3rd October was the day of the London Marathon 2021.

I registered a year before for the virtual edition because I would’ve been able to do it from anywhere in the world, in 24 hours. More flexibility is welcomed, especially during those times.

October found me in Romania. Not so prepared for a marathon(maybe not properly prepared for a half marathon, either). I did a few runs but none more than 12 km.

The day wasn’t the most appropriate, because I was changing homes and I was packing – had to solve lots of stuff the same day and the next day.

Moreover, as the date was getting closer, I was telling some of my friends – “on Sunday I will run a marathon. I’m not sure if I’ll gonna make it. Will see.”

Basically, with all the context, I was setting myself to fail before I even started. I have to admit, I didn’t have too much confidence in finishing it.

HOWEVER, there was this tiny part of my brain that made me aware of this attitude, the more I heard myself talking about this marathon. And then -🛎- ding! I got the joker. That moment of inspiration helped me switch the perspective into something like this:

  • I had 24 hours to make it, so I could split it into parts.
  • I’ve got together in my mind memories when I walked or ran for many km. So I put together proof it’s possible.
  • Instead of talking about ‘doing’ or finishing the race, I was talking about just showing up, and running as much as I can.
  • I fully trusted my body’s knowledge and signs.
  • And I was thinking about it about a fun challenge, curious to see how it goes.

AND the day came.

Sunday, 3rd October. I didn’t sleep more than a few hours, probably because of stress and excitement. I woke up at around 5:40.

I just didn’t feel to run. It was dark and cold.

I ate something and at 7 AM – time to give it a chance.

I ran 3 km of the Park (one round of Parcul IOR) and I’ve discovered the official GPS didn’t work and it counted only 900m. ***V%£@**$!@E*!!! 🤬 What’s with this app – is not even working! Turned out it had to be the first app running on the phone, and not in the background. I forgot about it as I was switching playlists on Spotify.

But you know what, that’s life. Sometimes it kicks you when you are already down.

So I started to run again.

And again.

21+km more.

Went home, showered, slept for 1h, packed more stuff, drove around Bucharest, counting most of the steps I’ve done.

Evening already.

Did a short walk with 2 amazing friends.

At around 8PM, went back home, changed, and went for the night run – had a bit more than 10k to go.

Despite being tired, the more I ran or walked, the more energised I felt.

After another hour — DONE!

No gallery, no one to applaud, no pat on the back or goodies at the end. But definitely an immense satisfaction.

The most important reason I’m proud though is that the next day, I felt ready to run again. It felt damn good.

What I wanted to say with this long article are the key lessons I got from this and here are the reminders for myself:

  • Listen to your body needs, and take care of them as much as you can. Every day. It’s your best friend. Walk, run, do anything that’s a bit more than yesterday. Sleep, and eat well. As little added sugar as possible (except when you really really need it, for example on a long run or a hard workday).
  • Pay attention to what you say. You may be surprised to realise some mental barriers you put in front of you before even doing something.
  • Show up. It’s the most important step to seize an opportunity that lots of times you don’t even know it’s there.
  • Look at any challenge as an opportunity to have fun. This way, you’ll be excited to start it and you go as further as you feel to, building proof for future times that you could do it. No matter how hard it feels.

Hi five to you 🤲 See you at the next run.

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