Nutrition Lessons From a Marathon

Okay, I can admit it, I like to run.  I don’t know how good I am at it, but honestly, I’ve never really cared.

I never thought that I would ever attempt the marathon.

Seemed too daunting, just too long of a distance to run at one time.

Anyone agree with me?  26.2 miles?  How could anyone ever want to do that?

But I did one anyway.  Then I did another.  And another.

Sunday, January 18th 2009 was my 6th full marathon completed.

That’s a long way from where I started from.

Each race has imparted some wisdom onto me and I’d like to share those with you today.

26.2 miles is an awful long time to think and since I was running without music, I took the time to think.

I saw some new and interesting parallels between running a marathon and nutrition, healthy living and overall health and wellness.

Keep an open mind and let me know what you think.

What We Can All Learn from a Marathon to Help Us Live Healthier Lives (Without Actually Running One)

  1. The hardest part is deciding to do it. Signing up for a marathon is basically saying, okay, I am going to do this.  I’ve made the decision, I’m not backing out.
  2. The next hardest part is showing up. Words and m0ney don’t mean a thing unless you back up those words and d0llars with action.
  3. Even the best planning and preparation can blow up in your face. You can do everything right and still not finish how you’d like.  Same goes for the opposite.  You can do everything “wrong” and succeed amazingly well.
  4. If you’re not flexible, you’ll break something. If you can’t go with the flow, you’ll end up injured, sick or worse.  Everyone has good days and bad days.
  5. Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t focus on them, just know them.  Then get help where you need it.
  6. You will never run a marathon in a bubble.  There will be other people.  Get used to it and embrace it. You can’t do anything ALL the time alone- like training.  What happens when someone bumps into you at the race?  How will you react?
  7. Prepare, prepare, prepare. You will get hurt if you do not prepare for a marathon.  There is no winging it unless you have natural talent that you’ve been hiding.  Even then, you’ll hurt yourself.
  8. You’re stronger than you think you are.
  9. Your brain will try to stop you. No one likes pain or change, especially your brain.  Your brain will so effortlessly convince you to stop just because it’s easier.
  10. Open your eyes.  You are not alone. Realize that the people around you are going through the exact same thing right now- just in their own way.
  11. Just because you didn’t win first place doesn’t mean you’re not a winner. Not everyone can go home with the m0ney or the new car.  If you gave it your all, you won your own race.
  12. Hard doesn’t always mean bad and easy doesn’t always mean good. Just because something is hard, doesn’t mean that I should shy away from it.  Just because something is easy doesn’t mean that I should do it.  Sitting on the couch eating cookies is easy…
  13. Someone is always cheering you on, you might just not see them.
  14. It might never get easier, but you get smarter.
  15. If you feel like giving up, take another 5-10 minutes more to think about it.  Or take another mile. The feeling goes away.  The pain goes away, but how would you feel if you knew that you stopped too soon?  If you knew you could push further but stopped anyway?
  16. You will walk away from every race a changed person. Every race, every experience will teach you something. Embrace it, if you can and enjoy the journey.

What I also learned from the Marathon:

This was the most physically demanding marathon I have ever done.  Love jet lag!

My brain was my lifesaver and carried me through the race.

To keep myself entertained, I have fun little games that I play.  My favorite?



152 dogs on the 26.2 mile marathon course- most spectating, some walking

4 Elvis’s- 2 running, 2 singing

3 bathroom stops

1 miniature pony

2 Lutheran churches

1 Parrothead Themed Water Station

2 Runners down (getting medical attention)

1 near miss with a bicycle

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