Fitness, Goals, Health and Wellness, Marathon, Marathon Training, Personal Development, Running

I completed my 11th FULL marathon!

I completed it on Sunday, May 2nd. I was scheduled to run the Northeast Kingdom Marathon on May 1st, but it was postponed until September. When they announced the postponement, I was faced with a decision: pause training and re-start when it’s within the 18-week window, OR keep training, map my own race and get it done. I decided to keep training. Much like all of us, I didn’t know what the restrictions of COVID-19 would look like in September and I wasn’t willing to push my plans again for COVID, so.. I didn’t.
 
What I want to say about this marathon, which really can be applied to any aspect of life is: if you have something on your heart, if you have a dream, goal or an intention, figure out a way to do it and just do it. We can always allow fear, doubt, uncertainty, weather, upset or anything get in our way, but when you can push everything aside and continue to pursue your dream while you simultaneously hold those feelings – man, what an amazing experience. You can hold fear and still maintain your forward momentum. You can hold any emotion and still obtain your dream. 
 
The night before the race, per usual, I was experiencing some pre-race jitters, uncertainty and questions of: “am I really going to achieve this?” “Why am I doing this to myself again?” This is nothing new. These thoughts, feelings and questions enter my mind every evening before a race. In this moment, I have two choices, I can allow the thoughts and questions to keep me up all night and ruminate, or I can allow them space to be there and continue moving forward with my plan. 
 
I mapped my route prior to the race. The route took me from Ferrisburg, through Charlotte and into Shelburne. Rolling hills with views of Camel’s Hump, the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain. It was breathtaking scenery that left me feeling grateful, humbled, at peace and calm. 
 
My husband, unbeknownst to me, set up a cheer squad to help me out along the way. Every time I approached loved ones, I got full body chills. Seeing them all jumping up and down, waving their hands and rooting me on from the sidelines was the exact boost I needed in that moment. 
 
In addition to training for 18 weeks, I prepared for this race by making a playlist and purchasing a book on audible. I also knew that if push came to shove, and I slipped into a negative mindset, I could dedicate each mile to someone in my life that I love and admire. As I write this, I find myself thinking and feeling like the time flew by… because honestly, it did. 
 
I spent the first hour adjusting my pace and getting comfortable in a stride that I could maintain. I spent the time embracing the beats of the music, soaking up the morning sun and holding gratitude for the scenery. 
 
During the second hour, I started to feel my left hip a bit but was also met by my loved ones. That love, excitement, and full-body chills allowed me to shift my focus back onto the road and my journey. 
 
It was during the third hour that the challenge set in as the wind was now against me. It was during this hour that I had a moment of breakdown. A moment of awareness on how different my life would be/could be if I made different choices. In this moment, I was overcome with compassion, love and pride for where I am in my life, for the people that I choose to have in my life and for how far I have come. There were tears, pride, happiness and then full-body chills again. 
 
The fourth hour was by far the hardest. I had just hit 20.5 miles and I still had 5.7 miles to go. It was an hour of on-going self-coaching, self-compassion, self-love, grit, determination and power. My legs felt like led, my left hip had come back to greet me, and I felt ready to accomplish my mission. But I wasn’t giving up. I wasn’t going to stop. I wasn’t going to walk. I was going to keep running, no matter how slow my pace became, and I did just that. 
 
I didn’t stop once. I ran the entire time and although my pace went from an 8:35 to a 9:53 minute per mile, there was no option for walking.  
 
I won first place! I say this with a smile knowing that I was the only runner out there, so I also came in last. Haha. 
 
Either way, I sit here at my desk with sore legs, a big smile and another massive accomplishment under my belt. 
 
We can do anything we set our minds to. I hope this story and marathon recap helps you feel empowered and allows you to hold the belief that you can do anything you set your mind to. 
 
Get after it, you’re worth it. 

Fitness, Goals, Health and Wellness, Marathon Training, Mindset, Pandemic 2020, Running

Marathon Training Through a Pandemic

Honestly, I feel like this whole pandemic has actually been similar to marathon training. It’s been hard and rewarding with a lot of shifts and adaptations to achieve what I want to achieve. 

As I was thinking about sharing my marathon training experience, I wanted to write about it so it was relatable. Not everyone is actually training for a 26.2 mile race right now, but my assumption is that we are all up against some sort of challenge or our own race right now. So as you read this, consider your own race you’re up against. 

By the time you read this, I’ll be eleven weeks into training. Over these eleven weeks, it’s been a consistent push-pull of going for it and wanting to sit down.

There’s been self resistance and push-back. It shows up mostly in the morning during a mid-week long run or just before my long run on the weekend. The resistance shows up as bartering, self-loathing, what if’s, and slight irritation. The questions come up as: “what if I didn’t run today and did it tomorrow instead?” “Why do I keep putting myself through this?” “The marathon date is already pushed, it’s not really necessary that I run 18 miles today.” The excuses, what if’s and self-induced peer pressure come flying at me to knock me off course. However, what I will say is this: no matter how tempting it is to shift my run or not do it, once I get running, I’m fine, in fact most of the time, I’m great. I have also found that once I’m done the distance, I’m grateful I did it and feel so empowered. 

I was talking to a client recently about this idea of being half-way up a mountain. Picture you’re half-way up a mountain and feel completely depleted; mentally, emotionally and physically. At this half-way point, you’re at a crossroads. You can keep going, or you can turn around and go back. How would you feel in each scenario? That’s how I picture these training runs; if I didn’t do it, I would feel like garbage and the irritation and frustration would probably be exemplified. However, if I did it, the elation, pride and empowerment would carry me through my day and completely lift my mood. 

Whatever race you’re facing right now, whatever challenge is in front of you, take a minute and envision how it will feel when you overcome it or envision how it would feel if you quit pursuing it. Which scenario feels better to you? Whatever scenario feels better to you, do it. 

And maybe “quit” is a strong word, because honestly, sometimes the things we pursue are not actually in alignment with our essence. When you find yourself at a crossroad of todo or not to do, take a minute to tune in to your intuition and listen to your higher self. Figure out what is true for you, determine if it’s a yes or a no and go with that. Ultimately, what I have found is if I stay in alignment with my truth, then there’s no room for regret, guilt or shame. 

What sort of race are you facing right now?

Goals, Marathon Training, Running

9 Weeks Into Marathon Training

young fitness woman runner running on road

I am 9 weeks into an 18-week training program and it’s been different than any other training I’ve done. My dedication, desire and passion for this training period is pure. I don’t know if it’s because these hours that I spend outside or on the treadmil are solely my own or things have shifted for me. I think it’s the fact that during those 4-mile, 7-mile or even 15-mile training runs, no one is calling upon me, no one needs me and I have no one to answer to but myself. Yes, some days, mostly on the days where I have a really long run, my desire waivers, but once I start running my muscle memory takes over and I just go.

I am enjoying the training, even on the hard days. My 15-mile run recently was anything but easy – the fierce wind was against me for the last 7.5 miles and instead of allowing the challenge and the wind to completely break me down, I used it as evidence that even when I have something pushing so hard against me, I’ll keep pushing through. That’s the thing about marathon training, (anything really), the mental, emotional and physical growth is always there if you allow it. I’m stronger today because of that 15-mile run.

Marathon training has been necessary, exceptional, challenging and fun. I didn’t set a goal to complete 5 marathons this year because I thought it would be easy. I decided to run 5 marathons this year because I knew it would challenge me, push me and make me stronger than the person I am today and that growth is exactly what I want.

9 more weeks until my first marathon and on that day I’ll be ready for any challenge or ease that comes my way. Run on!