My Mantra: Believe
Over the past year or so, the Marathons+Moderation guest posts have ranged from stories of first marathons, getting faster, still finding time to drink and party while training, to stories of overcoming defeat. Maybe it’s because Leticia and I shared this year’s training season together or because I followed her journey this summer but this story reminds me why I love this series. Some people think it’s time to let the series die while others comment each week, loving the new stories. While I don’t know that stories will necessarily come each week it’s fresh perspectives such as Leticia’s that remind me why I love training for 26.2 miles every summer. The feeling of accomplishment at the end is like nothing else and all it requires is belief in yourself and dedication to the hard, sweat filled runs.
Three years ago if you would have told me that today I’d be writing a post talking about what I experienced in marathon training I would have told you, you were absolutely nuts. Almost three years ago to the date I ran my first mile on the treadmill. I think it was about a 13 minute mile but I did it! I remember the feeling of absolute excitement that I could actually do this! I had done it, I had run one mile without stopping. You see in October of 2009 I decided I was tired of being overweight, unhappy, and unmotivated. I got a hold of my life, lost 100lbs, and had a lot of fun in the process! You can read my story here.
After running a half marathon in the Fall of 2011, I went out and watched the NYC Marathon that November. I vividly remember how amazing it was to see thousands of runners on 1st Avenue. I was more encouraged that day than ever before. I knew that a year later I wanted to be in that marathon. I wanted to run those streets. I wanted to feel that level of excitement and run 26.2 miles. I started training for the 2012 NYC Marathon at the end of July, following a summer of painful injuries. I knew that I had come a very long way. Therefore my mantra for my marathon would simply be one word: believe. I took that saying and literally ran with it. I knew that if I didn’t believe I could do this I wouldn’t actually cross the finish line.
In the aftermath of Sandy, you know that the NYC Marathon was canceled. It was a huge disappointment after 16 weeks of training, but even in the chaos of what that news brought I knew that I would still run a marathon. Enter, the Richmond Marathon. Luckily, I had 10 other girls who gladly accepted the challenge to tackle Richmond and not waste the training we had done for the previous four months.
I am a huge believer in that things don’t happen by coincidence. I know without a doubt that Richmond was supposed to be my first marathon. It was a fantastic race that I got to share with dear friends of mine that I’ve made through the amazing running community in NYC. I crossed the finish line in 4 hours 39 minutes and 15 seconds. I worked for every second of that marathon and I am proud to say that I am forever a finisher.
If I could give you three things I learned to believe in through this process they are these:
1. Believe in yourself- Believe that you can do this. Believe that you are stronger than you think. Believe that your body is an amazing gift to have and it can be pushed to extreme limits. It’s going to get hard. It’s going to get tiring, but don’t stop believing!
2. Trust your training- I followed my training to a tee. I didn’t make excuses. I didn’t slack off. I put in the work. I believed that a good training cycle would lead me to my goal time and finish without an injury and it did!
3. Have others believe in you- Surround yourself with people who lift you up when the going gets tough (it will). I had a coach, roommates, and friends who believed in me every single day. I had friends who flooded my inbox with support, advice, tips, and love. This aspect is so important!
Thanks for taking the time to read a little bit about my marathon experience! I still baffles me that I accomplished this after running one mile three years ago. I have come a very long way to say the least. Marathon day was one of the best days of my entire life. For a full recap of Richmond see here.
“It’s a marathon. If it were easy, everyone would do it.”