"Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. "Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people."
Quran, Surah Al Baqarah [2:286]
Each person has something going on in their lives, and each person has a story to be heard and told!
While I will not go too deep into my own personal life at this moment, I will share my own why.
You see, not every person has the same opportunity to take a summer vacation with their families/parents. There is no such thing as a happy perfect family, at least, not in my opinion.
I can not recall the last time I went on a vacation with my own parents. It must have been probably when I was maybe around 11 years or younger! I'm talking about with both my mom AND my dad!
And I just turned 29 years old!
So yeah, a really long time!
When I saw a Facebook event invitation to the Rock and Roll VA Beach half marathon from the Mom Run This Town chapter I'm part of, I remembered about this race! I remembered how I have been wanting to do it since last year because I just want to be at the beach!
Although I'm an adult woman now, I still have my parents with me where we help each other financially and living together. For me, going to the beach on my own is not an easy task. I have always wished to just get in my car and just drive on my own.
When I asked the women from the running group who was running it, and how they're going; if it was a possibility to carpool like I did last time for another race at Rehoboth beach.
They all told me they were going to take their families to the race as a mini vacation. Mind you, the race happened on Sept 1st during the labor weekend, here in the United States!
So I thought, what a fantastic idea! I should do the same and take my parents on a vacation since it's been SO long!
I signed up for the race just after Ramadan ended so back in June during the flash-sale price deadline. For your information and for those that do not participate in running races or any type of a race...
They do cost $$$ and that is why sometimes people get turned away because it may not fit their budget. Which I totally understand and can relate to.
So when I saw the option of St. Jude fundraiser opportunity to raise at least $500 to get free ticket price for the race...I signed up for it.
I wanted to challenge myself with it and raise $500 before the race date.
The reason why I didn't tell my parents about it was because I knew they may not be happy with it, and I was afraid from their reaction.
So I kept on trying to raise money while training for it as much as I was able to. And at the same time work on my business and.....
During that time as well....
I was working on my swim instructor certification! Which meant I was in the pool a lot of times working on my strokes as well as teaching water aerobics during the summer.
My body was definitely exhausted, and I was mentally burned out too.
At first, I created my own draft workout plan to follow. Click below to view it:
And so with all honesty, I'm beyond embarrassed and ashamed of myself of not being able to follow it all the way through! I tried my very best to swim and bike as well as run because I highly believe in the importance of cross training especially for runners! I had about 3 months to the race which was PERFECT timing to get ready! But with Shawaal coming in (the month after Ramadan) where I did do my fasting while I was able to...And with trying to get back my routine on track after Ramadan...I gave it my best!
I also tried my best to keep up with strength & resistance training.
What people need to remember is that even fitness professionals face challenges in following their own programs and their bodies can be burned out from teaching classes, working on their business, family life-balance, and everything in between.
So fast forward to the actual weekend of the race:
Once we have arrived, we found out that the hotel wasn't as close as I thought it would be to the actual race start line. I didn't expect that distance either.
So let me tell you what happened to us during the night leading to the race morning...It was quiet of a fun adventure. *sarcasm*
So the night of the race, just 15 minutes before midnight, this happened! In the middle of our sleep, we had to be out to wait for the problem to resolve.
What happened is that there was a leak at the hotel which impacted electricity. At around 12:15 a.m., we were told it was okay to return back to the room. Keep in mind, that we had to be at the race location before 5:30 a.m. because roads were going to be closed for the race!
So we go back, and I tried to get some sleep. My mom couldn't get back to sleep so she started packing up everything!
Then a few minutes later, we got a knock on the door from the manager on duty that we had to be evacuated and go to another location! So my mom kept on packing and was a bit furious. I tried to get some rest but physically couldn't sleep as much anymore!
Then my dad went to get a cart to put our stuff on it so we can see which other location to go to! As he opened the door, another manager was walking by. The room next to ours actually had the water leak and the issue. So we were on the same floor as the actual emergency!
She tells us that the closest hotel was about 45-60 minutes away from the race's location! So she gave us permission to stay in the room.
By then, it was around 2 a.m., and I had to be up by 4:45 a.m. to get ready for the race!
Yes, I was exhausted!
I woke up super tired, and although I had my clothes and stuff prepared for the race, I was just tired to even run.
At the actual race, I wasn't able to run because my body was just so burned out and tired.
Prior to the race, I don't think I gave my body enough recovery time and just trained as hard as I can.
So I just walked 90% of the race and 10% ran it. I tried to just take the opportunity to reflect. I asked myself, why did I sign up for the race? And I started taking deep reflections and work on my spiritual connection with Allah swt.
After the race, I had shin splints pain and my quads and legs were literally tired. Therefore, post the race, I stopped by the medical station to get ice and pain relief pill to recover from the race:
Prior to the race, what I did in my training?
I included swimming as well as running in the pool which was super helpful!
Bike rides to strengthen my leg muscles and to enjoy nature too!
Some strength training at the gym either before or after work. I am a fan of resistance training outdoors because it helps me deal with stress.
I visited a local running store to check a gait analysis for my feet. I also purchased new socks to test out. Because I was having problems with my feet.
Had a minor injury which prevented me from going the extra mile in my runs.
When I go out for runs, I would incorporate bodyweight exercises sometimes to keep up with strength training.
I included some agility drills because endurance training and speed work are important!
What did I learn from this race? And should I have done?
Plan in advance and prepare as much as you can.
Make time to recover properly and give your body adequate nutrition!
Foam rolling and icing are important for the body during training and before the race!
Stop overthinking as much as you can and just have fun during training!
If needed, hire or have an accountability partner to help you stay consistent with your workouts and meal planning.
Make sure you have a strong support system! (Mine was the Mom Run This Town group)
Face your fears and just give it your best!
Train with a purpose! Because it will remind you to stay strong during the toughest days during your training!
Share my training program and progress with my followers on social media more often.
Make sure to get in more strength training and resistance training sessions in the program!
Why did I actually sign up for this race?
I honestly and simply just wanted to be at the beach! I love to be around sand and water. And for me, financially right now taking a long vacation isn't something I can afford. My current life situation doesn't let me just do what I want without going through some sort of arguments about it. Yes, I am an adult woman who can do whatever I want, but I also have to be respectful to my parents. There's a set of boundaries and there are barriers I still have to overcome. That is normal. I am not ashamed of it. I also wanted to motivate myself to train with a purpose and for a purpose. The St. Jude fundraiser reminded me of the kids with cancer, and why I need to run for them and raise funds to help them too. I also wanted to be the person who takes my parents on vacation with what I am able to afford. I want to turn the table around and be the one who gives back to them while they've given me so much within their capacities.
How to be active with a purpose?
Ask yourself, "Why do you workout?"
Losing weight is an important reason. But is that all you want to achieve in life? What's next?
How do you want to feel? How do you want to be from inside out?
From my experience, signing up for 5k/10k/etc races that are cause-driven help me stay purpose-driven into my workouts and training.
Look at your life right now...
What can you do to make it better? How is your family? Do they need you? Do you need them?
Find ways to exercise so that you can be there for yourself and your family.
Look up organizations and causes that matter to you and are aligned with your values. See how you can give back to them using your strong physical healthy fit body!
These are just a few examples and ways to consider how to find purpose into your fitness-training!
The mindset matters a lot! Here's why:
During the actual race, I tried to push myself as hard as I can, but my body just wouldn't let me! I would tell myself, "I'll just run to this distance, then I'll walk..." I tried to push myself for that, but my legs were just getting tired that I had to stop.
So listen to your body! Always!
Second of all, post the race, I reached the end feeling embarrassed and ashamed of myself for being able to run it all.
The women inside my running community told me that with all the circumstances I went through (the night of the race), it was good from me that I was able to even do it. That helped me feel good about it but still felt like I could've done better!
So how does the mindset play a role here?
Although it seemed like a failure to you at that moment, remember that you still gave it your best.
I had to tell myself that it is okay. Life happens. And I still pushed through it. I didn't avoid the race because it didn't go perfectly the way I want it to go.
Now I want to take all the lessons and mistakes I made from this race to sign up for another race if I can. I did look up few but with my budget right now, I don't think I can.
Therefore, I will continue to get back on my feet and keep trying.
This is the GROWTH mindset: a mindset that takes failures as an opportunity to learn and grow from them!
What's next for me?
Take time to focus on my lifestyle and build a consistent routine. Ever since Ramadan ended, it's been challenging getting back into it. And we're getting closer to the next one (about 7 months). Before you know it, we'll be 2 months away! So I want to get myself back on track to stay focused on my priorities while I stay physically active and mentally strong as well as spiritually connected.
I do want to try and blog on a "weight-loss" journey that is unlike any other journeys I've seen before. I want to show how someone like me who has experienced/going through anxiety attacks can still lose weight and be spiritually connected with Allah/or with oneself.
in shaa Allah (If God's Wills it)
As a result of this race:
My mom thanked me in the end despite what we went through there and behind the scenes at home for giving them the opportunity to get outside the house.
Like I said before and will continue to say it over AND over again...
EACH family has its own drama and struggles. I don't believe in a perfect family. If that is your family right now or parents, be thankful and grateful for that!
Because not everyone gets the chance to get out there and go on a vacation or be with their loved ones.
Use your body to serve those around you and to give back to your own family, community, THEN globally!
Do not neglect your family while you're out and about doing great service work. That's hypocrisy.
And do not chase aesthetic looking body because it won't do you any good if you're not using it to help those around you.