Marathon Countdown: 15 Days, 60-hour Workweeks

Woah, where did February go?!

There’s only 15 more days until the LA Marathon. Good news is that I wrapped up my fundraising. I can’t believe that I was able to reach the $1,000 fundraising requirement. Honestly, that seemed more out of reach than the actual 26.2 miles! Special thanks to the landslide of friends who helped me reach that goal. It means a lot to me to think that you believe in my abilities enough to sink some cash to help out disadvantaged women in Los Angeles reach their career goals.

Speaking of career goals and running and the like…I’ve only logged, like, a handful of runs from January until now. I think it’s a single digit number. That can spell trouble BUT I’m confident that I’ll still be able to finish within the 8-hour time limit. Lately I’ve been telling myself that running marathons is more of a mental feat than it is a physical one. After all, my last marathon was more brains than brawn. I mean, even when the hallucinations started settling in I kept pushing, not because my muscles could but because I told my brain to keep on going.

My days have been insanely long. When you work for yourself, you work an insane amount of hours. Combine that with working for tech startups (more than one) at one time, under different length contracts, and don’t be surprised if your calendar explodes before your very eyes. I can barely remember the month of February and it’s already gone. Insane! On some days I was clocking 20 hours a day of straight UX/design work. On other days I was pulling 12 hour days at school. On others I was working 7-8 hours at my clinical internship. I barely had time to sleep but thankfully I was so stressed out and so pumped with adrenaline and cortisone (yay stress hormones!) that I could barely stay asleep anyways. My dreams were a cross of anatomy review and design iterations. Seems a bit nutty to combine the two.

Despite the two divergent paths I’m finding a lot of harmony between the two fields. A lot of my design feels a bit more inspired now that I’m returning to my healing roots. It seems like an unlikely combination — sort of like chicken and waffles — but they go surprisingly well together. Nature has always inspired my work, in such a way that a weekend camping trip to the great outdoors can renew my perspective just as much as a two-hour tough-as-nails deep tissue massage does. It’s fascinating that the human body has been built with the capacity to self heal, and that all of the answers are right in front of us…it is a matter of re-presenting the problem to the body so that nature can present the solution. Something that I learned this week that was absolutely fascinating was that during cramping, short effleurage from tendons to the muscle belly helps reset the proprioceptors and relieve cramping. So instead of gripping, digging, ignoring, etc., something as simple as light massage can make it go away.

Something that has also came to me while drilling through a few 20-hour workdays this week…if I can’t take a 20 hour day, 15 hour day, 12 hour day, 8 hour marathon…then I won’t be able to take on the Ironman! So I better get used to these long days, because 140.6 miles is a long way to go while complaining. The mental exercise is exhausting. UX design isn’t easy and requires a lot of mental energy, but it’s worth it, much in the same way that running 26.2 or racing triathlons is tough on the body. The journey is worth it!

Anyways, with 4 days left until the big 2-8…I’d have to say that I definitely squeezed the life out of 27. Started running, resolved to take a vacation, flew to Europe for the ultimate running vacation, switching careers — it’s all a day in the life, right? Sometimes when you’re down in the trenches, it’s miserable and awful and all you feel like doing is complaining and crying. I’ve had so much emotional support this last month from my boyfriend, BFFs, running buddies, and more that it’s hard to put into words. I’m looking forward to what my next year has to bring. Definitely less races but they’ll definitely be more meaningful. Still incredibly antsy about the 70.3 but I think that after the LA Marathon I will be able to re-shift my focus back on some more balanced training. I just need to get better at balancing my energy, not my time…because clearly, I’m a time-management master!