Two weeks until my next marathon and I did my last long run on Sunday and I killed it. I did a fast 6K to start as a warm up, a long slower 22K in the middle and a fast 6K at the end as my cool-down. It has been a hit or miss summer racing for me, I have not hit any goal since my 10K in April and my confidence has been eroding like sands on a beach. I needed to find my mojo and get re-focused for next year and Ironman training.
On Saturday I went to a motivational talk with 3 great speakers. The first speaker was Canadian Olympic medalist Adam VanKoeverden. He was fabulous, a great speaker and I got a few great tips from his talk. He said we are the only person on the gas pedal of our car(dreams) and we are the only person who can control it. Translated, we are the only one who can do the work and determine the speed at which we get to our goal. He also said that if you want to get faster, you need to do what faster people are doing so go seek them out, even train with them if you can.
The second speaker was Jen Segger. Jen is an adventure racer and ultra-marathoner. I love the idea of adventure racing so I was excited to hear her talk. She talked about knowing when to reset, when to give up and how to stay in the moment. She talked about having fun and doing things that makes you happy not just training all the time. I believe we must listen to our bodies, know when to throw in the towel and when to take a rest, we need to push through pain and tackle what is hard. The biggest takeaway was about dealing with pain, let's face it, sometime what we do hurts. Jen talked about a pain box and when she hurts, she put it in her pain box and does not open it until the race is over. I learned a bit about this in Muskoka when I did the whole run with a huge knot in my left hamstring. I need to focus on putting the pain away during a training day or race and focus on what I need to do.
The third speaker was Ray Zahab, an ultra-marathoner and adventurer of epic proportions. Ray has run huge distances in extreme conditions, heat and cold. I have followed Ray on Facebook for a few years and was anxious to meet him. Ray founded a charity called Impossible2Possible that takes youth on adventures that involve running and doing education programs around the world. I love Ray's story and what he does with his charity work and as a motivational speaker he is fabulous. Ray was a smoker who decided to get healthy and do what his brother was doing and eventually it lead to running. I had read Ray's book and watched Running the Sahara and loved the stories he told us. I think the biggest take-away from Ray was to believe in yourself, to prepare and plan and you can do anything you set your mind too.
The evening was exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it most and I will take the motivation and start believing in myself a little bit more. My coach has been telling me I have so much potential and I can do more then I think and I need to believe that and her. My coach is a great motivational source as well, an ultra-marathoner who proves everyday that hard work equals great results, she walks the walk, not just talks the talk. I am also luckily to be surrounded by motivational people, I don't have to go far to find someone who has overcome obstacles or tackled huge challenges or even small ones and inspire everyone around them. To misquote one of my favorite movies, If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that motivation actually is all around.