“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.”
- Walter Elliott
Ah, yes, perseverance. It truly is the key to reaching most goals. The following four ingredients were the foundation of my marathon preparation. Perseverance and patience played a part in every one of them - ultimately enabling me to complete the Toronto Waterfront Marathon - 10/14/2012; 3:35:45; 5:07/km pace.
- Training. This is where slowly and methodically the body is turned into a km chewing machine. As the body gets used to the regimen, it starts to crave the milage. It is very important to take it slow (thus avoiding injury) and gradually build up to the 42km. I gave myself four months to get ready.
- Diet. All that training requires plenty of fuel. This became a bit of an obsession and played a part in my decision to stop eating meat during my first month of training. The scientific evidence and personal testimonials (special thanks to Matt Frazier, author of "No Meat Athlete") became too convincing to ignore and I feel healthier than ever! Simple inputs and outputs. The healthier the diet, the better the results.
- Support. Whether it be family, friends or even a physiotherapist - this journey cannot be completed alone. In order to keep family life functioning and happy while spending 10-12 hours a week training, loved ones can help maintain normalcy in the home. If assistance is offered, accept it. If not, ask for it.
- Headspace. Mental readiness is key on the day. While I knew I could finish, it definitely helped to break it down into smaller chunks. Standing at the start line thinking about every single one of forty-two kilometers is simply too much for the average head to wrap around! Thinking in terms of four 10.5 km stages or portions made each section a little easier to digest and complete.
Isn't it fascinating how the human brain can totally grasp smaller leaps of faith, but crumbles when the scope of the goal/challenge is simply to much to handle all at once? Concentrating on these four areas, individually and then collectively, allowed me to become a marathoner!