Guest post by Lumo Bodytech’s COO, Charles Wang.
Starting last Fall, I started thinking about running a marathon. Call it a bucket list item or something I was inspired to do since running is a big part of my work life, but the idea entered my mind and I could not shake it.
This idea was something that would have seemed ludicrous to me in the late nineties. Back then, I was in medical school in New York, and one by one my friends decided they would run the NYC marathon. I thought they were crazy. I could barely run from my apartment to the UN building and back – total round trip: 2 miles.
Endurance sports was never something I was great at – I was much better at activities that required fast twitch muscles: basketball, racquet sports and the like. So the challenge of running a marathon felt like a daunting one to me.
So I started to train in mid-October 2015. My target was to run the Napa marathon in March 2016. I ran my first half marathon on New Year’s Day, and frankly, I couldn’t believe I was able to do that in just over 2 months.
During my full marathon training, I learned that running 17 miles having only eaten 2 granola bars and drinking only water was not a good idea (I vomited several times, ended up severely dehydrated almost requiring a trip to the emergency room for IV hydration), and how important a training program is to success. I did not plan my nutrition, hydration, stretching, and run distance each week very well, if at all. This was a disaster waiting to happen.
Right on cue, 10 days before Napa, I severely pulled my hamstring, requiring me to pull out of the race. Hobbling around for the next 2 months, I wasn’t sure I’d be running again, let alone considering another marathon anytime soon. But slowly and surely, I was able to walk regularly again, and even able to jog gingerly.
Then over the summer, I thought, “why not run the New York City Marathon?”. I managed to get a late entry, and began my training (again), but this time in earnest.
Knowing that I had previously injured myself so close to race day the last time motivated to be more serious about how I would train. I used Lumo Run to make sure my running form was as good as it possibly could be. Water and granola bars were replaced with goos and Gatorade on run days (no more near visits to the ER!). And stretching became critical.
And the race? Flat out one of the most amazing things I’ve gotten to do. There’s nothing like millions of New Yorkers, who decide to be super friendly for a day, cheering you on for an entire marathon. As I ran off the Queensboro bridge and onto First Avenue in Manhattan, emotions hit me like a ton of bricks. How many times have I watched my friends right on First Ave doing this exact same thing? And here I was, coming full circle, with my own experience running this incredible race. Crossing the finish line, I felt so happy to have completed this journey. And the part that was most unexpected for me? I’m already starting to think about how I can improve the next time. It seems this may have grown beyond my bucket list into an entirely different animal – the world of becoming a multiple marathon runner.