Here’s what my third marathon taught me…

I’ve run 3 marathons, 17 half marathons, and countless other race distances. Not bad for a girl who still has a hard time breathing around styrofoam, when the seasons change, or whenever her asthma decides to do what it does. What’s my point? You can train your body to do whatever you want it to do. But you have to train your mind as well. Initially, I couldn’t run a quarter of a mile without having an asthma attack. It took me forever (well in my mind) to be able to run uphill and to run a mile nonstop. I remember the feeling I had when I finally was able to run a mile nonstop. Total joy! I also remember the feeling I had when I laced up for my first 5K. It was such a BIG deal to me. I still don’t think anything compares to that day on March 17, 2012.  Then I tried the 10K – September 19, 2012. I was a ball of nerves. The week of my first half marathon my nerves were all over the place. Although I had trained well, the distance made me nervous. I completed my first half on October 6, 2013.  Then it was my attempt at my first marathon which was disastrous and very disappointing -no fault of my own. Since the Savannah marathon didn’t work, I decided to try the Nashville marathon the very next week.  I was determined to get it done and it got done.  I completed my first marathon on November 14, 2015.

I’m still a ball of nerves when it’s race time. Any distance. Some distances cause more anxiety than others. With all my anxiety, I always lace up and leave all my fears of the unknown at the start line. Training takes discipline and dedication. Some say showing up is the hard part. Finishing takes determination yet it’s gratifying. You go out and push your body to its limit. You try to avoid any negative thoughts. If you’re like me, you pray, meditate, enjoy the solitude, create romance characters, and just mentally focus on anything but the distance. It’s not hard but it can be challenging. It’s been more than five years since I started running and I still have horrible days. Some days I just don’t feel like it but I do. Some days are just hard. I can’t get my running life together. My breathing is off. Nothing is going right. Then some days everything is aligned and I rock out. It wasn’t until my third marathon that I realized the importance of training your brain too.  So much of running is mental.  Physically, you’ve trained and you are capable but what happens when your mind starts to play tricks on you.  Being mentally prepared for success is just as important as grinding to be successful.  I was mentally prepared for my marathon this time. While I didn’t get the time I had hoped for, I crossed the finish line knowing physically and mentally I had given my all.  I avoided negative thoughts and what-ifs during the race.  Mentally, I was in a better shape for this race.  My third marathon taught me to not only be prepared physically but mentally as well. As I prepare to do this again in less than two weeks, I’m going to re-up on my mental and get better results this time around. 

So, make sure while you are out here grinding to be successful that you are mentally preparing for success as well.  Nothing like having a bomb a** presentation and not being able to deliver due to your mental being off.  It’s the same way with success.  Grind hard and be mentally prepared for your success!