23 Oct My Marathon Journey
“What was I thinking?” ran through my mind a number of times when I committed to my first full marathon which was the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. My first thoughts were–I have plenty of time to prepare. I got this! Fast forward through time and as life happened my high hopes of committed training did not go precisely as planned.
They do say it is the journey and not the destination. I will cross the finish line one way or another and will stay true to my commitment to both myself, and the cause. It has been an emotional journey, a learning opportunity. I have learned that running is not a simple as it seems. Goal setting of any type calls for strategy and my hopes that by sharing my tips learned along the way you too can conquer your marathon goals.
ONE STEP AT A TIME
It is important to remember this with each stride. Be patient and take one step at a time. What you wear on your feet for each of these steps is essential! Don’t underestimate the power of good footwear. I can’t stress this enough! Your shoes are your equipment. It is important your footwear fits you properly (so you don’t lose a toe nail) I would suggest talking to the experts, go to a variety of stores and try a bunch on! Shoe shopping is always fun! I would also suggest to track your miles for each pair and put them to rest accordingly. Every good shoe that works hard for you deserves retirement.
This is key marathon training or not. In fact–Life is a marathon. It is important to eat lots fresh fruits and vegetables. Leafy greens fuel you to go the distance. Every person and their nutritional needs are different and it is important to listen to your body. IF you pay attention you become aware of how certain foods make you feel. Do certain foods slow you down? Do you notice some give you more energy? Marathon training is not an excuse to increase calories but it is a chance to make better choices. I will say with certainty NO JUNK FOOD! I find it helpful to carry some power foods with me at all times like bananas or power gels.
HYDRATION IS KEY
First piece of advice is to never wait until you are thirsty before you drink water. It is important to stay hydrated always. Creating a well-balanced and hydrated system is preparing you for success no matter what. You can think more clearly and go the distance. I fill up my water container regularly with purified water and always have it on me while driving, working or in meetings. When it comes to race day make sure to take advantage of the stations along the way. I have also learned to avoid juices and sports drinks that are generally filled with sugars and additives. Clean fresh water goes the distance.
ACKNOWLEDGE HOW FAR YOU HAVE COME
I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t admit that some days I just don’t feel like running. It has been really helpful to lean on my team leader from Team World Vision. Leo has provided me with a training plan and even suggested appts for tracking process. It is powerful to see how far you have come when you look back and this alone is motivating. Running with a friend or in a group has been the most powerful part of this experience. We go farther together! That being said we all have the same goal to complete the race and support one another’s goals but also honour one another’s individual journey. Listen to your own body and go at your own pace.
PATH OF PURPOSE
Running a marathon has always been on my bucket list however it is a huge commitment. When I had the opportunity to participate in the Team World Vision marathon it was for two reasons. The cause and my own fitness goals. I wanted to take my fitness goals to the next level and I feel good about the fact that the funds raised will go towards clean and safe drinking water around the world. Perhaps it is because I have had the opportunity to see the new wells being built by the World Vision and witness the positive impact in those communities. In fact one of the most powerful moments in my life occurred at a well in Mozambique. A local mother at the well turned to me and said, “thank you for the well, now I know my children won’t die of water borne disease”. These words are etched into my heart for it was affirmed that the power of love and reach of World Vision making the world a better place for so many people. This is why I run and why I will take step after step until I cross that finish line. Once you know your why–the how will come.