Maria’s Marathon Miles: The Road to Tokyo

Hi, I’m Maria, a Senior Apparel Designer here at lucy. Before we get started… It’s probably important that you know I’m not a writer and I’m not sure I would categorize myself as a runner (yet), but here I am writing and running. I’m taking on a goal of running my first marathon next year as a way to challenge myself mentally and physically.

I invite you to come with me on this journey as I train to run the Tokyo marathon in February 2016.  The idea of running this marathon came to me in January as I was thinking of goals for 2015.  Deciding to take this on felt different from a resolution, and became more of a “bucket list” item. One might be curious to know how many items live on this list…. Well,  let me tell you. As of today, there are only two very challenging goals: #1 run the Tokyo marathon and #2, do ONE pull-up. I’ve never done either, and the chances of doing one or both seem almost impossible. Yet I’m hoping  that training for  #1 might help me get to #2

So, why the Tokyo marathon? I wanted to pick a city that meant something to me, a place that could keep me driving forward when the race gets tough. As a creative person, I’ve always been inspired by Japanese fashion and art.  I’m lucky to have a job that allows me to travel all over the world and experience so many different places. After spending six weeks working in Tokyo I fell in love with the place. The people I met were so kind, the food was insanely good, and the Japanese culture fascinated me. I took away so many things from that trip, and I knew I would come back to Japan to experience more. I thought of how cool it would be to see so much of this city that inspires me as I run for hours across different parts of town.

I’ve never thought of myself as an athlete, but I’ve always been very active. I get bored easily, so I like to shake up my routine each week by taking classes, weight training, running outside, or doing yoga. We have a beautiful running trail right outside our office, which makes going out for a run so easy to coordinate or squeeze in over a lunch break. At lucy we are so lucky to have an office culture that encourages exercise and being active.

After running a few half marathons I never really thought running a marathon would be in the cards for me. The idea of doing 13.1 miles twice seemed physically impossible and not enjoyable. Yet somehow this race feels different. I’m craving the opportunity to work really hard and transform myself. I’m running this race truly from my heart. It will be the greatest physical and mental challenge I’ve signed up to do, but I’m 100% committed to dedicating this year to training my body and mind to finish strong. My approach to training might be different than your average runner, but I want this to be different. I am focusing on strength building through speed-work in place of long runs. I am also balancing running with alternating days of weight training. I hope by the time I reach Tokyo I will be strong enough to take on any distance (and do a pull-up!).

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