Marathon running is a test of discipline, endurance, grit and mental toughness. Being a runner for 15 years, I still get nervous on race day. There’s nothing like race prep and the anticipated excitement for the big day. On March 18, 2018, I ran the LA Marathon for the 6th consecutive year and it was my 25th lifetime marathon.
I made the race a milestone marathon because I love the city of Los Angeles (where I was born and raised) and I love seeing so many friends before, during and after the race. This year, I had the honor of mentoring a new runner.
Jenniffer and I are both teachers at the same school. I watched Jenniffer transform herself thru fitness and an eating plan. Then she got into running. She asked me for advice when she ran her first 5k. Before the race, I gave her a “You Got This!” Sparklet because I knew she was ready to run the race. She did and loved it.
After that, Jenniffer shared that she wanted to run her first marathon at LA. I was very excited for her! She had enough time to train and the LA Marathon is a great first time marathon. I knew the journey of training for and running a marathon for the first time would be life changing for Jenniffer, just like it was for me.
Over the course of her training, we often chatted. I checked in on Jenniffer to see how her training was going. Jenniffer asked me about nutrition, fueling, aches, pains, how to get in all of the runs and more. We ran hill repeats together, too, as the LA Marathon has some good hills in it. I love sharing what I know about marathoning based on my experience. It keeps me motivated and seeing what a new runner goes through helps me remember how far I’ve come. I appreciate all that I’ve learned from marathoning and helping a new runner brings me great joy. I remember all of the advice I got when I was training for my first marathon 15 years ago and I am thankful to all of my runner friends who helped me, encouraged me and cheered me on.
Jenniffer and I made plans for race weekend. Before we left school for the race expo, I gave Jenniffer a gift—some Motivate Wraps! I gave her sayings that I hoped would keep her going on race day: “believe endure achieve” and “dig deep.” I gave her “26.2” to commemorate the big day.
We went to the expo together and I helped her navigate the expo with bib pick-up, goodie bag pick-up and the many booths. I messaged her the day before the race to see how she was feeling. She was feeling confident!
On race morning, we found one another and hung out. I gave her words of encouragement and a big hug. I knew she would do well and finish strong. I couldn’t keep up with her but she texted me when she finished. She did very well! I was so proud! The next day, we celebrated with our students and fresh coconut water!
I’m so proud of Jenniffer and honored that I got to be a part of her journey. I know the Motivate Wraps were a big part of helping her get to the finish line! Now Jenniffer is a marathoner. There's no turning back now!
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