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  • Writer's pictureErika Andresen

The Least Amount of Discomfort Possible

I am a marathon runner. I decided in 2004, after watching the NYC Marathon every year on tv growing up, I was going to run it myself. I had never run more than 3 miles at once. I hadn't even done that in years. My goal was to finish. I had a secondary goal of finishing in under 5 hrs because why not?

I learned from the moment I signed up that the NYRR club offered free training programs and in-person classes for EVERY level. All the wanted was for each runner to finish. I poured through the "beginner" one, then looked at the "intermediate" one. Intermediate?! Was I on crack? I stuck with the beginner (wisely).

I learned, as I went on my 16-12 week journey, many things about running (plus that I needed to start that early to be successful). I learned about water toxicity. About nutrition while running and how to avoid hitting the wall (when it happens, what it is, and why it happens). Keep in mind this was at a time that gels weren't common. This was from the formal talks. I also learned things via trial and error plus by accident.

As I started increasing my weekly (and thusly daily) mileage, I had to pay more attention to recovery. I was on vacation in Sequoia National Park, staying up in Tuolumne Meadows (which was a LOT colder than the valley). After a good deal of strenuous hiking, I assumed I would be sore in the morning. But I wasn't. The night before, next to my camp site, was a snow river. It was freeeeeeezing. Ah ha! I discovered ice baths! I had knee issues, which I learned where from my T-band. I have high arches: I needed shoes with better arch support.

They suggest you run an official half marathon as part of your training. To learn how to drink when you run (they also had a class on that). I learned where I needed to put vasoline (read: everywhere, literally everywhere) so you don't chafe.

What I learned from my first marathon I tweaked for my next marathon. And what I learned after my next marathon, I applied to one after that. I also learned that I can adjust to how my body responds and what works "in general" might not be the best for me. Every marathon after the first has been better and more comfortable than the last.

Why am I going through all this? What's my point about figuring out things early so I can be successful in my goal with the least amount of discomfort? I'm saying "discomfort" on purpose: marathons are hard on the body! Adrenaline is what feels good. The physical, not so much, especially the next day.

Imagine if I started just running. Didn't learn about marathon training nutrition. Didn't know how my body worked. Didn't understand the weather impacts on physical exertion. How miserable would I have been? How likely would it have been that I would have sustained an injury that prevented me from running at all?

Don't wait until you're "ready" or have figured it out to start. Sign up and take the classes and training. Then do the actual work and figure out how to make it better along the way.

Business Continuity is THE way you will meet your business goals with the least amount of discomfort. Disruptions and disasters will not be fun (ok, marathons can be really fun in spite of it all), there will be some pain, but at the end you'll reach your goal of staying in business and growing. Because you prepared. You did it the smart way, not the regretful way.

Your bank account will thank you.

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