“I am too busy”…this is often the most common excuse used for not being able to do something. This could have justifiably been the case for one of my clients in not pursuing her dream of running the New York Marathon.
Introducing Danielle Wilkins - busy mother of two, Obstetrician and director of maternity services at Cabrini Hospital. Fair to say that Danielle not only had a lot on her plate but couple that with erratic working hours this journey was no small feat. Danielle had run some 5 and 10 km runs over the years but nothing close to the sorts of distances she would need to cover in her training leading up to the 42 km’s of the marathon. This and trying to squeeze the extra training amidst the unpredictability of babies, as wells as trying to raise 2 boys (7 & 9) was always going to be the difficult conundrum she faced.
In saying that, given I have been training Danielle consistently for 7 years I was fully aware of her physical and mental capabilities. Thus, when she approached me in November last year with her New York Marathon ambitions you can imagine my initial trepidation's based on her busy lifestyle. I did not doubt her ability to do the training or the event, but could she juggle the demands with her incredibly busy lifestyle?
Our discussions eventually led to my approval and support provided she was able to tick all the training boxes along the way. I was confident that this would ensure Danielle would not only be race ready but she would have a better chance avoiding injury in her lead up, during the race and with recovery after the event.
With all lights now green, Danielle began to negotiate the weekly training sessions. A typical week for her looked like this:
- Sunday Long Tempo Run (1-3 hrs)
- Monday Recovery run (1-2 hrs)
- Tuesday Strength session (1 hr)
- Wednesday Group Interval Session (1 hr)
- Thursday Active Recovery (i.e. message, stretch, roller, swim)
- Friday Shorter Faster flat or hillier Run (1-2 hr)
- Saturday Rest Day
With all roads now leading to New York on Sunday 1st November 2015, weekly training distances became longer with her peak long run reaching 30 km and her greatest weekly total distance being around 55-60 km.
Now, the journey was not without its hiccups, with an ITB stress reaction injury threatening to derail Danielle’s dreams some 3-4 months before race day. Fortunately, Danielle detected, sought advice and treatment early enough to manage and overcome the injury. This meant a few weeks of tedious, mind numbing runs around and around grass covered ovals and footpaths to reduce the load on the ITB until she was ready to resume on the road.
Notwithstanding the physical barriers Danielle had to overcome, she had to build confidence in herself to be able to cover the massive 42 km come 1st November. To do this, Danielle ran the Half Marathon at Run Melbourne in July and another Half Marathon at Melbourne Marathon in October as part of her training and help build her training runs up to her Pre-New York maximum of 30 km.
With her physical and mental confidence now at a peak, Danielle was ready and jetted out to meet her date with her New York marathon destiny. Standing on the start line, Danielle knew she was ready and that she had done all that she could to prepare for the next 42 kms of running that lay ahead. She had full belief in her tactics to run her splits at a conservative pace leaving her with plenty in reserve to draw on come the arduous final few kilometers.
Finish she did and as she was triumphantly reunited with her husband Simon, she reflected on the sacrifices and support from her family and time away from her gorgeous boys, Max and Sam. Indeed this was a victory for persistence, determination and the resilience to never give up no matter what hurdles or barriers are thrown your way. Ultimately, this is testament that you are never too busy to pursue your dream. The only barrier is YOU.
Well done Danielle for never saying never and following your heart and dreams!
Written by Tony Gianonne - CHEK exercise and run group coach