Friday, January 9, 2015

The End is Near | Kathy Kliebert

Since my last blog, I have logged in a lot more miles. Along the way, I’ve learned some important things about marathon running and a lot about myself.

I still have not figured out how to overcome the boredom on the long runs, but I did manage to get myself into a much better place mentally in order to accomplish them.  Everyone tells me now, “the hay’s in the barn” and that I need to just rest, relax and get ready to enjoy the day.

I pretty much kept up with all of my training runs, only skipping one or two shorter ones on recovery weeks when I felt my legs, knees and hips just couldn’t handle them.  The training plan seems to be working, although, I won’t know for sure until the actual race day. My last 20 mile run was less painful and 14 minutes faster than my earlier 20 mile run.  I am still not sure how I am going to manage an additional 6.2 miles but everyone says that the adrenalin from race day and all of the people along the course will make it doable. 

So, what have I learned?  I am still not a long-term marathon runner, but I now think I can be a marathon runner for one day.  I have learned to allow my mind to be still for short periods, which is major for me. I have learned that you can certainly do more than your think your body can handle.  Every long run I have questioned how I can possibly increase the mileage when I can barely made it as it is, but sure enough, I am able to finish longer runs.  I have learned the importance of nutrition on the run. Hopefully, I have a good nutrition plan in place for the race.  I have learned it really helps to have others run with you – I could not have done this without my husband accompanying on almost all of the long runs.

I have immense respect for marathon runners – it takes a tremendous amount of determination to get out there in the heat, the cold, the rain and the wind to complete the training plan.  Training puts is a lot of wear and tear on the body.  Someone asked me if I thought my legs were getting stronger. Honestly, it is so hard to tell. I feel like I have been tearing and repairing my muscles for so long that I don’t know what rested legs can do.  Kudos to those that do this on an ongoing basis.

I’d like to give a huge thank you to everyone who joined Team DHH – at last count we were 169 members strong. 

That is 169 people that committed to making lifestyle changes to help improve their health outcomes and to support their friends and co-workers in making changes.  Whether you are running your first or fifteenth 5K, 10K, half or whole marathon, be proud of the work you’ve put in and the changes you have made.  Even if you didn’t complete the training plan, at least you started and set a goal which is more than most people do.  Celebrate the things you have been able to accomplish. Use this experience to guide you in setting additional goals and in making those changes in your life that will lead to a healthier and happier you!

I would like to invite everyone to join us for a Louisiana Marathon Pep Rally that we will hold at the Baton Rouge DHH offices at 628 N. Fourth Street at noon on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 to celebrate our success and to cheer those on that will be running one of the races over the weekend.  Team DHH and Team DOA members are also invited to attend a Marathon Pre-Party at the Capitol Welcome Center 702 N. River Road Baton Rouge at 5 p.m. also on Thursday January 15th. There will be great food and motivational speakers to get the teams ready for the weekend. Please try and join us for these activities!

Kathy Kliebert
Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary

Kathy is an avid triathlete, taking on the challenge of her first full marathon with the 2015 Louisiana Marathon. When she isn't running a state department or keeping up with her triathlon training, she loves spending time with her grand kids. Follow Kathy on twitter @KathyRunsLaDHH

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