A lifetime experience – The Boston Marathon

“You have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.” – Steve Prefontaine

I can still not believe that I was fortunate enough to reach my goal and run the most prestigious race in the world – the Boston Marathon. The training for this race took 16 weeks and this requires discipline, patience and certainly a lot of miles under your soles.


Unlike other marathons, Boston is not an open race. You have to qualify to be allowed to run it. Although it is not as difficult as qualifying for the Olympics, this process can be quite challenging for the average runner. It is certainly what makes running the Boston Marathon special and attracts runners from all over the world. Some even call the race the “holy grail” of marathon runners and now I know why…. 

This race was the experience of a lifetime but nobody can truly understand the level of difficulty of this race before running it….. It is the most difficult course I have ever run…. There is soooo much downhill and at 26 k my legs (thighs) were already killing me…. I had no idea how I could even finish 42 k but somehow I got a second wind but I could not maintain my goal time (3:50)…. My hamstring really acted up during the last 5 miles….

However, I am very proud of my accomplishment and at least this is one more thing to cross off my bucket list!
Time: 3:54:53

There were 26,776 entrants, 23,071 starters and 22,588 finishers in the 114th race. The Boston crowd was amazing…. There was no mile without people cheering us on. The Americans are really into sports and such patriots. They really made us feel like we are a professional athletes. It’s the people cheering that carry you to the finish line at the end!!!

The most important thing – I finished strong, healthy and with a smile on my face!

What did I learn from this whole experience for business and for life?
  • If you learn to enjoy the whole journey, it makes it so much easier to face any challenge.
  • Set goals, know what you want and discover your inner drive
  • Have a plan and have the self-discipline to stick to it.
  • Show integrity in whatever you do!
  • Have the courage to go for what you want despite all the nay-sayers.
  • If you do something like running a marathon without getting paid, you must love it, otherwise you won’t succeed. Look for the same feeling in your career…..
  • Be friendly and show respect even if you don’t feel like it!
  • You can enjoy life and eat whatever you want if you show some discipline in other areas of your life. “How you do anything is how you do everything!”
  • Open your eyes for the beauty around you and take it in – mile by mile, day by day, moment by moment. That’s the key to happiness.
  • Roadblocks are like hills – if you learn how to conquer them, there will always be a nice and easy downhill for cruising along. It is all about the perspective on how you look at things.
  • If you make perseverance your friend, any challenge will turn into an opportunity. 
  • Look for people around you who are an inspiration to you – people in their 70ies who run marathons, people in wheelchairs who are faster than you can even imagine, people who have more challenges than you do….. What can you learn from them on your journey to your personal success?
  • Expand your network and never forget to make friends along the way – it is fun and this makes life so much more enjoyable. 
  • A smile on your face goes a long way and there is no language barrier – once you smile the pain goes away…..and you approach things in a different way.
  • It is important to take control over the “little voice in your head”…. The average person has 60,000 thoughts a day and 80 % of these thoughts are negative. If you know that, it becomes easier to take control and shift your thoughts from negative to positive.
  • Good energy is important in whatever you do – make exercise, good eating habits and enough sleep a part of your lifestyle.
  • Have a winning attitude but not at the expense of other people…
  • Help other people on their journey and make it your mission to help them succeed
  • Sometimes you won’t reach your goal but that’s o.k. because at the end of day it is not about the goal, it is about the person you become in the process. 
  • Never, never, ever give up – that’s the difference between success and failure.
  • Be an inspiration to other people and you can change one life at a time. This is the most effective way to lead people and to help them to make behavioural changes.
  • If something works, keep doing it. If it doesn’t work, change your approach. Otherwise, how can you expect a different result?
  • Lead by example and lead the way! Others will want to follow…..
  • Attitude is EVERYTHING – nothing will stop you if you have the will to succeed, the will to conquer challenges and the will to be the best you can be.
  • If you don’t appreciate yourself, you will have a difficult time acknowledging your successes!
  • Learn the lesson behind it when you are faced with a challenge!
  • Strive for excellence in your life. Who wants to be average?
  • If you live your life with SPICE – self discipline, persistence, integrity, courage and energy – you can accomplish anything you want and the sky is the limit. 
  • Whatever you do – don’t forget to have FUN along the way!
“Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'” – Peter Maher, Canadian marathon runner

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    You’re right, what a fabulous journey, One of a kind experience that makes your soul purified from all selfishnesses, finding more values of human being, helping each other to get higher goals and celebrating your friends acheivements.
    Finding out that “I” has the lowest value & “WE” has the highest & “YOU” can make the difference.
    Cheers
    Hassan

  2. You were fortunate because you worked hard and made it to this race. You deserved to be there. Congratulations on your fantastic achievement!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations!

    Discipline, commitment and hard work pays off every time.

    Jason

  4. Great achievement Karin,

    Congratulations.

  5. The sky is the limit!

    GO KAREN GO…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Very impressive.

    Joe B

  7. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Karin, What a tremendous accomplishment. You should be very proud of what you have been able to do. Keep going

    Pat

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