Runaway Noosa Marathon 2018
This weekend I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon in Noosa. I am still doing some gentle suction gliding cupping and foam rolling now that I am back in Brisbane (life savers!) but I think I am ready to tackle my first post training run tomorrow.
No finish line is crossed without a story and journey that took much longer than the event. Even when a finish line isn’t crossed ultimately the most value comes before this moment in time.
Something leeds you to decide you wanted to do “this thing” that seems “impossible” “out of reach” “unlikely” or even in mere consideration of doing causes you to doubt yourself in some way/s. You have to decide to acknowledge those thoughts or fears and then stride towards them. Maybe you are in a space right now where you are considering tackling your “thing” (whatever it may be) right now. For all the reasons your brain can come up with for why you haven’t yet-“I can’t”, “I’m too busy”, “I’m not fit enough”, “I will later”, “now isn’t a good time”, “I’m not that kind of person”-the deeply valuable questions often forgotten to ask of yourself and spend time digging around for the answer to is “Why am I considering doing “this thing” to begin with?” , “Where is this desire welling up from?”, “What would it mean if I DID go for it, if I DID try, if I DID experience this journey regardless of the ultimate outcome?”.
Whatever YOUR “thing” is-You need to know your why.
Your why is your north star. No matter what else might happen it is there with you always encouraging you and reminding you of where you are heading and helping illuminate your way when things get dark.
You can make a choice to do something, but then you make many many many easily forgotten or smaller choices after that before any start line, before any finish line or before a side line. Know why you are choosing and it will be there to remind you when you have to make all those choices in-between. You have it in you.
WHY did I choose to pursue a half marathon?
We set intentions because we want to grow in a specific direction or in specific ways. This intention (setting a PT goal to run a half marathon then eventually and actually signing up for one) was about me wanting growing to be more in tune with my own body.
I have always loved running as a way to get some headspace. Before I could drive it was a way to get actual physical space, it didn’t cost much and I could do it most places. I never ran competitively because part of me felt like that might ruin the joy of just going out for however long I wanted or needed to when I wanted or needed to-rather than being told when/how long/how far or based off wanting to do better than someone else. Running had always been a way I cared for myself physically, emotionally and mentally.
Like many of you, my body hasn’t always experience positive things (both physically and mentally) as a result of personal choice and action and as a result of things out of my control.
After college I stopped running regularly for several years. It tapered off slowly as it caused me more discomfort than joy and quietly in the background of moves and other life happenings it stopped. I had thought about it now and then, and I had known my body wasn’t “quite right” for some time, but instead of committing to PT I just changed how or what I did and that was that. I didn’t want to face digging through and doing the work to resolve the imbalance/s that were causing the symptoms (I was busy!…..right….). I wanted to run again though, mostly I got to a point where I realized I wanted to be able to run again because it would mean I had gotten to the root imbalance/s within my body and I had worked to learn to nurture them back into balance I finally decided to seek out a PT and focus on rebalancing my body this past fall.
PT started and I was told I needed to re-learn how to walk (Seriously……and I am still practicing). I was lucky enough to have a co-worker refer me to a group of functional practitioners and get to work with them. If you are in Seattle, Anderson and Cattone is a wonderful team. Day one I set my goal for therapy, something that seemed out of reach, something I had never even done in high school when I was running regularly. I wanted to complete a half marathon.
I just wanted to finish it and to finish without injury.
On Saturday I did. I trained carefully, slowly, I stretched and gave my body breaks when it needed it rather than push through or critize it. I added in strength training to help stabilize and strengthen per my PT’s recommendations. Rather than focus on appearance or tone, I focused on just listening and responding. I practiced slowing my minds expectations and pace down to match what my body needed from me. It has been a journey and I look forward to my first run post half marathon AND to emailing my PT a picture of me crossing the finish line.
The journey is where we do our learning and our growing. It is the process that helps us change both mentally and physically. I am thankful for this body I have been gifted with and thankful for the opportunity to get to know it better. I can’t wait to see where we go and what we do next.
Checking one off the list for 2018!
Practical Tools that Helped Me Train
(and could help you too!)
- Anderson and Cattone PT Team in downtown Seattle WA
- If something feels off, painful, not quite right, out of balance or it’s been a while since you have worked on your PT it’s time for a tune up
- Map My Run Training App
- This helped me keep a pace slower than what I wanted to do, but the pace I needed to be at to both finish and prevent injury for my body. I loved that it provided me with a training schedule and I got to check things off ( I am a list LOVER). Because I live somewhere new I particularly enjoyed the feature that let me look up routes to take nearby and also build in my own I discover. I did pay extra for the training program in the months leading up to my race, but the free version is quite handy too. I know there are other well loved training apps available as well so don’t feel limited if this one doesn’t do it for you-shop around.
- Foam rolling
- The “it hurts so good” before and after for my calves for every run
- Yin yoga
- I love yoga anyways but yin is a treat for sore muscles and a busy brain that walks you through more time to really settle in to certain poses and work deeply to release. It is also a great class to try if you are new to yoga and want to ease in gently to the experience.
- Strength training
- I used an app recommended by a friend because I didn’t want to pay for a gym, nor was I crazy about going to a gym. With some basic equipment I could do this at home and it worked well enough for me with 30 minute sessions timed and planned by the app. I did have to make modifications here and there so that the work out, moves and intensity level were more supportive of my body and needs. (app: I used SWEAT BBG program. Sworkit is another out there).
- Bananas, peanut butter, honey, coconut water, water and Nuun
- If I had a training team…..it would have been composed of bananas, peanut butter, honey, coconut water, water and Nuun. The first part of my training was during summer here and it was not only a drastic switch for me from Seattle dead of winter but was something I had never run in before in my life. Trading off Nuun tabs, coconut water and water really helped. For my training runs past 60 minutes and pre race I had half a tab of the caffeinated Nuun (just right for me and my tummy). Make sure you plan ahead to trial out what works best to meet your hydration needs and if you choose to use caffeine before race day what that feels like and looks like.
- Honey Stinger
- I love DIY whole foods nutrition fuel for sport, but for this event I added in an organic Vanilla Honey Stinger Waffle and an organic Vanilla Honey Stinger Energy Gel. Be sure to plan ahead for practicing your nutrition fueling on your longer runs so you are ready race day for a happy tummy and an energized body. If you are out longer than 60 minutes working at it you are going to FEEL that you haven’t re-fueled if you don’t.
- Friends, family and finance encouraging me and listening to me
- Everyone needs a support team
- A Race Day Mantra
- My mantra was “This is YOUR race”. Not because I was going in all “THIS IS MY RACE!!!! get out the way!”, but because I needed to remind myself to focus on what I was doing and why I was there rather than everyone else. It actually also allowed me to celebrate others more because it reminded me that every person beside me, in front of me and behind me was on a unique journey worth of being celebrated just as much as my own.
- Practicing A Heart Posture of Gratitude
- Things won’t go perfectly, but that’s the space which we learn in. Having a gratitude practice supports the rest of your life, not just this piece. Taking time to be thankful in whatever way works and feels right for you can benefit us all-especially when we are trying something new or challenging. Practicing filling your mind, your world, your language with expression of thankfulness shifts how you respond and react to things that may not go as planned (or weren’t planed at all).
- Ideas for practice: Since I am a list LOVER I like to just jot down a list of things I am thankful for at least a few times per week. During training this helped me particularly when I had a set back for a week and needed to rest. You can journal it, write it out in a list, share with a loved one, list it in your head, sing about it, write thank you cards or emails, post a prompt on your computer for yourself (“I am thankful for…….right now”). A little bit sprinkled here and there goes a long way.
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