An Open Letter To Myself

As of this writing I am approximately two weeks away from making a run at a Boston Marathon qualifying time.  I have to finish the marathon in 3:10 just to have a chance to register, which means that I really need to run a 3:07-3:08 to be able to get in.

For the past few weeks I have changed my training to start in the evening since that is when the marathon will be taking place.  It hasn’t been easy and after every run I seem to have a rationale for why it didn’t go as planned.  With that as background I took to my run Monday morning, which was to be an aerobic 5 miles, and wrote an open letter to myself during those 5 miles.  I finished the run beaming and had the following splits: 8:46, 8:10, 8:06, 7:28, 7:18 and my heart rate never climbed above 158 bpm.

What did that letter say?  Here it is:


Dear Jason -

I am going to start off by saying it plainly to you:     stop making excuses.  Enough of them.  Yes it’s hard to run 7:15s.  Yes it’s hard to do it for 1 mile let alone 26.2 and I get that but you know what……you’re tougher than 7:15.  You are stronger than 7:15.  You can run 7:15 but you have to believe you can.

Stop making excuses.  I know you just raced 70.3 Austin and then went out and ran 18 miles at a 7:51/mi pace and then a half-marathon that was just two minutes off a PR after running 5 miles before the race.  That pace of 7:31/mi was just the beginning of what was going to be an awesome end to training in time to race Vegas.

I get it that the 20 miler at 3:45pm was tough b/c you didn’t know what to expect but guess what:  that is an excuse.  You’ve run 20 miles before and so why you felt it would be difficult before you even took your first step is beyond me.  I understand that a mid-week 12 miler is hard, but guess what anything worth going for in life is going to be hard work.

Oh, that 22 miler you had on Saturday evening.  Yeah it was tough and it kicked the living snot out of you and I understand that but stop making excuses.  80* temperatures with 80% humidity… what?  You didn’t hit your splits but you still ran 22 miles and never gave up.  You never stopped to walk and throw away the whole workout.  Your legs were cramping and you almost threw up when you were done…..congrats as you are tougher today because of it.

When your calf is acting up…..tell it to shut up.  When your quads are screaming at you as you pound down a hill, talk to your hamstrings and laugh at your quads as they are being weak.  When those same hamstrings are crying as you ascend that same hill just think to yourself that you are pushing the weakness out of your body.

You want a Boston marathon qualifying time do you?  Then work for it.  Don’t stand on the sideline hoping that the time will just happen because it won’t.  You will not just show up and hear the gun go off and finish in under 3:10.  You are going to have to push and pull.  You are going to have to threaten your own body.  You are going to send up prayers and wishes.  You may even cry from the pain, or throw up at the finish line but if you want that goal then you are going to have to push yourself to get there.

Do you think that the guy that gets the slot is not working hard right now?  Do you think that you will just get to register?  Stop thinking that and stop making excuses because there are others out there working harder than you.  They are pushing themselves because they can taste that 3:10……can you?  Do you have what it takes to push yourself as hard as you can for 3 hours?  It’s 3 hours and then you have the rest of your life to talk about how you pushed and qualified for Boston.  Or you can take those 3 hours and not qualify and think to yourself if you had just done this little extra you would have gotten there……BS that is an excuse being setup.

Stop making excuses.  Start running faster.  Start pushing harder.  Start testing the limits of your ability and then once you get there GO PAST THEM!

That a-boy…..look at 7:18 split…..Congratulations……now rest for tomorrow we will do it again!


Sincerely -

The No Excuses Team

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  • Mamarunsbarefoot

    you’ve more than got this!!!!! Remember all the people who aren’t there in Vegas(but you do have an awesome support group there!) but are thinking and pulling for you!
    Mamarunsbarefoot recently posted..Manic MondayMy Profile

    • CTER

      Thank you Nora. I know I’ll be fully supported and doing my best to make sure everybody smiles at the end of the race…..BQ or BUST!
      CTER recently posted..An Open Letter To MyselfMy Profile

  • kc

    That No Excuses Team are some tough mo-fo’s and I like them! They will be with you as you run your ass off in Vegas, screaming in your ear the entire time.
    kc recently posted..100 things about moiMy Profile

    • CTER

      Who are you kidding? You are the Captain of Team No Excuses.
      CTER recently posted..An Open Letter To MyselfMy Profile

  • Carolina John

    I”m pondering a bq attempt in the spring. Good luck man! That’s the same motivation I need.
    Carolina John recently posted..Over the PeakMy Profile

    • CTER

      The only way to get to Boston is to run so no more pondering. Register and start training for it.
      CTER recently posted..An Open Letter To MyselfMy Profile

  • marlene

    Awesome. Make sure you go back and read this over and over again.
    marlene recently posted..MOVED!My Profile

    • CTER

      I have read it at least 4 times today. My easy run after my two hour ride this morning was at a 7:40/mi pace. I felt great. Thanks for your support.
      CTER recently posted..An Open Letter To MyselfMy Profile

  • Christina

    Love this!
    Christina recently posted..Better than nothingMy Profile

  • Jeff Irvin

    Stay focused brother! You can and will do this!
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..Random Shit …My Profile

  • onehourironman

    I know where you are coming from. I have an internal fist fight concerning Kona qualifying at IMNYC
    Hang tough…. Push through

  • Mandy

    Ugh. You totally have this. Stay focused, don’t let your mind screw with you. You are ready!
    Mandy recently posted..Allied Medal Hanger – WINNER!My Profile

  • Mandy

    Not sure why I said UGH. that was supposed to be more of a warrior cheer that didn’t translate well into writing.
    Mandy recently posted..Allied Medal Hanger – WINNER!My Profile

  • BDD

    Just keep thinking “If I run 7:15′s, I can eat all the Boston Pizza in the world, the best pizza ever and its a veggie on top of it, its a double win for me”

    Thats what I would be thinking

    One a serious note, stay focus, have a mantra, and keep saying it all race long
    BDD recently posted..Weekly RamblingsMy Profile

  • Jen

    AWESOME post.

    You are Stotan and one of the most focused and inspiring people I know.

    Not only are you mentally and physically ready for this but this is your time.
    Jen recently posted..Marathon Monday – 1st day of the rest of my running lifeMy Profile

  • Karen Bahamundi

    I am the one with excuses.. not you. You CAN do this- I on the other hand, most likely will be in the heat and humidity, foot hurting, and picked the wrong outfit for the day.

    Outsmart your mind honey and lets take that trip to Boston!


    • CTER

      This must mean you really want to go to Boston since you commented on my blog. Let’s do this.

  • Shut Up and BQ with a 7:15

    ‘Nuf said. It’s yours for the taking.
    Shut Up and BQ with a 7:15 recently posted..I Need All the Help I Can GetMy Profile

  • katie

    awesome letter! go get it.
    katie recently posted..Philadelphia Marathon: race report (guest post)My Profile

  • Colleen


  • Carol Flynn

    Love it and you CAN do this. Your WILL alone will get to your Boston, forget all your hard work and perseverance.

    • Carol Flynn

      Guess I should clarify…your hard work and perseverance is what is taking you to all these goals of yours as well….no doubt, but your WILL is the drive behind all that hard work!

  • Mike Ransick

    Great letter! Memorize it or put the motivational phrases on slips of paper you can pull out, read, then throw away as you crush each excuse and the race.
    Mike Ransick recently posted..TimeMy Profile

  • Patrick Mahoney

    Don’t take this the wrong way, but stop thinking! As a guy who once was amazingly good at (and probably still capable of) mind f’ing themselves, I think you need to simply take ownership of running a good marathon and don’t worry about Boston. And then guess what? You’ll qualify for Boston. Do some research…how many baseball players, when coming up on a record, stumble just before? I bet most do. I know Tim Wakefield did this year.

    Give your mind a rest – I’d like to see a post about when you went to summer camp when you where 11, take your mind off stuff.
    Patrick Mahoney recently posted..Dana Point Turkey TrotMy Profile

    • CTER

      Not taken the wrong way at all. I learn so much from others and this is great advice. Thanks for helping.

      What were we talking about again?

  • Chuck

    Great post bro. I know I cried when I crossed the line at worlds so I have no doubt that you can push past it
    Chuck recently posted..ITU Long Course Triathlon World ChampionshipsMy Profile

  • Aimee (I Tri To Be Me)

    Awesome letter! You are going to do awesome and ROCK that race!!!
    Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) recently posted..Ironman Arizona – Pre-RaceMy Profile

  • Beth

    No excuses! Don’t let your mind give up before your legs do!
    Beth recently posted..8 Day Plan Results!My Profile

  • Erin

    love it! Sometimes you just have to tell yourself how it is and give yourself a little tough love! Good luck in Vegas! It was my first marathon (ran it last year).
    Erin recently posted..InspireMy Profile

  • lindsay

    Jason + 7:15′s = NO DOUBT!
    lindsay recently posted..a’s to the q’s (part 3)My Profile

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