I feel fortunate I can run and it’s my running that fuels me and keeps me grounded when life gets crazy. I often laugh that I can solve the world’s problems while out for a run. The most complex issues seem to be less intense when I am running and the answers seem to materialize while I am focusing on my breathing and enjoying the outdoors on a beautiful day. It was running that enabled me to manage through difficult times when I was the growing the business and at times feeling less than confident in my ability to grow a business and sustain a team of consultants. I would set goals for myself with respect to my business and also my running. I grew in my capacity and capability as a runner at the same time as I grew as an Entrepreneur. It’s amazing what you can accomplish by setting goals, measuring your success and checking-in to fine tune and realign milestones when you realize some goals may have been too aggressive.
In 2010 I decided that attempting to qualify and run the Boston Marathon would be a stretch goal for me. To reach this goal it would require me to set milestones and regularly monitor my running schedule and times. It would require me to be very disciplined in my time management as I would be committing to a running schedule that would require me to lace up the runners 5 times a week and run upwards of 75 Km weekly. This commitment to run was at a time when my business was growing and changing and when I reflect back I wonder how did I do it and also find time to run a growing business. I then remind myself that it was because of the running that I successfully managed the everyday stress and challenges in the business. It was through running that I stayed energized and confident that when you work hard and have a plan good things happen! Good things did happen – I qualified for Boston in 2011 while running the San Francisco marathon and today as I write this blog I reflect back on my memories and a note I wrote family and friends on my plane ride back from Boston. I would like to share it with you….
“I am on the plane heading home from the Boston Marathon and quite frankly a bit overwhelmed by the whole experience! This was a journey I will never forget! Running with athletes from around the world – in a heat wave (high 80 degree F) supported by an incredible team who came to Boston– John my husband, my mom and my sister Carol. In addition I had family and friends who followed my race on the intranet and sent me words of encouragement before and after the race. I even had some who sent me messages during the race – what a pleasant surprised as I checked my messages after the race!
This run tested every ounce of me! The day before the race all runners received several alerts from the marathon association warning us of the danger of running in extreme heat and encouraging us to reconsider running. I was nervous but was determined to run. I would however reconsider my strategy – I would run slower (this was not the race for a personal best) and plan to stop for water at every water station. My support team gave me great advice – my Mom’s hug and parting words the night before the race – `above all run safe` and my husband’s continual words of encouragement – :you can do this – you have worked hard for this – you have this one beat!”
To run with elite runners from around the world; to feel the excitement as thousands of people cheering you on; to feel the camaraderie of fellow runners as we reached out to each other during and after the race; to know that your family and friends are cheering from a-far; to know that I accomplished a dream; to know that I have run my last marathon and finished 29th in my age division…….is a fantastic feeling!”
I will always remember the joy at the finish line and the sheer pleasure in knowing that I had accomplished a life-time goal!
On June 16th our company Salopek & Associates will sponsor a fun run to raise money for the Food Bank Run to Renew – Salopek & Calgary Food Bank. This will be our 3rd annual Run to Renew and it it’s an event that is important to me. This run allows me to renew annually my commitment to run and stay healthy. It also provides Salopek & Associates an opportunity to give back to the community. Please check out our Run to Renew website and consider joining us for the run and/or sponsoring a member of our team. The goal to raise money for the Food Bank when they need it the most is important to me and Salopek & Associates. We hope you will consider supporting us!