I think I can, I think I can

“I think I can,” puffed the little locomotive, and put itself in front of the great heavy train. As it went on the little engine kept bravely puffing faster and faster, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”

As it neared the top of the grade, which had so discouraged the larger engines, it went more slowly. However, it still kept saying, “I—think—I—can, I—think—I—can.” It reached the top by drawing on bravery and then went on down the grade, congratulating itself by saying, “I thought I could, I thought I could.”

– The Little Engine that Could

Last weekend, nearly one year to the day that I fell from a ladder and suffered a 3rd-degree MCL tear, I completed my second half marathon. My previous attempt at 13.1 miles was five years ago, when I was still considered in my “early 20’s,” and upon completion I declared that the 2007 Chicago Half Marathon was the only race longer than a 10k that I would ever want to run.

However, due to the prodding of some great friends, I found myself at the starting line of the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon, 10,000-feet higher in altitude and significantly closer to my 30’s, with the sore joints that have come with my clumsy adventures.

Somehow, though, I felt fantastic. I ran hard through the beautiful scenery, and allowed myself walking breaks when I didn’t think I could keep moving. I approached the ascents with the mentality of that little engine, who was always one of my favorite children’s characters for a reason. Miraculously, I shattered my previous time, as well as my own personal goals.

Time to beat – 2:25:56. Official time – 2:09:31.2.

The race director has self-proclaimed this course the “most beautiful and fastest” half-marathon in Colorado, with which I would not argue.

All that said, my sore, old-lady joints are still feeling the pain of this hilly run, and I have once again announced my re-retirement from half-marathons. After all, I might as well go out at the top of my game.

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