Finally after eighteen weeks of solid training, the Zephyr team accomplished what they set out to do by crossing the 13.1 mile finish line. A few finished the race running, some jogging, most walking, and one crawling, but all 10 team members crossed the line in under three hours. Below are the team’s lessons learned from the experience.
Team work, nobody succeeds alone.
While running a marathon might seem like an individual accomplishment, we really relied heavily on other people throughout the process. It started with getting good advice from two teammates who had experience running marathons. They were very helpful in printing out training schedules, dietary plans, and explaining the different types of running attire. To ensure that we were each doing our best to keep up with the training, we maintained a shared spreadsheet where we logged the amount of miles we ran each week. This not only held us accountable to ourselves, but also to our peers as well all signed up for the marathon together. During the day of the marathon, hundreds of people lined the streets to cheer everybody on. This was extremely motivating! We gave lots of “high fives” to so many people that we didn’t even know.
- “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.” - Vince Lombardi
The training was the real marathon.
While anxiously waiting for the marathon to begin, we hung out around the starting line engaging in conversations with the other runners around us. Many of us did not really think about it at first, but we were told by others that the actual marathon is really a celebration of all of the training leading up to the event. This turned out to be exactly right. Most of us stayed quite motivated throughout the 18 weeks of training. However, there were definitely some very challenging times. The most challenging thing for people was actually finding the time to train, especially when so much of our lives revolve around work and family responsibilities. For the most part, people win or lose based on what they do every single day. While everything may appear to happen on one day during the big event, it’s actually the preparation that is most important.
- “Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance” – A variation on the 7P British Army Adage
Don’t start off too fast, consistency is key.
The training the week before the marathon was very light. Therefore, by race day, our bodies were anxious to get running. The electric atmosphere, the raging excitement, and the self reward of indulging in a huge super calorie infused binge meal was so tempting to want to start the race by running really fast. But the experienced runners kept us all grounded and explained that it was much longer than it seemed, so take it slow at the beginning. They knew we would need the energy later in the race, and they were right. For the first 7 miles, we felt like we were jogging or walking really slowly. However we were all glad that we listened, because for the eight of us first timers, we just had our hearts set on finishing.
- “Change must always be balanced with some degree of consistency.” – Ron D. Burton
“You will only get out of it, what you put into it.” – Greg Norman
For many of us, prior to our 2012 new year’s resolutions, exercising and eating healthy were just after thoughts. We all know it takes more than a marathon to motivate someone to change their lifestyle, but this was a good way to nudge each of us in the right direction. None of us signed up because we thought it would help lose weight or build muscle, our goal was to finish. As a result of all the training, several of us lost weight and built muscle. Additionally, with the support from the company by stocking our pantry with healthier snacks, people are self consciously making better lunch choices and laying off the fast food. Every little bit of effort all incrementally adds up to helping us reach our goals. One good decision leads to another as many of the team members have signed up for the Morgan Hill and San Francisco marathons.
Believe in yourself.
We all joked about not being able to finish the race, but deep down inside we all knew that not finishing was not an option. Eighteen weeks and over 670 miles of training gave us the confidence to not only believe, but know we were going to finish. Now that we have all tasted victory, we have the confidence to maintain our good exercising and eating habits.
- “Whatever you want in life, other people are going to want it too. Believe in yourself enough to accept the idea that you have an equal right to it.” – Diane Sawyer
Our progress leading up to the half marathon:
- Zephyr’s Getting in Shape for the New Year!
- Valentine’s Day has come and gone… But training for the Half Marathon continues
- Only 10 Days Until the Pleasanton Half Marathon
Before the race.
No signs of exhaustion from Sanjay Agarwal and Sanjay Zalavadia.
After the race.