Training for a marathon is a metaphor for taking on life’s challenges; and that’s what Daniel’s run this Sunday looked like to me. Having taken some time off to recover from a back injury (good idea) but not having done any cross training during this time (not such a good idea, but we all learn some lessons the hard way), he showed up determined to complete his longest run ever, 16 miles for the full marathoners. We started off at his usual pace, but by about mile 10, the break in his training started to take its toll.
What also worked against him was that he was at the beginning of his learning curve as to how much and how often he needed to eat and drink in order to maintain his pace. I can make some general recommendations, but everyone is different. Some people have a faster metabolism than others; some people sweat more than others. That’s why it’s really important to do a lot of the long runs. It’s your opportunity to see how you feel as the miles build, and fine tune your hydration/nutrition plan until you figure out what’s best for you.
It was a struggle, and Daniel could have easily quit and accepted a ride back; but he wouldn’t do it. He looked inward to find the strength to continue. He looked outward for help and accepted it, i.e., he was running with a Jewish mother who was encouraging (nagging?) him to eat more and drink more, and he took my advice. He also slowed down, and took some walking breaks. In other words, realizing that his first plan (run his normal pace) wasn’t going to work, he didn’t use that as an excuse to stop trying. Instead, he stayed focused on his goal and adjusted the way he was going to get there – just like we all need to do from time to time in other parts of our lives. He was determined to achieve his goal no matter what; and he did it. Excellent!!!