.

17 thoughts on “I am scared, so the dream must be big enough

  1. Calgarians taunt Edmontonians? I had no idea. Do Ottowans mock Saskatchewanians, too? Do Nova Scotians thumb their noses at British Columbians? I won’t even ask about Quebec. I know they disdain everybody who isn’t French.

    Go knock ’em dead!

  2. I don’t like to finish last, either. But I hate being sick and injured a whole lot more. You’ll rock this. You’ll get the race-day adrenaline going, and that electric feeling that goes with running in a massive group that brings tears to my eyes every single time. Seriously. I am not of the variety that blows rainbows up people’s behinds. It’ll totally be the best race ever, for you!

    1. You are right. I went out for a shakeout and feel more confident. The bottom line is – I am running in my first 10k. That is cool for a fat girl who couldn’t run before the age of 45. 🙂

    1. Thanks! It will be fun..or else! 🙂 How could it not be? I will be fulfilling my goal of running with my dad. Sure it took me 45 years but better late than never Thanks again Jan 🙂

  3. First of all, you referenced the Mickey Mouse Club. That makes you a winner in my book.

    I think we all have those “what ifs” that roll around our minds, growing tentacles that wrap themselves around our brains. Don’t let that consume you. Something I do before a race is I take a washable marker and write a word on my hand or arm. I’ve had “I can and I will”, “push”, etc.

    When I’m thinking about slowing down, I remind myself of those messages. I take an inventory of my body – does everything feel okay? Am I able to continue at the speed I’m going? Does this feel okay (not good, but OKAY)? If I’m able to answer YES, I keep going.

    Kick ass. You’re ready.

    1. First things First – I AM TOTALLY GIRL CRUSHING ON YOU!!!! You gave me exactly what I needed to hear and I wrote on my arm already because I am super excited to use that tip. I use those questions when I am about to emotional eat, it didn’t occur to me to use them when I run. I heart you to the moon and back! Thank you 🙂

      1. I’M SO GLAD. Also, the girl crush is one of my favorite types of crushes. That’s a fact.

        I get worked up before every race. I started running in 2011 and vowed to do 12 races in 2012. And that first race came and I was like, “Holy crap, what the heck am I doing?” Each and every time I had to remind myself that I’d trained for it and I was ready for it, physically. The emotional reaction isn’t always a rational one.

        I’m not a fast runner by any stretch of the imagination but you know what? We’re DOING it. Just by showing up, we win.

        Also, the 10k is my favorite distance (I say this having only done one 10k race). It’s the perfect distance in my book because you really CAN push yourself and not have to store your energy for another 7 miles.

        Okay, I’m done rambling. 😉 Can’t wait to hear all about your run! xo

  4. LOL. Edmontonians taunt Calgarians just as much as Calgarians taunt Edmontonians. Although I am not a runner, I have checked out the course and based on the training you have been doing up there, I think you will find the course is about right.
    I just hope the course dries up by the time you run, right now everything is beyond drenched.
    I wish you the best of luck, go out and be the best you can be. I know you will make us all proud!

    1. 😀 Thanks Lynn! I decided not to wear my “I am an Edmontonian” T-Shirt, lol. I am hoping for 2 things on Sunday, No wind and no snow. I can handle rain. In fact, I am faster when it is cooler so BRING IT ON! That’s right..its late and I am ALL talk right now 😉

      1. Yes, it is probably best to leave that shirt at home. I think you are good for no snow, although wind can be a bit more unpredictable. You and your Dad are going to have a blast. By the way, please wish him a Happy Birthday for me.

Keep the conversation going!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s