This past week, at our Division’s Leadership Team meeting, we had a guest speaker, Róisín (Ro) McGettigan, who shared her amazing story and helped us focus on goal setting, both personally and professionally. Ro is an elite professional runner and cofounder of Believe I Am. At the end of the session, she gave me some advice on my upcoming marathon to “Run the Mile You’re In” and it really resonated with me.

BACKSTORY:
For those who are connected with me on any social network, you may know that this weekend is a big one for me, personally, as I head to the Arlington, VA and Washington, DC areas to run my FIRST marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM). I applied for the MCM via their lottery process back in late March, assuming that I wouldn’t be selected given how competitive it was to get a lottery bib. Much to my surprise (and at the time complete fright), I received this email a week later:

MCM Confirmation Email

Given that I had just completed my dissertation, one of the many answers to, “So what are you going to do with all your free time?” had emerged 🙂 So I spent most of this past summer and fall training intensely, increasing my mileage and adding strength workouts to be as prepared as possible. I shared many of my runs on social media to hold myself accountable to the training and to be in solidarity with many of my friends and colleagues who were also training for marathons (e.g. Ann Marie Klotz and Danielle Nied). It was hard work, as one would expect, and as I write this post, I can say, with confidence that I’m ready.

However, I tend to (shocker) overanalyze and overthink things. My imposter syndrome has crept up on me regularly…  tapping me on the shoulder and providing me doubt nuggets (even though I’ve run 15 half-marathons and logged nearly 600 miles since April)! It makes sense to me when I think back to my worse runs, feelings of sluggishness, dead legs, cramps, IT band and achilles issues that have prevented me from finishing races as strong as I wanted to.

But, this training cycle though has been different. I have been really working on being both physically and mentally prepared, especially this last week leading up to the marathon. In fact, as of this post, I haven’t run since Sunday (8 miles) and have allowed my body time to just relax through light stretching, yoga, foam rolling, and biking. I am really itching to get out there, but know that at this point, the extra running won’t help me as much as it could hurt me.

THE POINT?
 Well, in many ways, “Run the Mile You’re In” is the mantra that has helped me succeed in 2016. In a year where I have been through tremendous transitions, including earning a terminal degree, on boarding new leadership at work, and having articles and a sourcebook published… the only way I have been able to sustain all of it was to focus on what was right in front me and not get caught up in what was behind me or ahead. I’ve actualized this mantra by:

  • Turning off notifications on my phone, tablet, and laptop. I’ve written about this topic before, but I know that can’t focus on what I need to do, if I’m constantly distracted. This helps remind me that the most important thing is usually right in front me.
  • Embracing the dissonance of failure. During my training runs, I recognized pain and discomfort as signals of growth and strength building. There were times where I pushed through pain (which eventually went away), and realized it was more mental than physical. Same thing has gone for my work… it doesn’t have to be perfect all the time, it just has to move the needle on forward progress. Instead of stopping because of it feels uncomfortable, push through.
  • Being grateful. Whatever mile I am, whether it be on the road, at work or home, I find myself more reflective and grateful for everything I have. Maybe its because I’m getting older, but I never want to take anything I am doing for granted.

In many ways, training for the marathon has made me appreciate the idea of slowing down and not moving at the speed I was used to and loved so much. I’ve been humbled through the fact that time on task demanded a deliberate, purposeful pace, which I remembered from writing my dissertation. It’s funny how training for these races mirrored how I could be doing better in other parts of my life.

FOLLOWING ME AT THE MCM ON SUNDAY:
Anyway, for those who wish to follow along this Sunday (and/or send me a message), there are a few ways:

  • Visit the Marine Corps Marathon RUNNER TRACKING website, and search for me!
  • Download the MOTIGO app for Android or iOS, then register, select CHEER, search for the MARINE CORPS MARATHON, search for ED CABELLON, select WHICH MILE you want me to hear it, and RECORD the message and I’ll hear it during my run!
  • Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on Sunday for pics (and maybe even a live video!)

This will be my biggest race to date, as I run with 30,000 other runners 🙂 with my goal is to enjoy every mile and finish the race strong!

And while my playlist is mostly 90’s hip-hop jams… this will be the first thing I play on Sunday morning, when I wake up to shake the cobwebs, eat, and get ready to cross off another item on my bucket list 🙂

 

Oh, and I know… I know… it has been a while since I’ve written here… but its for good reasons (most of which I will share throughout November and December through new technology, social media and marketing content!).  Regardless though, I hope this post helps reconnect us both digitally and in person 🙂

What’s your best advice for me as I prepare to run my first marathon? How do you “RUN THE MILE YOU’RE IN?”

One Comment

  • So proud of you my friend. Thank you for this post! I can’t wait to cheer you on tomorrow!

    My advice based on my own experience in 2003. At mile 20 or 21, the 5-6 miles ahead of you will feel like the most difficult thing you have ever imagined. If you need to, slow down a minute or two and take stock. Look around. There will likely be another person nearby who is also struggling. Offer some encouragement to them and share with vulnerability that you’re also struggling. A unique benefit of racing (which is rarely replicable on training runs) is the support of strangers. Those words and that shared expression of comradeship within the race will give you life. And that brief connection may be what you need to continue.

    If you can’t rind that person within the race–know you have many, many friends and family who are with you all the way. Myself included.

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