“For all the girls that don’t believe they can do it (you can!) and all the women that have been my support system- this is for you!”

I recently ran my first marathon to cross off my bucket list of things I wanted to accomplish before I turned 26. However, training isn’t just the easiest walk in the park, it takes time and focus. It takes mental and physical health.

However, through all the struggles I did encounter I would do it all over again for the lessons I learned.

The Set Back

A year ago, I was injured training for a marathon. I was devastated, I was on pain meds and could barely walk on my leg. I had to wear flats instead of heels to work, I had to wear a knee brace and ice/heat my knee a lot. After a few weeks, I discovered the CBD oil UK brands and found they were great for reducing swelling. I would administer a few drops when icing my knee and it would almost immediately feel better. Not to mention it made my mood feel more positive too. Plenty of people would recommend the use of things like CBD products as a complement to pain management plans, especially if you’re partial to more natural versions of pain relief. (Hot baths also work some magic!) Still, I would wake up in the middle of the night from pains going through my knee and had to go see two physical therapist to get back into shape. After months and months of working on my leg…. I re-injured it trying to get back too fast. I missed out on runs with my running partners, I missed out on running in general and had to get my health under control. Injuries are very hard to overcome, after getting re-injured my PT explained I needed to stop running and all cardio all together for two months, so I did, it was miserable.

After taking the time off I realized, how stubborn I was being, I wanted to come back so badly, I was sacrificing my health in the future. Through these months, I struggled a lot with pain, my body and trying to figure out what to do. After months of nothing, I was able to get back in it, I had to re train my body to run because the injury was caused by multiple things that could have been avoided. I decided I needed to train again for a marathon and decided I wanted to run #26milesfor26years, since I was turning 26. I signed up for my second marathon, since the first one I never was able to run. Training was going to be twice as hard because before I was way more in shape.

The Training

Michigan is the state I live in and let me tell you our seasons and temperatures are always changing. So training was always interesting because I never knew what my long run conditions would be. During the week I spent lots of time cross training, teaching my spin classes and running short miles. On Saturdays, I spent my mornings running long distance anywhere between 10-20 miles depending what my training manual said. It was tough, especially after long weeks at work and nights I didn’t want to miss out on with friends. Luckily for me I had the best running partners and support systems around. I ran in conditions of rain, snow and ice and only one time of 60 degree weather when I was visiting Texas and had to train for 20 miles.

My body was exhausted after these runs and because of my injury I could not just move onto the next project of the day. After training I had to stretch, ice my knee, take a hot bath, foam roll, drink lots of water and then nap. My body took training this time very different then before. It was just exhausted so I had to deal with not having as much energy.

As the weeks got closer to the event, my schedule got busier and I had to learn that if I was as determined as I thought, I had to put training first. I began to watch my diet even closer, getting more sleep and relaxing. Sleep and relaxing are two things I have never been good at.

The Marathon

Then before I knew it, it was the weekend of the race. My two running partners and I traveling to Washington DC for the event. We spent our Friday exploring the city before the event. Saturday was the day of the race and as I stood by myself in the line, I tried to clam myself, tell myself this is what you wanted and then remind myself of my ultimate goal… to finish.

The race began and I was moving full speed ahead of course, I had to pee within the first two minutes of the race and knew I couldn’t hold it so that took me back a few minutes. I found a running, running at the pace of a 8:20 and decided to stay with him. It was hard and not normal for me but I couldn’t find my groove. I was trying to focus and get into “Lisa Mode”. After the first 10 miles I finally got into it and put all distractions aside and enjoyed my run.

Michigan doesn’t have many hills but DC does… the hills were hard, they mentally and physically did it for me. I had to play games with my head to stay in tact. After I hit the 25 mile, tears streamed down my eyes. This was happening, I was going to finish the race. I thought of my partners at the end of the line waiting for me to finish since they had run their half marathon already, I thought about what I went through to get here and then I thought about the little girl on the side line that I hoped I would impact.

I crossed the finish line with tears down my eyes, finishing in 4:01:00. I was so happy to be done and went straight to medical to get ice on my knees.

I was done. I had finish. And shout out to Old Navy for the best clothes to run in!

The Finish, The Aftermath

My partners found me and we headed back to the hotel to celebrate, nap and get ready for the evening. I couldn’t believe I did it, it was all a blur but I did it.

After the race, my body was exhausted and I had to nap, my body became so sore, I has chaffing and just a mess. Walking became hard as I was so sore that I had to walk side ways down stairs because forward hurt to much.

My body took a lot that day, I learned a lot about myself during this.

Here are four things I learned:

  1. When something comes in the way of your plan, you can choose how to move forward with it

  2. That you can do that anything if you put your mind to it

  3. People will always tell you that you won’t be able to complete a certain goal, show them you can

  4. Be you. Run the pace you want, train how you want, decide how you want to do things