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The time when I ran a marathon and what I learnt along the journey

Why did you run a marathon I hear you ask!

I wanted to do something that was beyond my capabilities and push me out of my comfort zone. Sounds cliche I know. In any case, I ran the Edinburgh Marathon in May 2022.

Well, I learnt that saying yes to doing something new and uncomfortable can be an exhilarating experience and taught me things about myself that I’d never learnt any other way.

It set me off on a journey that was more about the journey itself rather than the destination. When I turned up at the start line, I already felt I had succeeded on all the things that mattered to me. The race was going to happen and I was going to finish one way or another. Ideally, standing up and smiling!

It was in the process of training for the marathon and showing up on the day where the learning was.

I did not feel that I had done anywhere near enough training to be “ready” for it. Doing something that I was not 100% ready for and showing up imperfectly was life-affirming and me-affirming.

Whilst running the marathon, just over the halfway mark, I met my internal demons. Things started to slow down, the world around me slowed down and I questioned my motivations, my ability to finish, the ability of my body to see it through. I wanted to stop.

But I didn’t. I faced my demons and talked to them. I heard the narrative in my head and tried to identify whose voice that actually was. And I walked. Kept putting one foot in front of the other. Just kept walking. I was kind to myself. I started to take in the world around me again. I started to feel ready again. When the time was right, I started running again. And I kept running until I crossed the finish line.

Something had shifted inside me. I had broken a mental barrier inside my brain. I had gone somewhere new. I believed in myself in ways that I had never believed before. Running a marathon is a great metaphor of breaking barriers. It’s pushing your body and mind beyond its limits – at least mine!! Making what may seem impossible, possible.

I learnt that my time did not matter. I did it anyway. The time represents the journey you have been on. I was kind to myself and not comparing myself to others. The temptation was there – believe me. But the process of resisting the temptation to compare myself and beat myself up about a time or a training plan that I did not follow was priceless.

I learnt that part of the journey is to do things in ways that are not at the expense of the rest of life; family, work, friends. And this requires flexibility and the strength to adapt and be in tune with your mind and body and not be afraid to honour those needs. Of course, I made mistakes; some weeks I got it right and some weeks I didn’t. Some weeks the balance was great and some other weeks I had to work harder at it. Through trial and error, I kept listening and re-adjusting, learning and keeping going one step at a time. One training week at a time. Because we can’t control everything along the journey.

I learnt the importance of surrounding myself with people who believe in me. And giving myself resources that help me positively and constructively towards my goal and quite importantly to steer away from people and resources that were not helping me. To unapologetically stand up for what I needed.

So, what are the things that make you uncomfortable? What areas in your life can you show up as an imperfect human being?

If you'd like to get in touch with me to find out more about yourself and start your journey of self-discovery, email me


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