Life Lessons Learned From Running My First Marathon – Part 1

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On October 14th , 2012, I ran my first full marathon in Niagara Falls. I started in one country, and finished in another.  It took me 4 hours, 30 minutes and 28 seconds.  It was an amazing experience and I learned so much along the way. 

I want to share with you some lessons I learned and how they apply to life.

I learned alot, so I broke it in to 2 separate posts :)

 1. Set a goal and commit to it. If you don’t know where you are going, how do you expect to get there?  Pick a distance, pick a date, register for the race, and broadcast it.  The clearer you are on your destination, the easier it is to set your route.

People are more likely to disappoint themselves than they are to disappoint others.  So, once your goal is set, tell people about it.  A lot of people.  These same people will check in with you to see how you are progressing.  It’s a great motivator and helps hold you accountable.

 

2. Challenge yourself by thinking big. Push past what you think you can do and stretch your limits.

Prior to registering for the race, my longest run was 20km.  I figured I was just going to register for the half marathon, as it was close to what I had already run.  A friend of mine said, you can already pretty much run the half marathon, so why not push yourself to do a full marathon?  At first I thought he was crazy, and I quickly realized I was crazy, because I agreed with him.  On June 21st, 2012 I registered for my first full marathon.

 

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Surround yourself with the right people.  If you could do it on your own, you would have done it already.

  • Fast track your results by hiring a coach.  A good coach will help you clearly define your goals, and set a plan in place to help you achieve them.  My coach helped me follow my plan, but was quick to revise my training when I got injured.  Shit happens.  When it does, it’s great to have someone with expertise who can objectively offer up guidance.
  •  Connect with a strong support group.  Distance yourself from the naysayers or otherwise known as the energy suckers.  They will drag you down.  Instead, connect with people that will lift you up, inspire you, challenge you and make you smile.

It’s much easier making excuses to yourself than it is to others.   Share your goals with the group and they will support you and hold you accountable.  Without my coach and support group, I would not have finished my marathon.

 What excuses are you telling yourself? 

Who can you ask for help?

 

4. Track your progress.   What gets measured gets improved.  Know where you are, and where you want to go and then keep a log of your progress.  Past performance helps to plan for future results.  It’s also a great motivator to push a little harder so you could improve upon your personal best.

 

What would you like to improve? 

How can you start measuring it?

 

5. Don’t compare yourself to others.  Everyone is unique.  Set your own goals and own them.  Some people are cool just to finish the race, while others are looking to finish in a specific time so they can qualify for another big race.  This one was hard for me at first as I let my pride get in the way.  When I started with my running group, I had a slight injury and most people were passing me.  I would try to keep up, but it just caused me more pain and I would have to cut my runs short.   I was quick to realize that I was running according to their goals, not my own.  As soon as I realized this, I was able to run further, with less effort. 

Who are you comparing yourself to?

How is it impacting your decisions?

How is it holding you back?

 

To check out the remaining 5 life lessons, click here.

Thanks for reading.  I hope you enjoyed these lessons, and can somehow integrate some of them in to your life.

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I would love to hear from you.

What crazy challenges did you overcome to achieve a big goal?

What life lessons can you share with everyone else?

Enter your comments below.

It’s time to pay it forward.  Who do you know that could get something out of these lessons?

3 Responses to “Life Lessons Learned From Running My First Marathon – Part 1”

  1. Every year I set goals for myself. Physically and mentally. It has made me a stronger person and I hope a great model for my 3 daughters. After climbing Kilimanjaro I have set my sights on goals in the distant future. Ironman for my 55 the year and India when I turn 60. This year I plan on doing a triathlon. I need to buy a bike first!

    • Awesome Melanie. I’ve found when I started setting goals, it gave me something to strive for. It was also a good motivator and helped me stay focused.

      Thanks for sharing your upcoming goals. They are big ones, like climbing Kilimanjaro. Love it. I am also planning on doing my first triathlon this year. Swimming is my weak area. Taking swimming lessons now :)

      Some of my big goals are…inspire a billion people, and build schools in developing nations.

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  1. Life Lessons Learned from Running my First Marathon - Part 2 | Happy, Healthy and WiseHappy, Healthy and Wise - February 21, 2013

    […] Yesterday I posted the first 5 life lessons I learned from running my first marathon.  If you missed it, click here. […]

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