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The 46th edition of the #parismarathon 🇫🇷on Sunday the 2nd of April 2023 was my first destination race. Having run 12 marathons within a wide radius of my house and with the kids being a bit older, the time felt right to go international🌍😊

I found myself reflecting on how the marathon is very much a metaphor for life, business, leadership or anything one considers important.  It is not easy, and may in fact be gruelling; these are the lessons I’ve learnt:

  1. Commitment: training is time-consuming and demands that you are consistent with putting in the effort if you want a good race experience.  You truly get out what you put in.
  2. Discipline is key-prerace: you can’t pick and choose whether you will train or not, you must get out there, rain, shine, snow, darkness, daylight…whatever.
    • My life hack is to prepare ALL my gear for the week (down to my socks), so I don’t have to think about it, in case I succumb to the cold, darkness, rain or whatever is out there.  I just throw on my gear and get out the door.
  3. Discipline is key- midrace: pacing discipline will prevent you from starting out too fast and to pace yourself properly so you avoid suffering a painful finish.  Your race, your pace!
  4. Rest: you must respect it! Rest days prevent injury and allow your body to recover and repair, making you stronger and faster.
  5. Resilience: adaptability and willingness to adjust your goals depending on race day conditions- the weather may surprise you e.g. the weather may be surprisingly hot on a spring day when you’ve trained mostly in winter months.  This will necessitate being prepared to alter your goal from A to B or even C or D
  6. Focus: Run the mile you’re in. It may be helpful to break the entire race into sections e.g. focus on running miles 16 to 20, then the next 3 miles and so on. One foot in front of the other; keep moving forward mile by mile. And never give up! 
  7. Stamina: It will be uncomfortable; it’s only a matter of when not if.  Mental toughness and physical endurance from those months of training will see you through.

Personally, the marathon itself is the icing on the cake.  The training is great for the body but absolutely phenomenal for the mind.  It feeds into every area of life.  If you can conquer 26.2 miles, there’s not much you can’t overcome.

Runner’s amnesia is real; you may question your own sanity and life choices midrace, but find that the sense of accomplishment, overwhelming emotions and sheer ecstasy of finishing a marathon propels you to sign up for another one😊!