The Battle Between I Can’t and I Can!

Running Final

In four weeks I will run the Chicago Marathon. It will be the third time I will run 26.2 miles. When I woke up before dawn this past Saturday morning for another long run, I jotted down the way I was feeling.

Here’s what I wrote.

“This is the point in my marathon training when my brain starts to try to convince the rest of my body that I CAN’T actually do it. Or that I don’t WANT to. It’s when the little lazy minions in side of me who aren’t totally on board with this goal begin to wage war with the rest of me. It’s when I begin asking “Why did I decide to do this?”

It’s when the battle between I CAN’T and I CAN begins.

Now is when I begin to feel guilty and selfish for leaving for two, three or more hours on Saturday morning to run. It’s when I want to sleep in past 6:00am, and not eat my breakfast in the dark or tip toe around so I don’t wake anyone up. It’s when my head starts saying things like, “Just stay here and make pancakes for the kids and lay around in your jammies until 9 am.”

It’s when I begin to say things like, “Just have another glass of wine for dinner tonight. So what if you have to run 18 miles tomorrow? Run another day.”

But then I come to my senses and I remember that these are the moments that separate the men from the boys, the ladies from the women, the weak version of me from the strong version of me, the ordinary me from the extraordinary me, and maybe the sane from the crazy. I realize these moments are the ones that matter most and if I give up now, I have lost.

When I’m not fighting this battle I wish I was. These are the times I remember why I do this. Not to tell someone I ran 16 miles today, but to win the battle raging inside of me and quiet the voice that whispers, “You can’t do that.”

Yes. I. Can.

For me, running isn’t actually so much about running. It’s about life and what I’m capable of in it. It’s about proving wrong the doubters, the naysayers, the haters… in my own head.

Thanks for reading. Excuse me while I go out and crush 16 miles.

Originally appeared at and was edited for this site.

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Ashley Weingart

Ashley Weingart is a marathoner, a vegetarian and a mother of three. She writes about her adventures as a “busy mom on the run” and shares running tips, recipes, gardening inspiration and craft ideas at Ashley lives in Chagrin Falls.

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • I love how you’ve narrowed it down to a moment in time. We only have that moment to make the decision to stop or go forward. I will remember that when my alarm goes off tomorrow. (Or in the middle of the night when I sometimes reach over and turn it off!).

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