Through my supporters, we raised $1,800 (see my fundraising page), which will provide 6 girls from Sierra Leone with access to education. This initiative is driven by the “One Girl” organization, which sent me this personalized video.
Now, many friends asked me to share what it was like to run this first full marathon. So I wrote it down. It’s a long one so those of you who’ll read this please bare with me.
GET FIT AND VISUALIZE THE FINISH LINE FROM THE GET-GO. 20%.
However, I certainly felt excited about getting it DONE. I had spent so much time preparing that I actually couldn’t wait to cross the finish line! Over the past 3 weeks, I had specifically invested my time to build the “right mindset” in order to make sure that I was ready for the grueling mileage left to conquer. I had visualized myself getting through this tedious challenge km by km. I had planned my fueling strategy to avoid hitting the wall. I learnt to understand my body mechanics and how to reach a sense of “Zen” or flow while running in which you feel you’re in full control of your breathing, blood circulation and muscle movement. I couldn’t wait to reach the ultimate goal: the finish line. That helped. A lot.
GIVE YOUR MIND FULL POWER. 40%.
4km. 9km. 13km. 17km. 20km. 22km. I’m just over halfway. I got this.
28km my knees start to complain... A bothersome feeling. That’s when I know my body is refusing the dose of extreme physical exercise. My body’s telling me there is no justifiable reason to continue. It’s out crying: “I won’t allow you to hurt me anymore, so I’ll make you suffer and make you stop this. What’s wrong with you - you idiot!” This is not that you’re feeling unfit. It’s just the accumulation of shocking terror you’re punishing your body with. Just like you’re not supposed to wear super high heels (sorry ladies) for too long because they will harm your spine; as a normal human being you’re not supposed to treat your body this way! But I can take it. After all, I merely have an hour or so left to run.
Until I couldn’t.
The next km were boundless. They were increasingly getting longer, and longer, and longer. 29km……………………30km………………..…………………31km……………………..……………………………
At km 32 I met my masochist-self. A voice in my mind spoke to me in the most aggressive, obnoxious yet provocative manner. I was being challenged by my own inner enemy and quickly realized my only competitor was myself. It was harsh, but I was not going to let that voice demoralize me. I was going to prove that bugger I will cross the damn finish line, with pain and with pride. I repeatedly reminded myself that “Pain is temporary. Pride is forever.” Positive thoughts came to my mind as I was stubbornly ruling over my inner voice and felt alright running at a good pace again.
Until I wasn’t.
DO IT FOR A PURPOSE. 40%.
Understanding your purpose may compel you to take on challenges that will stretch you as much as they inspire you. “Doing it in a Dress” linked my motivation toward a compelling goal that affected my commitment to getting it done even when the challenge got tougher. With a cause to honor, your mindset empowers you through a belief that you can accomplish whatever you set out your mind to do.
The marathon surely is exhausting, and painful and time-consuming. Be it gratifying or gruelling, pushing the boundaries and continuously testing one’s limits is quite exhilarating to me. Some of you may still be asking “But why run a marathon?! It sounds terrible!” and I guess the way I’d sum up my drive is by comparing a marathon to life. Life involves long stretches of hard work punctuated by brief moments of glory in which we are given the opportunity to upgrade ourselves. Thus, after this it will get a little bit saner without any marathons or challenges for about 18 weeks, by which time I hope to complete Ironman 70.3 (half of the Ironman) in April 2014 with a few friends. Now that I can call my husband a real “Ironman”, I’ll be satisfied with conquering half of this challenge. But perhaps not in a dress this time… Though I’m open for ideas that drive purpose and make real impact.
$1,800 raised. 6 girls will be wearing a school dress in Sierra Leone.
Thank you! Merci! Gracias!