Thanks to you, I’m able to enjoy an extraordinary entrepreneurial adventure where I continually have to step outside my comfort zone and learn at unbelievable speed.
MARATHON, YOU’RE HELPING ME EVOLVE.
Last weekend, at the 2019 Chicago Marathon, you once again allowed me to discover another facet of myself.
I ran the Bank of America Chicago Marathon last Sunday. On the previous Friday, I’d eaten a whole batch of Bear Paw energy cookies, providing my body with an overload of glycogen. (hahaha!)
Even though I “FUEL MY DAY” by eating energy cookies that are the talk of the town and I’m driven by an inner desire and the unfailing strength to say goodbye to refined sugar and hello to date puree in order to better “ENERGIZE MY DAY” and I therefore have this amazing energy that pushes me to always go further still, I’m nonetheless human. (Hahaha!)
WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT?
I’m a motivated woman, a mother, an entrepreneur and a marathon runner who often gets asked how she does it all. “With all your launches, conferences, business ventures and then taking your kids to all their lessons, just how do you find time to train for a marathon?”
I do it because it gives me incredible energy and inner strength. I do it to stay in shape and be happy. I do it because it makes me feel alive. I do it for myself.
During the period when I’m getting ready for a marathon, I do indeed sometimes run up to 100 km a week… but I manage to fit it into my schedule despite my busy lifestyle. Once again, it’s a matter of choice.
At this Sunday’s marathon, my body decided I was going experience something quite different. First, there’s something you need to know: a marathon, when you’ve done everything you need to do, is not as bad as it may seem. With proper training, it’s not really that hard and afterwards you always feel like running another one. After 12 weeks of more serious training, your body is even excited at the prospect of taking part in this great celebration of physical activity called the marathon (42.2 km or 26.2 miles).
This weekend however, it was my right hamstring that decided to rain on my parade. While my energy and my mind were both up to the task and I was craving being able to pound the pavement, my hamstring decided otherwise. On the starting line, I felt good. I was eager to start. I was in shape and I was ready. Was I at the top of my game with everything that I was going through at the office? No. I had my share of worries. But I felt confident. I’d done everything I needed to do and I had faith. But at km 17, I started to feel something behind my right thigh. I reached km 21 (the halfway point) in a conservative amount of time, the target time I’d set that would leave me with enough strength to make it to the end as well as the option of running a negative split (running the second half faster than the first). I felt some pain, but I said to myself it would be fine, that I’d be able to live with the slightly unpleasant feeling until km 42.
Finally, when I hit km 23, everything started falling apart and every single step felt like a mighty hammer blow to my hamstring.
It was horrific.
It was atrocious.
I concentrated. I wanted it all to end. I was feeling a mixture of disappointment (a sort of grief worthy of a state of grace), as well as frustration and a lack of understanding of what was happening to me. I wanted to finish my race, I wanted to cross that finish line. But I also wanted to stop and just lie down on the ground. I longed for my mother like a 2-year-old child.
I forbid myself from looking at my watch, that displayed a speed that was soooooooo far from the one I felt in my legs. Even though I figured I had the energy I needed, the jackhammer pain kept bringing me back to order. I was focused, and looking for a way to run that would ease the pain. Anyone who witnessed Madame run by that day must have wondered if I had a genuine disability. My running was all crooked. (With hindsight, watching a video of it would maybe bring a few laughs – hahaha). But at the time, I was suffering.
As I ran, I kept telling myself not to think about the pain. I took it one kilometre at a time and I didn’t allow myself to stop. Why? Because breaking my pace would have been even worse. I passed km 38 and said to myself there were only four more to go. I knew it definitely wouldn’t be my best performance, but I willed myself to give it my all. This living hell would soon be over.
I finally crossed the finish line. I stopped my watch.