Today on vadThought I would like to talk about the latest challenge I set myself – running a marathon. We will get to why, how and when in a second, but before I get into all of that I just want to disclose that this blog is merely me informing you, the readers, of my latest personal challenge. I have never ran a marathon before. I am not an expert by any means. This is totally new experience to me and I would just like to share this with you and see if you would like to join me on this journey. I am of average built and of average fitness level. I am starting from a low base but, I know for a fact I can run a marathon if I put my mind to it. If you would like a weekly update on my training, diet, program etc., then please give this blog a thumbs up and a comment. However, if you think this is going to bore the hell out of you and you don’t really care, then please let me know in the comments too. This is your blog just as much as it is mine. However, if any of you would like to join me on this journey, then I would be delighted to start maybe another section that would be purely on fitness/running & healthy lifestyle.
So let’s talk more about this marathon:
When: May 6th 2019
Where: Limerick (The great Limerick Run)
Why: Well….why not. It is a physical, emotional, spiritual challenge that only a small 5% of the world have undertaken. (I do enjoy a challenge.)
I have always lived a fairly healthy lifestyle growing up. I was heavily involved with my local GAA club (playing Gaelic Football and Hurling), as well as soccer in between. In addition, I used to do some small exercises such as push-ups and sit-up etc. every morning before school. I was in great shape. However, that was years ago. In the past couple of years, I have let my fitness lifestyle slip a bit and I have become quite unfit and sluggish. I do still play soccer during the year but, it’s more of me trying to survive every game instead of thriving in every game in terms of my fitness. Not ideal. I have tried to hit the gym (you know those places that you pay them a high fee just so you can sweat and lift very heavy things 🙂 ) and get fitter but, I lose motivation and interest quite easily. I have tried so many times in recent years to get into routine/habit of it but, unfortunately I have failed every time. I was getting very frustrated. I didn’t know what was going on. Weeks/months have passed by since I was last at the gym. I was losing motivation by the day. However, after some thought and self-analysing my lifestyle habits few weeks ago, I realised why I wasn’t achieving my fitness goals. Simply put: I didn’t have a definite goal. I always had thought process of:
I would like to be fairly fit.
Nup. Not good enough. I need a target to aim for. I need a goal to keep in mind. “Fairly fit” is too vague. I needed to find a goal to strive for. For some to be “Fairly Fit” is enough motivation. Unfortunately, not for me. I need an aim. So this is why I have set myself a challenge of running a marathon. Now, you may ask me “why a marathon” and perhaps not any other fitness activity. Good question. For the answer, let me describe the context to you first.
To be honest, I never truly liked running. I never enjoyed long distance running. Playing soccer & GAA doesn’t require long distance running, it’s all about sharp quick burst of pace. Different kind of fitness. In addition, playing sports doesn’t challenge my endurance as much as long distance running does. I want to test my body, I want to challenge my body and I want to overcome this challenge. As a result of my marathon training I would be that much fitter while playing soccer at the weekends. Win-Win!
I recently read a book about an Ultra-marathon Runner who has run marathons in the Antarctica. He has run 50-miles, 100-miles, 200 miles and even 222.5miles several times in the past. I admired his determination and his tenacity. He spoke at length abut the toughness of a human body and the power of human mind.
Running is more of a mental challenge than a physical one.
I was inspired and motivated after reading the book. It was a real eye opener, if a human body can run 222miles it can certainly run 22.5miles (marathon) no matter what “built” or “fitness level” you are. Yes it requires a lot of training. However, it is not about training hard, its about training smart. I will need to train my body and my mind simultaneously in order to achieve my goal of crossing the finish line on May 6th 2019. It is easier said than done, but I am 25 y/o, I should be at the peak of my physical fitness – but I am far from it. I need to get after this goal and prove it to myself that I can overcome this challenge.
My father runs 5km and 10km runs most weekends for fun (He is 56 y/o). He is not alone. A lot of his friends of similar age zoom past me anytime I join them for a run. It made me think and analyse my fitness again and I began to understand more and more than I am no where near my fitness potential. I don’t want to be “average” runner, or be of an “average” fitness. I want to be above average. I want to push my body to the limits. Running a marathon will be (hopefully) only the beginning of my fitness journey. I want to see how I handle this challenge before I make any more plans. I have been told by many people that I am not “the right built” for running. I am “short”, “stumpy”, “have short legs”, etc. For months I have heard these statements and I just accepted them as gospel. I more or less used it as an excuse for my poor fitness. However, couple of months ago I had enough. I realised, that there are runners out there of all built, size, fitness levels etc. I am not going to hide behind excuses anymore. I will be on that starting line in 10 months’ time whether I am ready or not. I have goal set and I am going to throw everything at it.
At the moment, I am still in the process of figuring out my fitness routine, running techniques etc. I am just starting my training now. I am doing plenty of research, I am learning new things with my every run, however, there is a long way to go. Plenty of running to be done between now and 10 months’ time. I would love to hear your opinions on my marathon ambition, your experience with running (if you have one) and any tips that you may have. If you would like a weekly update on my progress, please feel free to let me know in the comments below or by liking the blog. If you couldn’t care less, brilliant, please also let me know so I won’t mention it again. Although, this is a personal challenge for me I would love if any of you would join me on this journey or offer some support so I don’t lose sight of the goal. Thanks again for reading and I am looking forward to hearing your feedback.
Thanks again and I will talk to you again on the next one.