Looking back a week after my “Recovery Marathon”, I marvel at the human body and what it’s capable of enduring.
Half way through the marathon, the first cramp clenched around my thigh, tightening, crippling. What the heck? I rubbed the area hard and tried to walk though it’s fierce grip. I tried to run through the pain when it loosened somewhat. I experimented with ways to keep it at bay. If I ran above a certain heart rate, bam. Back again. I wanted to cry. I wanted to stop and go home. I wanted to quit. But through sheer stubbornness and the will to finish, I did cross that finish line.
I read a lot about what it takes to run a marathon. There are several training programs to follow, and having the ability to hire a personal coach has great benefits.
Running the actual marathon and coming home with a finishers metal leaves you with a great sense of accomplishment. But the real test is the training itself. The day after day running, speed work, hill training and everything in between that’s required if you’re following a plan. You can’t train for a marathon and not have it change your life. It’s remarkable.
A huge component during training is the mental factor. You need to fight the demons that are telling you to quit. You need to know the difference between an injury, or minor pain. Your brain wants to trick you into thinking that this is terrible and you need to stop. That you can’t do this (yes you can).
Training takes a lot of time, anywhere from 12 to 20 weeks. You are not only becoming physically fit, you’re becoming mentally fit too.
Mental strategies can help you when the going gets tough:
- What are your goals?
- Remember why you are doing this?
- Think of things you’re thankful for.
- Count your steps.
- Repeat a mantra – I can do hard things.
- Focus on your form.
- Visualize running across the finish line.
Unfortunately, I did not train well for this last marathon, and my time and pace suffered for it. But, I am so glad I went through with it. It taught me so many things, and memories were made. That makes me a winner.
I’m reminded of something Jillian posted on her Facebook Timeline many years ago when things weren’t going well.
“There is nothing stronger than the will to live”.
I hate that she even had to think that way. It hurts to know she had one moment of fear and Mama Bear could do nothing to make it go away. I live with those thoughts, those memories, Every. Single. Day.
We are all running our own personal Life Marathon. I believe the hardest part is believing in YOURSELF.
Whatever your goals are- reach for them. It doesn’t matter if your marathon is a relationship that needs mending, if your fitness needs improving, or if you need to make healthy changes. All of it takes work, focus and commitment. But you are worth it.
If you believe in yourself- you’re halfway out the door. In the end, we are all running our own race anyway. You are the winner and this is your race.
And I am thankful.
PS- I am in the middle of the finishing touches on Mama Bear’s website where I will be adding an email address. If you feel the need for an accountability partner- please reach out. I’d be happy to share life with you.