Today’s blog post is extremely special, as I share an experience with you from someone who I’ve had the pleasure of observing, working with and gaining inspiration from over the past year. I want to start by saying this…if you have a thought in your mind, a dream in your heart, but it feels out of reach, unrealistic of just plain silly…do yourself the justice of seeking counsel, support and encouragement in that area. You may break down walls, achieve unimaginable things, and blow your own mind!
Bev ran her first marathon at the age of 51, ya’ll!! Not only that, it wasn’t one of those “bucket list…it’s done and I’ll never do it again” things. She ran it, she ran it healthy and she already has goals for another full marathon. Knowing the mental and physical side of marathoning well, myself, THAT is a BIG deal! I started working with Bev on wellness less than a year ago and the transformations I’ve had the honor of witness far surpass anything in the realm of pants sizes and scale weight. Bev is more confident, ambitious and insightful than I’ve ever seen her… here, she shares a piece of her recent journey through the marathon with us, with specific focus on HOW she prepared for and executed her goal, as well as what she’s learned along the way.
My First Marathon
by Beverly Franklin Kidd
I had been “dabbling” in the running game for a few years. I was a casual weekend runner and frankly, I ran races for the medals and t-shirts. I was not a serious runner by the typical standards and certainly not the body type most people think of when you think of runner and especially a marathon runner.
So why did I think I could run a marathon? And, not just any marathon, but the Marine Corps Marathon???? It would have been surprising, especially since I had only run half marathons before and walked a good portion of those. But, I set a very loose goal – I would run the Marine Corp Marathon (MCM) in 2018. This was in 2016, so I had time, right!? My husband is a former Marine and if I was going to attempt this big stretch goal to run 26.2 miles, I wanted to do this one for him.
Ever heard the saying, “if you want to make God laugh, then tell Him your plans?” Well, it’s true. MCM has a lottery that opens at the end of March each year so I thought, “what the heck I’ll enter it,” knowing that I would never get picked. (This is where God laughs!) I remember getting an email from MCM Registration and much to my dismay it read… “Congratulations.” My first thought was “oh, crap, what have I done.” Second thought, “oh, I can defer to 2018. I’ll be ready then.” (This deflection and putting off had been a pattern for me in life, up to that point.) So I sat in front of my computer, staring at the email and trying to figure a way around this. Fast forward 30 minutes, my husband comes home and I show him the email, asking him “what am I going to do,” and then I said, “I can defer to next year”.
He, in typically Marine fashion says “you don’t ask to train with Marines and then quit, you just get to work. So, get to work”
This might have been the not so subtle push I needed to get my nutrition and running on track. I also knew who the person to contact was- it was Amanda Ward. I had been interested in her wellness program for 8-9 months and had found every excuse not to commit to it. I finally contacted Amanda and we have been working together ever since. I am still a work in progress. I begin using smart supplementation, according to her approach and recommendations. I learned a lot about healthy fats and macronutrient rations according to my individual wellness goals. I began really paying attention to what my body needed versus what my mind wanted. This was a big step for me.
I found out a few things during this process:
- I don’t need a sweet treat as a reward.
- Food are a precursor to fueling the body, not social entertainment.
- Feeding your body quality versus quantity creates better results.
- Overeating is a result of being nutrient deficient.
- Planning your meals the night before and tracking foods makes it easier to stay on course.
- Asking for advice and help WHEN you need it helps you avoid spinning out of control.
- Having a good support group is SO important- The Awarding Life Group Coaching program and River Runners (our local runners group) were amazing in my journey.
- I realize that I am a work in process and I will fail at times. But I also know now, that if I fall 9 times, I will get up 10.
- Better nutrition results in better running.
- Having a carb cycle meal needs to be planned and intentional, not a free for all eating fest. This is where the quality comes in again.
I also had a training program devised for me and I followed it, along with continuing to work on my nutrition. I found that each week running was getting easier, but in reality; I was getting stronger because I was feeding my body what it needed and I was following my training plan. I no longer needed to stop running at mile 2 because it was uncomfortable. I was asked early on why was I stopping at mile 2? Was it because I was in pain or just uncomfortable? What followed was “Stop if you are in pain but if it’s just uncomfortable, push through it because a marathon is NOT comfortable.”
Sometimes when we set what seem to be unrealistic goals, we find that they are not so unrealistic after all. What WAS unrealistic was to think that I could just get by doing the minimum and not seeking help from others who have done it before.
Running a marathon is a commitment. It is hard work. It is physically trying and mentally exhausting. It’s uncomfortable and when uncomfortable hits (and it will), you realize a strong mind is a powerful weapon.
I really had to dig deep in my mental strength to deal with my father’s passing one month before the marathon. I was heartbroken. My dad was (still is) larger than life to me, believed in me, and loved me for me. After every long run, I called him to tell him how it went. He always said, “I’m proud of you,” even when I wasn’t proud of myself.
When I crossed that finish line, I wore a huge smile on my face- it was one of sheer joy. I looked up and said, “we did it Daddy.”
Every step, every mile, every blister, every doubt, every question, every mental battle I had lead me to becoming a better, stronger me. And, not just physically better, but mentally, too. It has changed me. And, I can now say: I am a marathoner.
YES, she is. I am so overjoyed to share a piece of Bev’s inspiring journey with you. I hope you are as inspired as I am! I head into my 9th marathon this coming weekend (November 11, 2017) and have refreshed hope for the goal I’ve set for myself. I know that it will take grit and belief in strength beyond my human capability.
Over the past 9 marathons, I’ve not only learned a lot about running, but I’ve improved my time over 30 minutes, qualified for the Boston Marathon 3 times, and become a stronger, less-injured, easier recovered runner! Combining my personal experience with my knowledge as a personal trainer and coach, I’ve created the Awarding Life Marathon Method. This approach is deeply rooted in goal-achievement, smart supplementation and balanced fitness. A comprehensive approach, It’s a plan that a seasoned runner may use to gain a renewal of strength and progress from, while a brand-new aspiring runner will find it extremely realistic and feasible for busy daily-life! Wherever on the spectrum you fall, you’re sure to come out a faster, healthier, more accomplished runner on the other side. Check it out here and email with specific questions!
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