Running is a unique sport because you run as an individual, and at the same time, you are part of a bigger community even if you do not realize it. For me, the lonely work is what allows me to be able to join the community of runners, because you need to understand yourself first. I trained alone for the LA Marathon. I was seeking a true understanding of confronting my biggest competitor: myself. Every training session was done alone. Sometimes in the dark of the morning or under the moonlight of the night’s sky. With all the training runs at marathon pace, fartleks, long runs and gym sessions, the hardest part was something that I doubt I would have figured out if I had not really challenged myself this way.
Before I get into this, you need to understand something first. There are three values that I have identified with that I want to live my life. I call them the Triple Threat: Truthfulness, Thoughtfulness and Toughness. Now, I am not perfect with them. It does allow me to hold myself accountable and I know when I am off because I always have that voice in the back of my head when I am not following them. And in relation, my energy gets low. When I hold true to those values, it’s like my mind and body are on the same page and that helps get my energy up. For me to be the runner I want to be, it is more than simply doing the activities listed above. To be transparent, I did not feel like I was taking care of myself on the recovery portion, and I was not doing the work to be the best I could possibly be. This includes fueling properly and gaining an understanding of what that took.
The last month of training was game changing, not only for my running, but for my life in general. Thanks to a member of my dynamic “Pit Crew,” we made some changes that were revolutionary to the overall process. If you want one takeaway, fuel matters. Although I will say that it is very individualized and different for each person. With renewed energy, I had one of those ah-ha moments during a nightly gym session. I decided to set three goals for my upcoming LA Marathon. Break the 3hr mark, qualify for Boston (again) and finish the race. Going 3 for 3 would be awesome; I’ll be happy to go 2 for 3 and with 1 for 3, I will have something to work with. 0 for 3? Not ideal, but like Gary Vaynerchuk said “learn to love losing,” as that can only help you get better.