Started off with a 10km race and led to running my first full marathon in 2015. Running has been an amazing experience by teaching me lessons about mental toughness and the importance of keeping a strategic pace so you don’t burn out.
Mental toughness is interesting because often times we set limits on our potential. My goal was to just finish the race. However, for some odd reason I didn’t really have a time in mind. Closer and closer to the race I thought challenge myself further. For each race the beginning was very easy. You have this massive excitement by the the runners, fans and the overall atmosphere. Although, as you get in the race things start to wear you down. Some pain, some fatigue and this starts to grow and grow. After all the part that got me going is thinking of not just myself but the family of runners. My dad ran several marathons and it helped me disconnect temporarily to be inspired that I can keep going. It was at the point that I was taking 100% control and not letting my mind control me. Regardless of how I was going to finish each race whether it was walking or crawling to the finish line. I was going to make it. And that’s what matters.
Pacing yourself was another key lesson that running taught me. But more about life in general. I started off each race way too fast. You can get very carried away. You get this massive adrenaline rush when you hear the clock go off. Although, as the race goes on you need to stay in touch with yourself every kilometre. If you don’t exhaustion can suddenly hit you and you can easily be out of the race. It also help me realize that if I kept a more steady pace especially in the BMO Vancouver Marathon race I definitely could have finished with a better time. I also think of this in life. Whether you start any goal. Keep in mind you need to stay patient. If you go too fast you can not only burnout but simply not enjoy the process. Speed can make unrealistic expectations. For example starting a new workout routine and expecting results too quickly.