The sign.

Over lunch hour today, I took a walk to pick up my marathon training packet. During the 20-minute stroll many thoughts whirred through my mind.

A marathon? Seriously girl, what are you thinking?

6 A to the freakin’ M. Every. Single. Saturday. From now until October. Blechhhhhh.

Hey, at least I have an excuse to continue shopping at lulu this summer!

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As my training  begins this week, I have noticed more negative than positive thoughts seeping into my head. Then today, at the CARA office of all places, a sign appeared out of nowhere.

As I was waiting for the volunteer to hand me my packet, I began a conversation with a woman who will also be running the Chicago Marathon this fall. I asked if this would be her first marathon. Her answer blew me away.

It was going to be her second marathon. She ran Chicago 3 years ago and shortly after was diagnosed with breast cancer. She explained that she had cancer when she ran but did not know and after not running since that marathon, she had been recently cleared to run by her doctor.

Instead of showing grief or anger for her situation, she proudly exclaimed, “I’m a breast cancer survivor!” as she threw her arms in the air.

We walked out of the building together continuing our conversation about her health and our upcoming training. After we said goodbye and parted ways, I couldn’t help but realize that she was the sign I needed.

This woman is so grateful for life. She beat cancer, she fought for her life and now she’s running her second marathon as a sign of her strength.

She’s running as a survivor. She’s an inspiration.

Sometimes we need a sign; a sign to put everything into perspective. Whoever sent this sign my way, thank you.

As painful as marathon training might be over the next 18 weeks, I am not fighting for my life. I am not suffering.

I am strong. I am healthy. I am grateful. I can do this.

Bring it on, Chicago.


  1. What a beautiful and inspiring story!! And yes, you can totally do this. You have so much support and you are going to be amazing. Live it up, girl!!
    Kate @ Baking in yoga pants recently posted…Little Things to LoveMy Profile

  2. I’ve no doubt you’re going to rock this marathon.
    My big advice? Enjoy your rest time and enjoy your runs. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. I struggled through my training – it was mentally very challenging – but I’m sooo glad I did it because now I can call myself and ultra marathoner.
    There will be Saturday’s where you won’t want to run, but you’ll do it anyway and you’ll be SO GLAD you did!
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Ultra Marathon RecoveryMy Profile

  3. People like that always remind me to stop doubting and make me see the positive. Kudos to the both of you for running this marathon. I can tell you’re unleashing that warrior spirit!
    bezzymates recently posted…The Creature From the Gym LagoonMy Profile

  4. What a great sign!!! I love that woman’s story and the fact that she was such an encouragement to you!!!
    Kim recently posted…Hunter’s first Half Marathon and Our First Trail RaceMy Profile

  5. This gave me chills! What a wonderful sign to fuel your marathon training!! Cant wait to hear about your training!
    Allison recently posted…Fuel Your Endurance Training Better – Vega Sport ReviewMy Profile

  6. Love, love, love this! You’ve got this.
    Katie @ live half full recently posted…How I get Back on Track After an Indulgent WeekendMy Profile

  7. That’s amazing Becky!! You can totally do it!! Good luck training!!
    Alicia recently posted…Relaxing, Sleep in Weekend MIMM #9My Profile

  8. <3 <3 <3! Keep that positivity with you all the way till October!
    Katie @ Blonde Ambition recently posted…Blend Retreat Weekend in PhotosMy Profile

  9. Go you! I am so not a runner so I can fully appreciate how much effort it is. It’s not just a physical workout, but running is SOOOOOOO mental! Kill it, girl!
    Kayla Tyburski recently posted…If We Were Having A Cocktail Right Now…My Profile

  10. what an awesome sign, we all need those once in awhile, just to reassure ourselves <3
    cait @pieceofcait recently posted…Graduation Party!My Profile

  11. This gave me goosebumps! I would definitely take that as a sign. You are going to rock that marathon!!
    Sarah @ making thyme For health recently posted…Roasted Chickpea Salad with Grapes and FetaMy Profile

  12. You are going to rock it, buddy. Something like that is priceless.
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…Balancing blogging and the ‘real’ worldMy Profile

  13. That is awesome, I love that. Go her!! And go you girl, you got this!
    Mia @ Makemeupmia recently posted…1 Year Later + A Mini Giveaway.My Profile

  14. You got this Becky!!
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted…I’m Alive!My Profile

  15. You have such a great attitude – you’re going to rock this marathon :)
    Kim @ Racing Bananas recently posted…Blend 2014! The Things We Did.My Profile

  16. How wonderful to meet her as you were having doubts! I think that the biggest thing I try to take in with training is that it isn’t always going to be rainbows and sunshine – you will have some tough times but the rewards…priceless. Yay for 26.2! You’ve got this :)
    Gianna @ Run, lift, repEat recently posted…And So It Begins….My Profile

  17. Sometimes we all need a sign! But it’s also totally normal to have some doubts and negativity about a marathon. It’s very challenging.
    Laura Dembowski recently posted…Strawberry Shortcake Ice CreamMy Profile

  18. Yes, definitely a sign… love it :) You are going to do GREAT!
    Cori @ recently posted…I Want to See RealMy Profile

  19. Such an inspiration! Some of the strongest people have gone through the most difficult times!
    Hilary recently posted…Loving Yourself – Treat Yourself TuesdayMy Profile

  20. you got this girl! What an inspiring story!
    Davida @ The Healthy Maven recently posted…Gluten-Free Orange Cranberry Scones + My Pros and Cons of Ebook WritingMy Profile

  21. I read this on my phone last night (you know, bedtime reading) but had to pop by and comment because I NEEDED to read this. Is it okay if I take this as my sign too? Thank you. Cannot wait to rock our marathons together – ps. tentatively coming to Chicago July 18-20 (confirming tonight)… if so, wanna do our long run together?!
    Amy @ The Little Honey Bee recently posted…26 Strong: I’m Running a MarathonMy Profile

  22. I just got chills!!! You got this! I’m a bit freaked out by my decision too and more negative thoughts along with lots of doubt have been overwhelming me lately, so this was just on time!
    Brooke@SweeTnSweaty recently posted…Punta Cana Dominican Republic Vacation RecapMy Profile

  23. What an amazing story! That woman is amazing, and I love that you turned around your thinking. I also know you are going to do amazing!!
    Heather @fitncookies recently posted…Johnson and Johnson 7 Minute AppMy Profile

  24. Wow! So inspiring!! You are going to rock training! I hope you run into that woman again at the race so you can tell her how much she motivated you :). So sad I didn’t really get to talk to you at Blend! Hopefully we can meet again soon!
    Nicole @ fitful focus recently posted…Blend Retreat: Part 1, Making BlendsMy Profile

  25. I just love these little signs!!!!! I look for them all the time! What an inspirational story!
    Alex @ Alex Runs For Food recently posted…Treat Yourself Tuesday 12My Profile

  26. I got tears in my eyes reading this! I’m training for a half and find I start to think negative thoughts that I’m not capable. Thank you for sharing this…positive thoughts moving forward!

  27. OMG, I think I teared up a little. This was beautiful. Isn’t it amazing how some of the most random encounters with strangers can be the most inspiring! Good for her, and good for you to celebrate life!
    Emily recently posted…Breakfast with a side of Link LoveMy Profile

  28. Wow. That is amazing. I love signs – absolutely love them. Good luck as you start your training… I know you will be amazing.
    Kelsey @ Ramblings of Change recently posted…Thinking Out Loud / #5My Profile

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