As cliche as it may sound, life’s a marathon, not a sprint. I just ran a full marathon – that’s 26.2 miles this past weekend and I have so many takeaways from finishing this race.
I realize not everyone is a runner and if you’re not, you don’t understand the “runners high”. That’s ok. You DO have your thing – maybe it’s painting, or music or dancing. I’ve been a runner since I can remember and used to go for a jog on the reg. It’s my moving meditation.
Try something new
Back in 2011, I decided to challenge myself and signed up for a half marathon. To say I was unprepared is an understatement. I “trained” some but the longest distance I got to was 8 miles. I ended up finishing that race in 2:04 which is a decent time, but I was in excruciating pain for weeks after.
I learned the hard way what lack of preparation will do. I created a wall and a story that running was painful and although a love of mine, I no longer wanted to do. To me, running meant pain and I never wanted to experience that again.
Don’t quit – learn and try again
We all do this. After a bad experience we create walls and barriers to keep us safe. It’s called a shield or our comfort zone. That’s a fine place to hang but you’ll never grow or really experience what life has to offer if you stay there.
Something clicked in me last summer after dominating a box jump that I was equally afraid of. After stumbling and falling while trying to jump on top, I finally made it and had inches to spare. That’s when I had the thought – I’m going to run a marathon.
When you can step into the unknown and challenge yourself emotionally, physically and mentally, you grow leaps and bounds. This time around, I followed an 18 week training plan, watched documentaries on running, read books on marathons and learned about mindset. This time I would not learn the hard way.
Enjoy the journey
The day finally arrived; I barely slept the night before but I wasn’t even tired. I lined up for the start and off I went. To my surprise I was cruising, averaging under 8:30 miles which was one minute faster than training pace. I kept well under 9:00 most of the race.
I hit obstacles along the way. Fatigue felt real. The pain felt real but my mindset was so tuned in I was beyond confident I would finish. And, I did with a time of 4:14. I’m mostly proud that I truly enjoyed the journey, every step of the way. I gave it my all.
Get back on the horse
Life’s a marathon, not a sprint. Where have you quit when things got tough? Where have you thrown in the towel? Where have you stayed inside of your comfort zone because it was safe?
I challenge you to be brave. To take a leap of faith and go all in – on something. What have you been resisting? Is it starting a new project, quitting your job, getting into or out of a relationship? Whatever you fear most, go TOWARDS. You’ll learn along the way and the fear will no longer have power of you.
To listen in to the full episode, click below.