I remember the day back in 2009 when my friend Michelle asked me, “Why don’t you sign up for a half marathon?” My response: “What?! Are you crazy?!” At the time, running was a foreign concept to me. Something only done by the brave and strong…certainly not me! I asked her, “How long is a half-marathon anyways?”, “21.1KM” she replied. WOW I thought, imagine running for that long. I could never do it! That’s crazy!
But, all it takes is an idea to be planted in your head to kick your thought process into high gear. The rest of the day I contemplated the possibility of running a half-marathon. Could I do it? Would I collapse? How does one train for such a daunting challenge anyway? Pause, think, doubt and forget the idea, pause, hope and repeat. Finally I got brave and decided to sign up. Fast forward 3 years later and I have never looked back! Today I am a dedicated marathon runner and on a journey to share the RUN4AC concept to the world.
You can run a half-marathon, yes you can!
During the course of my training for my 1st half-marathon I quickly learned that mental preparation would take me further than any physical training could. The physical training plan is structured with set methods and clinics to guide you along the way. Learn the running basics, distinguish between the various types of runs, run on the set dates and you will be set to tackle those 21.1KM. Mental preparation however, can be a lot more challenging. Your fears and that little voice in your head screaming at you “you’re tired, your legs are sore, your knees hurt, you can’t do this” can be a whole other beast to contend with. During every training run you are faced with all these complications and doubts that you need to push through.
People ask me “Why do you run so much?”
Running is a gift to your mindset! Each time you complete a run, you train your mind to change the way you feel. You are conditioning your mind to be confident and convince yourself that you are capable of completing anything! You know that feeling post run where you feel like you are on a natural high? Well that positive mindset is food for the brain. The rush is your brain high fiving and praising you, saying you are a rock star and pushing you to keep going! It’s certainly addictive and why runners constantly challenge themselves to go for more: tougher terrains, longer distances, better times & more remote locations. It’s all part of the feeding process.
Feeding time- Hungry Minds, Big Hearts
I recently committed to completing a BHAG on October 5, 2013. And quite the BHAG it is – run The Sears Great Canadian Run! This will be my 1st 100KM ultra-marathon!
Crazy? Perhaps! Impossible? NO WAY!
Luckily for me, I discovered GoodGuysTri and met Mike Herzog and Steven Thomas. Two amazing individuals empowering the community through the act of just simply doing good. Their motto is: “To leverage our passion for endurance sport to simply “do good” in this crazy world“.
In 2012, Mike and Steven participated in the Sears Great Canadian Run, a 100KM relay race to create awareness and raise funds for the battle against kids cancer. The race is structured as a relay race where you assemble a team of 10-20 people and each individual runs a portion of the course. However, Mike and Steven decided to run the full 100KM together! The experience inspired them immensely and they made it their mission in 2013 to create a team of 20 people who would all run the full 100KM together! 2000KM covered with the goal of raising over $25,000 for this important cause. To their surprise, after only 48 hours of having posted their idea on their webpage, 20 dedicated and brave individuals had committed!
Running 100KM will be the most difficult physical challenge I have ever tackled. Hundreds of hours of training, running all weekend long, sore legs, blisters, and fatigue are just some of the challenges facing me. However, the truth is this challenge is truly minimal compared to what these amazing kids endure on a daily basis. Battling cancer does not compare to running ANY distance. These kids are hopeful, strong, perseverant and always have the biggest smiles – which are all qualities that I will integrate into my training and on the course.
I would love to hear from you in the comments section. Words of encouragements, loved ones you would like me to run for, etc. I will dedicate all this positive energy to the kids fighting cancer.
Of course, if you would like to support the cause by making a donation, I would be very grateful. Please visit my fundraising page at the following link: Sponsor GGT Team Mission to Run 100km
The next time someone asks you to do something that seems crazy and impossible, before you say no, I encourage you to really reflect first and who knows, you might surprise yourself. (Thanks Michelle!)