What’s your plan?

What a weekend. This year’s Intertrust Cayman Marathon brought out record numbers and with the 2011 event behind us I suggest you take a moment and reflect on what you accomplished in the past four months.  

Many of you are still basking in the glow of completing your first half marathon and so you should. It is a noteworthy accomplishment.  

I recommend you write a recap of how your race went while it is still fresh in your mind. This way you can refer back to it at a later date and, believe me, you’ll want to make sure you have all the details so you can accurately tell your story to family and friends in years to come. 

Some of you may think you don’t have a story to tell but after speaking with numerous runners during the weekend, it is quite evident you all have a compelling race story. In fact, there is one story in particular I would like to share with you in my final column. 

If you remember from last week’s column, Alan Prada and his girlfriend, Louane, came out to support our crazy run. Alan was having second thoughts on whether or not to enter the half marathon as he was unsure if he’d be able to complete it. Then, 15.2 miles later, Alan left our team and promised to participate in the Intertrust Cayman Half Marathon.  

On Tuesday of last week, I received a text from Alan asking for my thoughts on him entering the FULL marathon. I replied that I wouldn’t recommend it, given that he hadn’t trained for it and could get injured, but if he did decide to run the full, he shouldn’t push hard and focus on completing the 26.2 miles in the six-hour time limit.  

He replied a short time later to let me know he decided to enter the full marathon. Talk about getting outside your comfort zone.  

His ambition brings a smile to my face. I told Alan he would need supplies for his run, as well as a race plan.  

We met on Saturday afternoon at the Marriott where I provided him with gels, Salt Stick and a race plan that would get him through his epic adventure and I am pleased to report that last weekend Alan completed his first marathon in just under the six hour time limit. His effort makes me proud.  

There are plenty of angles I could go with on this story, but what I want to focus on is Alan’s ability to stick to his plan. He went into the marathon way behind in his training but rather than abandon hope and wait for next year’s race, he devised a plan that would get him where he wanted to go. His 26.2 mile trek wasn’t easy by any means. There were times when he struggled, but Alan stayed the course and stuck with his personal plan. The result was that Alan achieved his goal. 

This week’s article may conclude our work together, but there are other races shortly after New Year’s, like the Cross Island Relay and Off The Beaten Track, to prepare for.  

It would be a shame to undo all of your hard work during the past four months in just a few short weeks as you celebrate the holiday season.  

Many of you who have lost weight will be able to attest to how easy it was to gain the weight and how difficult it was to lose it. That’s why I want you to focus on maintaining.  

I’m not saying don’t enjoy yourself. By all means, enjoy yourself during the holiday season, but just remember to remain active while you do it and setting yourself a fitness plan will help you stay on track.  

A plan will keep you focused on what you need to do as you get caught up in celebrating what can be the unhealthy season. A plan can help you avoid starting from scratch come 1 January. A plan will provide the guidelines for how you are going to get through this holiday season without losing all of your fitness.  

It doesn’t need to be overly detailed, but sit down and determine what fitness activities you are going to do and when you are going to do them, as well as what adjustments you are going to make to your eating habits during the next few weeks. 

Your social calendar may limit your time for physical activity but, as I stated in week four, your health has no social calendar so before the holiday parties start and the consumption of food and beverages commences, sit down and figure out what it is you are going to do this holiday season to maintain your fitness. Then all you have to do is emulate Alan and stick with it.  

That’s all for now. Until next time, don’t stop running. 

 

James Murray completed a 100-mile run around Grand Cayman on 27 November and a week later completed 26.2 miles in the Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon.