Everything was going well till I got injured. But I’m not giving up on reaching my goal of conquering the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon. Here’s what I’m doing to keep myself in the right frame of mind. By Zarelda Marie Goh
Photo: Frencheschar Lim/SPH Magazines
People say that it’s only when setbacks happen that you find out what you’re really made of. Whether you’re a quitter or a fighter is hard to tell when things are rosy.
I was put to the test recently when a mild tendon injury made my marathon training come to a screeching halt. (Tendons are fibrous cords of tissue that attach muscles to bone.) I’d been training for the past three and a half months for the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon.
I was forced to take two weeks off from running. During the course of treatment, I also discovered that my overpronation was bad and had to be corrected. It wasn’t a problem in the past, perhaps because I never did any endurance sports, so I wasn’t aware of its severity.
Naturally, I was upset, but not once did I think of giving up. Right now, it’s going to be uphill battle to complete the marathon. I can only say that I will try my best. My race strategy will be modified to suit these unforeseen circumstances.
I’ve been resting a lot, and will need to continue to listen to my body. Other than taking care of my health, here’s how I’ve kept myself motivated during the past few weeks. I’ll continue to use these strategies till race day:
1. I put my energy into cross-training
Running was a no-no till this week (I can now start jogging slowly over short distances.) I did water-based training in the meantime and will continue to do so to complement the slow jogs.
Research has shown that cross-training can help you maintain your aerobic fitness while you’re injured, and water-based training is great because there is no impact on the joints.
I engaged the help of swimming coach Rachel Wee, and under her guidance I do hour-long pool sessions that comprise mainly of exercises that mimic running. The warm-up and cool down involve swimming laps. It isn’t easy to “run” in water. Your form is different – the upper body has to be straight, and you use a higher knee lift. This is still something I’m working on.
2. I listen to my race day playlist as I stretch and strengthen
My treatment involves doing stretches and strengthening exercises perscribed by the physiotherapist. It takes me 30 to 45 minutes to do them as the movements need to be done mindfully. I plug in and listen to my race day playlist while doing so. At the same time, I envision myself running in Los Angeles. This perks me up and gets me excited about my end goal. Tunes by Kanye West, Bruno Mars and Miley Cyrus are at the top of my list, just to name a few.
3. I remind myself why I started in the first place
With everything you do in life, you have to know why you’re doing something. Never do things blindly. In the case of this marathon, I wanted to do it because it was a chance to grow and get out of my comfort zone. The idea of it got me excited, nervous and happy all at the same time. Isn’t that what life is all about? It is about conquering “marathons”, in the literal and metaphorical sense. I’m also a serious go-getter so I lean towards embracing new challenges. As I reflect on why I accepted this challenge, it’s clear that this journey has taught me so much already, and I am thankful for the experience.
Follow the rest of Shape editor Zarelda Marie Goh’s journey at www.shape.com.sg/myfirstmarathon.
This article is brought to you by Skechers.