Running the 2017 Skechers Los Angeles Marathon….OMG!
Last Sunday, March 19, 2017 I ran my first Marathon! After training for four months, 26.2 miles anxiously awaited me. Mile after mile of road pounding, I finally made it to Santa Monica Beach with a time of 4 hours and 22 minutes. Honestly, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done! If you’re thinking of running a marathon, go for it, but first gather as much information as you need to know the demands of running a marathon. Yes, you will miss out on birthdays, week-end brunches, and your family will think you’re crazy. But, if you want to challenge your body and mind to reach new heights, DO IT! Do it for yourself, and don’t allow anyone to place their fears upon you. So, let’s talk about what lessons I learned, set-backs, and my biggest takeaway from the amazing experience of running the Skechers Los Angeles Marathon 2017!
Training for a marathon is very demanding! You will soon learn that you must prioritize your runs, nutrition, and sleeping schedule to best accommodate your personal schedule, weather, etc.
- Give yourself some wiggle room—Most marathon training plans range from 18-24 weeks, depending on your fitness level and other factors. However, starting your running program with the exact number of weeks leading to race day, you risk falling behind. This happened to me, just two weeks into my running schedule I got really sick and had to rest for about a week. After resting and feeling back to 100% I continued my plan where I left off. Many runners will try to make-up for missed runs, but this increasing your chances of injury due to overtraining. Towards the end of my training I strained my foot by running in uneven trails, and again, had to take off another 4 days. Due potential injuries, sickness, or any unexpected life event, begin your training program at least a week in advance. I will definitely do this next time!
- Preventative Care— What you do in between your runs is just as important as the runs themselves. Stretching, foam rolling, and yoga were my go to. Sleeping enough hours each day usually meant I had better runs. Also, I found a local podiatrist (foot doctor), and after having my feet evaluated and getting x-rays of my feet, I ordered custom-insoles.
- Outdoor running—The treadmill is my best friend for tempo, short, and lazy runs. However, running on a treadmill is completely different from running outside. First, running outside will never be as boring as staring at a wall, your face in the mirror, or someone’s butt in front of you. Second, running in different weather conditions is insurance for unpredictable weather on race-day. Also, running against the wind requires more effort, thus, building endurance blocks . Third, nothing beats running at the beach, the smell of salty ocean water, and the fresh breeze hugging your face.
My Biggest Takeaway:
Although, running a successful marathon means you are healthy and strong, it also requires 100% of your COMMITMENT, DETERMINATION, and TENACITY. No room for lazy people.
Your mental capabilities and patience are challenged, especially during those long runs. Before beginning a training program, GET INSPIRED. Take inventory of your thought patterns. Are you a pessimist? If so, how can you change that? Do you quit when things get difficult, or do you push through? My mantra is, “The way you do ANYTHING, is the way you do EVERYTHING.” I repeat this in my head during the most challenging miles. Don’t be afraid to looking into your insecurities, doubts, and be honest with yourself. When we face uncomfortable truths about ourselves, we grow and become stronger.
I learned so much about myself and I am happier because of it. The goal is to create a space for your body and mind to communicate harmoniously.Many of us think of ourselves as one thing. But how many times do we really pay attention to what our body is trying to tell us? Are you working in harmony with your body, or is your body hindering you? This might sound strange to you, but think about it. We go through the day pushing our bodies to the limit, drowning it with caffeine, sitting down for hours, etc. I was guilty of this, but listening to what your body needs will prevent any physical discomforts and/or injuries, and a faster recovery before your next run. Love your body!
I hope this inspired you to go out there and run your first 10k, half-marathon, or a 26.2! Remember to be patient with yourself and allow yourself to be in the place your are now. Instead of thinking of the extraneous 26.2 miles, think about getting through the task at hand. It’s about the small steps we take that lead us to our ultimate goal!
“Success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and day out.” –Robert Collier
“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.” –Chinese Proverb
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” -Lao Tzu
Thank you to my family for always supporting me! Hearing them yell my name after the finish line was the best feeling ever!