I’ve been thinking about running Space Coast Marathon quite a bit lately, about all the hard work I put into it and what an accomplishment it was for me. From to deciding to do it, train for it, remain injury-free throughout, and cross that finish line on race day…. It was and still is such a huge deal for me. Almost three years later and I still am so proud of myself for running endless training miles and finishing those 26.2 miles. And then last night that I realized how similar training for a marathon and weight loss really are…
You have to really want to do it.
No one is going to sign up for marathon if they don’t want to really do it. You have to be in the right headspace and mindset to not only commit to running a marathon, but to train for it week after week.
You have to train for it.
Running a marathon means weeks and weeks of training, following a plan, making changes along the way as needed, keeping track of your miles, and more. Weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle is very similar. To be successful, you have to plan ahead for your meals, make adjustments along the way, keep track of what you’re eating, and more. There are workouts to plan, rest days, cardio and strength training, and more. All just like a marathon.
You have to have the right gear.
When I trained for my marathon, I had two pairs of running shoes. One for long runs and one for short runs. I also had favorite running shorts, sports bras, and tank tops. I had my running watch for tracking my time and miles. Having the right gear was essential to keeping me comfortable and being successful. Weight loss is the same way. Without the proper tools, you are cutting yourself short. Meal prep containers, favorite healthy snacks on hand at all times, water, My Fitness Pal app to track my meals, lunch bag that lets me carry several meals and snacks if needed, a gym membership, a trainer who motivates me, and more. Now, not everyone needs all of these things. I know what I need to be successful, others may not need the same. But in committing to a healthy lifestyle, the better prepared you are and the more support you have, the more it pushes you to keep going.
There will be bad days.
Not every run is fun or even good. Stellar runs that make you want to jump for joy at the end can be hit and miss. It feels like sometimes all the stars have to be aligned for that to happen. Just like in weight loss… You will have bad days. You will wake up one morning, ready to tackle the day, stick to your calories dead on, and knock your bootcamp out of the park. The next day you may wake up and want to eat the entire kitchen and not get off the couch. WE ARE ALL HUMAN. It’s okay to have a bad day. Just remember that the next day is your chance to start again and give it your best.
A partner makes it better.
While I am not opposed to running alone, I like it much better when I am running with someone. When I trained for my marathon, only about 10% of it was solo. The rest was spent with hubby running or riding his bike by my side, or running with Corinna as she would eventually decide to run the marathon with me. We had a common goal in mind and it made the miles fly by. Weight loss is the same way. It’s much easier to do it with someone. I am very lucky that hubby and I decided to make a lifestyle change together. While I calorie intake and weight loss goals are different, we still keep each other accountable and support each other every step of the way. Doing it alone would be hard and boring.
You realize how strong you are.
When I started training for my marathon, I knew I had 18 weeks of running 4 days a week ahead of me. My friend Beth gave me great advice and I am so glad I listened. Just take it a week at a time. Don’t focus on that 20-mile run you will have in Week 16, just focus on each week. It helped so much to think of that. Week by week, mileage was added on, and I realized that I am stronger that I thought I was. I could put in more miles than I imagined I could. When it came time to run our 20-mile training run, we were ready for it. It was just 4 miles longer than the previous long run. Looking at it that way was a lifesaver for my non-stop brain that always finds something to stress over. Weight loss is the same way. No matter what your end goal is, just take it a week at a time. Celebrate each victory along the way and you’ll realize that you can do what you may have thought was impossible.
It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
Everyone wants quick results. But in weight loss, it’s just not possible. I want to lose weight and keep it off. I don’t want it to find me again. While I can’t wait to get to my goal weight, I am doing it smart, taking my time, and focusing on small goals. I will get to my end goal eventually, but it won’t happen quickly. I didn’t set out to run my marathon crazy fast, my goal was to get through it and finish. I set three time goals as training went on. First goal was to finish, second goal was to finish under six and half hours, and the third goal was to finish under six hours. My end time was 5:58:06 and I was ecstatic. With my weight loss, I another short-term goal set for summer and a big goal set for the end of the year.
I am still excited about our weight loss journey, the strength we’ve found in the gym, and what is still out there to learn. We have goals we are working towards. Training and running a marathon was a life lesson, a very personal one. Weight loss is the same…. I know I’ll cross this finish line as well because I know how determined I am.