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On Sunday, March 19, 2017, I ran the LA Marathon 2017. This was the first marathon of my life. The longest distance that I had previously run was a 1/2 marathon about four years ago. And after that event, I swore I would never do another 1/2 again and let alone run a full marathon. I thought my body was not the right fit for a full marathon because I was acclimated to run shorter distances because that’s what I’ve been doing my whole life. But now after completing the LA Marathon 2017, I actually know it was only my mind that wasn’t the right fit at the time.
You see I had so many barriers that I put up around running a full marathon.
I was too old. At 42 yr old why would I put my body through that kind of stress. I needed to preserve it was the conversations I would have with myself and even with clients.
In 2004 I had lower back surgery to repair a herniated disc so why would I stress that and risk injuring it again.
If I couldn’t be the best or near the best then why would I even attempt doing it? When I ran the 1/2 marathon I competed with myself and finished in the top 3% of my age group and top 7% of all racers. I killed it! It was amazing and I’m proud of myself for doing that, but it made me not want to do another race.
It’s too long. I can’t imagine running for over 1 and 1/2 hours which is how long it took me to do the 1/2 marathon.
I’m just not interested. I didn’t care if others did it. I didn’t see it as a big accomplishment. And I frankly, I kind of thought it was stupid to run that long. Why would anyone put their bodies through that?
But now I am on the other side. A part of an elite “club” of men, women, children, elders, handicap and the like who pushed their not only their bodies yesterday but their minds through an experience that was life-changing for me.
I didn’t train for months or even weeks, I signed up a week ago from today with one of my client’s who was already registered. She had been kind of flailing in her own training and came into our Monday session with deep concern that she wasn’t ready. Listening to her concerns I asked her, “Do you want me to do this with you?” She said, “You would do that?!” I said, “Of course!” And so she pulled out her credit card and signed me up. I was registered for my first marathon!
I had a mixed bag of emotions from excitement to fear that I wasn’t going to be good enough to finish or that she would have to carry me to the finish line. But we both created an intention that we wouldn’t have any expectations on it. This was a huge lesson for me since as I stated earlier, one of my biggest barriers was that if I wasn’t the best, I wouldn’t do it. Our intention was as Nike says it best, “just do it”. Whether we walked/run, walked or ran, we would “just do it”. And so it went. However, I still had a competitive bug knawing at my psyche saying, “you have to run, you have been great”. During the week I started to run. I ran 3x over the 5 days including a 4 mile, 7 miles and a 9-mile run that still did not add up to 26.2 miles and I started to get a bit concerned for myself, but I felt certain I would finish.
Other than running regime I quickly picked up, I got a massage, I soaked in a hot and cold tub, I stretched, did some yoga, core work, and light bicycle to keep moving without overdoing it. I wanted to get my body as balanced and as ready as possible with the limited time. Sunday morning I woke up at 5 am feeling great mentally and physically and as ready as I ever could be to “just do” the LA Marathon 2017.
I put my running gear on, packed dates and bar in my pockets and a water for the ride to Dodger Stadium where the marathon would commence. The night before the marathon that I thought would really make this experience even more impactful. I decided to write down 5 things that no longer served me, my family or my life and to leave these qualities at the start of the marathon. And I also wrote down 5 things that I was committed to being after completing the marathon which I would say out loud when I finished. This was an awesome exercise and I have embraced my new “BADASS” self!
We finished the marathon in 4 hrs and 55 minutes which was a very respectable time considering we had very little time to prepare. I was more than satisfied and proud of myself. In mile 23 and post marathon muscles soreness and cramping set in like I never experienced. I was almost unable to walk and it felt like am going to feel when I am 100 years old. I committed myself to a proper recovery method like eating clean, soaking in the hot and cold tub, massage, foam rolling, stretching and I getting to bed early for a great night sleep.
I woke up feeling amazing! I had the normal muscle soreness, but my mood and energy were vibrating on a different level. I also couldn’t stop thinking of when and where I might embark on another outstanding experience like this one to prove that “I AM…A BADASS”.
Thank you Ruth, for letting me join you on this extraordinary experience and being a great marathon running partner! I am honored and truly appreciative that we did it together!
If you’ve run a marathon you know how I am feeling. There are no words that can really do it justice! And for those who haven’t taken a chance by participating in an event that will challenge your mind and body, I say, “JUST DO IT!” The community, the support and the encouragement you get from others is truly what makes us human and our lives enriched. Thank you for all that came out to supply water, bars, snacks, Gatorade, music, signs and encouragement! And you never know, you might find a “Star” in the crowd, Jay Leno was supporting the marathon on the corner of Santa Monica and Sepulveda. I said hello and he gave me a few quick words of encouragement. “Keep on moving!”
Keep on moving my friends and live the life you deserve!
Yours in health and fitness,
Steve Jordan, Trainer To The Stars
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