Culture

Why I Was Bummed To Realize I Wanted To Run A Marathon

I had no idea I wanted to tackle 26.2 until, well, I did. Here is what the emotional rollercoaster was like and how I went after my goal.

You know when you have a great idea or goal and you get so excited about it that it almost feels like true love? This thing you are going to accomplish is so you, or maybe it’s going to help someone else, or maybe even change the world? Either way, you know this is special. But as time goes on, the excitement starts to fade and the reality of what you have to achieve to even remotely accomplish your goal seems insurmountable.

All of this happened to me in one split second, the moment I realized I wanted to run a marathon.

I dabble in running. I mean I like to run, but I’m as sloooow as they come. My favorite is “cheat running,” where I hike up a mountain and then run all the way downhill. I do love running 5Ks though. I find the energy level infectious and the themes festive. Plus they are usually for a good cause, so I’m floating on the good karma cloud all along the way. But, I truly believe anyone can run 3.1 miles. (Most of my non-running friends disagree until they run one with me.)

It wasn’t until I volunteered at a marathon one year that I realized I couldn’t speak for fear of bursting into tears. I realized I had some emotion behind an inner goal of mine that I didn’t even know existed. I wanted to run a marathon. UGH. (Except in my mind the word started with F and rhymed with duck.) Honestly, that was my first thought when my subconscious told my brain, You want to run a marathon and you want to do it right. Right at that moment, I knew how much work was required to train for a marathon and I was afraid of it. But once I understood this to be a true inner intention of mine, I knew I had to get in touch with the Nike in me and “just do it.”

As feared, training to run 26.2 miles was a lot to take on. And I’m no different than anyone else—I had a lot of other things going on in my life, to say the least. So I bought a book to help figure out how to break up my training runs. What I didn’t realize was that I was doing something I normally do in my life and at work. I am a big fan of the “chunk it down” method. Take the massive project—in this case running from Dodger Stadium to the Santa Monica Pier in “sunny” Los Angeles. The chunking down process can be used with any goal you might have. I then take the result and map out what action steps are needed to get there and how long they will take, and off I go. Sounds simple, because it is.

Here’s why I was able to run a marathon and how you, too, can do anything your inner intender is telling you.

  • I mapped out my schedule—a.k.a. my plan.
  • I listened to my body when it told me I needed to adjust.
  • I rolled with the punches. Sometimes you have to adjust the way things get done…
  • For me, if it was raining and I was supposed to run track sprints, I would go to the gym.
  • I visualized the result. I saw that finish line from the minute I signed up to run.
  • Commitment—I had a responsibility to my mind and body to train properly and I took it seriously.
  • I got the tools I needed. I don’t mean you need to buy fancy things for your goal, but do get what you need. I needed decent running shoes and clothing.
  • Passion. I kept that day that I kept almost bursting into tears while volunteering at a marathon close to my heart and in my mind anytime things got “hard” for me.
  • I had support. During my training and the run. If you have a goal of any kind, drum up support. My husband was so supportive and would change his schedule if I needed to train when we had made plans. And I will ALWAYS remember and appreciate my friends who came to cheer me on during the torrential downpour that was that years’ marathon.
  • I found like-minded people. I talked about the marathon with people who were excited about it, too. This will raise your frequency and give you more energy to propel you towards the (literal and figurative) finish line.
  • I believed I could do it. Believing you can do something is THE best way to ensure it will happen. There is no stronger motivator. So, if you’re doubting your ability or the outcome, you need to start changing your thoughts. (But that’s a whole OTHER story.)
  • The day I ran, I had a LOT of people pass me and I passed a lot of people. It wasn’t a race for me. I just wanted to finish with a slight sub-goal of finishing under 6 hours. (I told you, I’m slow.) I finished the marathon under 6 hours! And unlike the moment that I realized I wanted to run the marathon, I did not have the same “AHA!” flash at the finish line that I imagine a lot of people have. It wasn’t until much later that I really felt what I accomplished. And I gotta say, it’s fueled me to aim for many other goals.

So ask yourself: What’s your inner intention? Is there something you want to do that you thought was impossible? DO IT!