A Wife Loved Like The Church

Silencing the Voice Within

Posted on: February 18, 2013

All of us have an inner critic. A voice within that tells us we can’t achieve our goals, we can’t be victorious.

I spent yesterday morning silencing that voice within me that said I couldn’t finish a marathon. I did finish and it was great.  ::


I ran with my two friends, Adriane and Erika. The weather started off a bit chilly, around 40*, so we made sure to layer up. At Mile 6, we dropped our first layer with our support team. Then at Mile 8, I stripped down to my base layer and dropped it with our next support team.

Let me stop here to say something – This race, all the training, could not have happened if it wasn’t for the support of my amazing husband. Jonathan spent so many mornings taking care of our kids while I was out running. He spent hours Sunday tracking my progress on the course, finding spots to meet me so that he {and our kids and my brother} could shout and cheer for me.

The first 10 miles were nice and easy. I was in a good groove, felt mentally and physically good. At Mile 10, we stopped for water and GU. And that’s when I hit the runner’s wall. If you’ve run a marathon, or read about marathons, there is an infamous “wall” that runners hit. Most experts say it’s around 20 miles. Mine hit at 10 miles. But there’s a reason for that…

You see, I’ve run the Austin Half Marathon twice before. The first 10 miles of the course is the exact same as the marathon course. At Mile 10, you see this sign ::


On the right side of the street is a sign that says :: “13.1 —>” The last two years, I’ve always gone to the right. When I came up to the split, my body said “go left” my mind said “go right”. It was awful. I spent the next 3 miles struggling mentally to get over the idea that I could be done if I had just stayed right.

But I didn’t stay right. I went left. And I kept running.

After getting over that wall, I was able to regain my mental strength. I turned on some music and let myself get lost in the moment. Things went really well till around Mile 21. By this point, Erika had gotten a good break away, but Adriane and I were still together. We were starting to have some serious pain. We took a few walk breaks and even joked that our butts were on fire because our glutes hurt so much. Surprisingly though, the pain seemed to lessen when we ran {or maybe it didn’t lessen, we just ignored it}.

At Mile 22, we saw all our families and friends. It was so, so, SO good. It was the boost we needed to get us through the last 4 miles.

Mile 23-25 are nice downhill miles. See, most people think of Texas as being flat. Well… Austin is part of the Hill Country. And it is called the hill country for a reason. If you’ve ever been to Austin, you know that it is not a flat city and has some pretty nasty hills. Especially if you have to run them.

Having those two miles of easy, made running Mile 26 possible.

As we got closer to Mile 26, you can see one last steep hill in the distance. That hill is literally the only thing between you and the finish. You top that hill, take one right turn and you’ve crossed the finish line.

That hill. Oh that hill. That hill became the voice within that told me I couldn’t do this. After beating my body for 26 miles, that hill represented every person who said this wasn’t possible, every time I wanted to quit, every moment that seemed impossible. But I just made it possible. I just beat that hill and crossed the finish line. I just became a marathoner.


When I crossed the finish line, a flood of emotions erupted. I was yelling and shouting, yet nearly in tears. Six months of training for this one day. Incredible.

Now, here I am, on an ordinary Monday. I’m drinking my coffee and blogging. I can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that I accomplished a life long dream yesterday, that I became a marathoner. It’s a bit overwhelming. But it’s a good overwhelmed.

Now, once my legs stop hurting, I’ve got another race to plan.

13 Responses to "Silencing the Voice Within"

Sarah, I’m so proud of you and happy for you! Thanks for blogging about this. 🙂 So fun. A hill right before the finish line…that is KILLER!!!
I love that Jonathan tracked out places where they could cheer for you. That makes ALL the difference. 😀
Love you!

Alicia, thank you!! Oh man, it totally made all the difference having a support team cheering me on. And the hill?! Ugh, so glad that’s over! Ha!

That was crazy amazing Sarah!

Thanks Wendy! And to think, it all started with that one little 5K you convinced me to do. Ha!

you inspire me :). so blessed to read about how you and your hubby truly love each other and make sacrifices for each other.

Thanks Miranda! I’m a lucky girl who’s got a pretty fantastic guy. 🙂

I’m in tears and in awe at your hard work and dedication (and Jonathan’s) over the last 6 months and few years as this dream became a reality. So happy and proud for you. Way to go girl, this sure is inspiring. What a beautiful race story. Congratulations and way to go!

Thanks Katie! You’ve been an inspiration to me! Truly. You’ve been an amazing source of information and encouragement over these last few years. I can’t thank you enough for all the emails and texts about running that have helped me so much!

Ahhhhhhh! Incredible story. I’ve been waiting and waiting to hear about this! I was thinking about you on Sunday!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!

Thanks Derricca! It was an amazing adventure. I so recommend you doing it!! 🙂

Wow, friend! I was thinking of you Sunday morning during the race. I think you should introduce yourself to people from now on as “Sarah Windham, Marathoner.”

Haha! I might just do that. I was tempted to wear my finisher’s medal all day yesterday. 😉

Oh my gosh! You GO girl! What an awesome accomplishment. 🙂

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