2018 TCS New York City Marathon Bound

When I was in the 5th grade I ran for class President. I had a strong campaign slogan, "It's Time for Tanya at the Taylor." I made campaign pencils, I gave a strong speech and in the end I won and had a great one-year Presidency! We accomplished many things during the school year of 1988-1989 which even included being the first class at the Charles H Taylor (Boston, MA) to take a field trip out of state. My dad reminded me yesterday of my campaign when he tweaked it a little bit for 2018. He said, "It's Time for Tanya on the Tar." 

You see, in September a friend wrote this on a calendar and this is why it's "Time for Tanya on the Tar."

In 2017 I experienced loss over the span of many months. In the midst of those difficulties I found myself praying the same words over and over again, "Lord, I know you can create beauty from ashes. Please, take my ashes and transform them!" 

As I took moments of physically putting one foot in front of the other to work through the sorrow, I found myself walking 100+ miles in a month all over my Harlem neighborhood and just north to The High Bridge in Washington Heights. 

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This was the view I looked forward to. 

I never would have imagined that the many miles walked would lead to a conversation that would then lead to me becoming a runner in the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon. 16 years ago I used to be a runner. In 2012 I met a friend every weekday morning for a 4.5 mile run on Staten Island and we ran three 5Ks together in just a few months before I moved to Eastern Europe. After not running for years, foot surgery and working a retail job, my feet were in pretty bad shape but now...now is the time to change all of that!

As I think about running the marathon I think about my 2017 journey and how it was a marathon. There was no quick fix, quick finish or quick solution. It took endurance, commitment, longevity and training. There was a need to train the thoughts of my mind, the emotions of my heart and my responses.

26.2 miles. I've NEVER run 26.2 miles. It's been 8 years since I even ran 3 miles. But, 26.2 is coming in 6.5 months and in order to complete it, I'm going to need endurance, commitment, longevity and training. In mid-June my running training will begin but now, there's another type of training I'm working on as I work through 'The Tanya Velardo Phase 1 of Marathon Training.' 

  • TRAINING DISCIPLINE is about doing what needs to be done even when you don't want to do it. When I'm tired at the end of the day, discipline is cooking healthy food at home. For me, discipline is going to bed before 11pm and being up by 7am. Discipline is getting up at a decent hour, walking down my 64 stairs, exercising, running the marathon schedule (even when it means 12 miles) and then walking back up my 64 stairs after leg day at the gym! Training Discipline is acknowledging my tendencies to procrastinate & not giving in. 
  • FOOD CHOICES will fuel my body well and will positively affect the way I feel and my energy levels. There is tempting food EVERYWHERE in NYC and it's easy to tell myself that I deserve special treats each day.

So, here I am in Phase 1. I've been working each day at training discipline in my life and being mindful of my food choices. As a result and thanks to Weight Watchers, I've lost 18 pounds of my 40 pound weight loss goal by the time that Marathon training starts in mid-June. 

I'm facing a new week and my Discipline Training focus this week is sleep habits. It's so hard to go to bed at the end of the day. It’s going to take an intentional effort to be in bed by 11pm and up by 7am. That snooze button is so tempting.

One of the tools I'm using in my Marathon journey during Tanya's Phase 1 is the book Finish by Jon Acuff. When perfect stops so does working towards the goal that was set. When I met Jon Acuff at a conference for a book signing he gave out this poster and the top middle square jumped out to me. I wrote in that 'perfect race' that I'm working towards. Soon after I received the poster my perfect stopped happening. I had a strange accident and was now recovering from a brain injury/concussion. It was no longer perfect and it was 10+ weeks until I could do any sort of intense exercise. I was just trying to walk at a normal pace without my head hurting, never mind running. 

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But here I am, Phase 1 of the Marathon journey. 

Training Discipline. It's through this journey that I'm seeing the Lord answer yes to my 2017 prayer. The ashes are no longer scattered all around. The beauty is growing.