My Physical Mental Journey to a Marathon…
“Sunday December 8, 2013 I completed the California International Marathon, something I always thought only those crazy long distance runners did, and running a marathon was never on my ‘bucket list’. Well, that is until I finished my first half-marathon on Sunday March 17, 2013. After completing the Shamrockn’ half-marathon, I signed up for the full CIM that very afternoon…I’d entered the world of crazy!
After completing two I Kan Tri programs and the associated triathlons, I began to understand persisting through training and getting through the actual events for me is mostly mental, not physical. There is no doubt that my 21 months of Kaia have made me much stronger physically. Triathlons, half-marathons, marathons, and many killer Kaia classes later, I know I am physically strong, but the mental strength is something I still battle.
For as long as I can remember I have received many negative messages about my physical appearance (starting as early as age ten I remember being told I was chunky) and my athletic ability (being told I could not run, or that my name should have been Grace because I was so uncoordinated). When the comments start at age ten and continue into adulthood, it starts to settle in as truth. So, overcoming those negative messages has been much more difficult than any physical challenge.
When I Kan Run training started, I quickly realized that I would almost inevitably be the last one done with my scheduled run each session of training. Being one of only a handful of girls training for the full CIM, and being the slowest of those girls meant I was always the last to finish. Wow, was that hard mentally. I went into every training thinking there was no way I could possibly get the assigned distance done, and through the entire run I would have to talk myself into each additional mile…what a mental game it was!
A few weeks into training I had to accept that yes, I would be last, but this was MY training, and that was fine. I had to release the stress and burden I was feeling not wanting people to be waiting around for me, and just run for ME. Accepting the kindness of my coaches and fellow I Kan Run girls was also necessary—coaches running with me or riding their bikes to check on me or keep me company, fellow Kaia girls and coaches staying at the track until I finished so I would not be alone. While this was MY training for MY first marathon, it was also a team effort. My coaches and teammates gave me unconditional support through the entire process, and for that I am so grateful!
Training six days a week, long runs, and seemingly endless loops around the track or around Kaia were all physically tough, but mentally even worse. My battle to be mentally prepared for CIM was hard, but in the end I did it! Every time things got tough during the marathon I reflected on my months of I Kan Run training, and heard all those wonderfully supportive Kaia voices in my head with positive, “You Kan do this!” messages.
So, in the end I am proud of my 26.2 mile accomplishment, but I am even more proud of the progress Kaia has allowed me to make changing my mental tape recorder from negative messages to positive messages! Many thanks and much, much love to my Kaia family!”
We see your courage and your strength everyday and couldn’t be more proud of you Jules. We are lucky to be a part of your family. Love, Casie, Your I KAN RUN TEAM, and your Kaia Krew