Getting back to running and exercising

Motivated to start running again

One of my first posts on this blog was about me running and completing a marathon. This accomplishment still ranks high in my life and I will never forget the emotions I felt when I crossed that finish line. If you are a runner you understand what I’m saying; to give up of your time in preparation for such a challenge, in that moment of closing in on your goal the whole world stops and there is this burst of adrenaline that makes your body move beyond anything you could ever imagine. Feeling tired won’t stop you. The pain won’t stop. Completing the marathon becomes an inner ambition that clings to your soul.

No one expresses this feeling better than Dean Karnazes in his book “The Ultra Marathon Man”. Dean shares of this love for running and how it become his personal moment of reflection. Running reset his life on a course that brought him joy and a few accolades. If you love running or find peace in the simple act of journeying by foot, this book is a must read. It will motivate you to get up and get moving. It has done that to me.

Since that marathon day I have yet to enter on another race. I remember setting my eyes on the Ironman and felling invincible. Beyond naive, my thoughts were simply unrealistic. Especially since I didn’t keep up with the training regiment. And recently I’ve thought of that marathon day and have questioned it: What was it for? What did it mean? Instead of being the final day of a challenge that day become the first day of a life transformed. When you achieve a goal it’s normal to pause and recognize what you have accomplished. I think I’ve paused for too long.

I’ve continued running but I know I can do more; more days of running and longer distances. I’ve been to the gym and done my fair share of muscle building exercises but I know I haven’t done enough. Challenging oneself is important in the process of living a life motivated. It also helps that I have a supporting and encouraging family that motivates me to find a new challenge.

This post is a memo to myself: get back to running and exercising. There is a challenge out there waiting for me.

As part of the vision for 2motive8, be on the lookout for more posts with the category #MotivateHealthyLiving.

What healthy living challenges are awaiting you? Share in the comments. I would love to start a conversation about it.

Conquering the Marathon

It’s been two weeks since the last time I posted, but my desire to live life motivated and motivate others continues. So what better way to do it than to share a story of my own.

Setting a goal and reaching it is about discipline. But it’s also about persistence and motivation!

Six months ago I had just completed my longest run in a 10k Mud Run. It was demanding, disgusting, and fun – all those adjectives in one packed day! After that run a friend of mine invited me to join him and another friend of ours for a Marathon. He said it would be a bigger challenge but that I was physically up for it. Without yet knowing the full distance (I still get confused between my Km and Miles), I said yes and never looked back. I got a training schedule that would slowly increase my running distance over a four month period, and the next time my friend and I met he was surprise to find out I had taken it serious. Fast forward to last Sunday and I can proudly say I’ve completed my first Marathon. It will go down as one of the best memories of my life. 5 hours and 20 minutes of continuous running just to complete the coveted 26.2 miles!

Looking back at all those days of training – short and long runs alike – all it took was discipline, persistence and motivation. I had set a goal and I was committed to achieving it. These three words explain my commitment to keep pressing on. They are also key to reaching other goals in life as I learned a lot from this experience.

Discipline – Once I had decided to run a marathon I recognized that I needed training. Even though I knew I couldn’t always keep up with the regimented schedule of weekday long runs (due to work and family), I still committed to exercising during the week and having long runs during the weekend. I never missed one of those weekend runs. Whether I felt good or not, rain or shine, I got out on the road and kept running. There were days that I doubted myself and my ability to run these long distances. I remember thinking that I needed to keep going and stick to the plan. It paid off on the day of the marathon! Discipline is about planning the work and working the plan.

Perseverance – Those training days were hard! Seriously, after a long work week the last thing I wanted was a physical push to my body. But I kept going. Even when other friends had better plans than to spend time running. Even when there was something interesting on TV. Even when my body preferred some lighter workout. Even when… (you fill in the blank). On the day of the marathon I remember my friends words of wisdom, “one foot in front of the other.” That is all you need to keep pushing through; to persevere and run a marathon!

Motivation – During those long weekend runs, there was one thing that kept me motivated. It was the same thing that kept me motivated during the day of the marathon – my family and friends! Running a marathon is a huge accomplishment, but I was only made aware of this when my wife and children would wait for me in anticipation during those long training runs. I remember the words of encouragement: “you did great,” “that was quick,” or “you will conquer that marathon!” Those words played in my head over and over during the day of the marathon.

Additionally, my friends and I kept encouraging each other every week. Our running was always a topic of conversation when we would meet. We were together through each of the 26.2 miles. They were there during the hardest time of the run. The last 6 miles were particularly difficult for me. I wanted to just stop and walk. I remember my friends saying “do not stop now,” “don’t walk, keep running,” or “we’re going to finish strong!” That continuous support was key for me.

Completing the marathon was a huge accomplishment. I will remember the day, but also the training and the support that helped me through each mile. A great example for other areas of my life.

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My friends Jason, Derek and myself.