It’s All About the Journey!

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I’ve run several races throughout my life and ran my first marathon in a few years, last year.

If you’re not familiar, in a marathon, you cover 26.2 miles and it can take a couple of hours or more to complete. I’m definitely on the end of a few more hours to complete.

The Jack and Jill Downhill Marathon resonated with me the most and not because it was downhill, but it for sure helped!


Well, I started off my training early in 2021 with a goal in mind.

I visualized what I wanted to do and wrote my all my goals daily.

I made choices aligned with my goal of running a marathon.

I followed a training plan (all the times before, I was willy nilly).

I built in speed work (which I never did) and built up my mileage.

I checked off the workouts each day and wrote notes of how practice went every time.

Then one day, I felt a pull in my hamstring.

I made the choice to take a few weeks off from speed work and even some of my mileage.

I felt comfortable doing so since my main priority was getting to the start line.

Then, two weeks turned to a couple of more and then I was comfortable not being uncomfortable with running.

For a runner like myself, running 12 or more miles in a training run takes up more time preparing and planning for a run (routes, water stops, time on my feet) which pushes me out of my comfort zone of my routine.

But, my goal was still ahead of me.

So, I scrapped some of my plan, goodbye speedwork and ran increased miles as best I could at the time.

In marathon training, you for sure want to get up to at least 20 miles for a training practice.

I was stuck at 16 and the marathon was 2 weeks away.

There’s for sure no cramming with building endurance.

The night before my race, I was overcome with frustration.

I wanted to run, but felt I wasn’t prepared. Naysayers probably would say and my gremlins for sure showed up and whispered to me that I was in danger if I tried.

Since my husband was running, I had to go to the race anyways, so I suited up and I told myself I would make a choice of what I was going to do when I got there.

When I arrived, I chose to run.

I made another choice as the race began, my new goal was to enjoy the race, take in the scenery in North Bend, WA and take fluids at every stop.

I can recall still till this day, the exhilaration I felt coasting through the miles and feeling so free and full of life.

Everything in this moment of time was synced up within me.

This was the first marathon I ran which I embodied patience for myself, allowed myself to be present in the moment and enjoyed every step along the way.

I finished that race knowing I could do more both physically and mentally.

Now, I truly understood when others say, “running a marathon is a metaphor for life”.

Anything you want to accomplish, your mindset matters.

Trust yourself in what you can accomplish.

Don’t try to speed through your practice, if you’re a pet parent or pet professional. Take stock that in taking your time, you will see the fruits of your efforts.

When the road gets rocky on your journey, re evaluate what you’re doing to reach your goals. This can look like going back to the basics in teaching a skill, going slower building duration and decreasing distance in teaching that skill. Or, if you’re a pet professional, finding the teachable moments in situations rather than seeing the situation or event as a failure.

One of my clients said it best the other day when she encouraged her partner: “Remember, have a growth mindset!” Instead of being stuck on the what ifs, focus and be present in the here and now.

I signed up for the marathon again this year and I’ll set a new goal for myself and I know I’ll accomplish what I set out to do.

What’s on your goal list for 2022?

One way to get clear is join us for a Visualizing Your Year Workshop on Saturday 26 February!

Published by houndbiz

Katherine Porter is a force free, reward based dog behavior advisor and consultant serving clients and their companion dogs worldwide. Her calm and gentle approach in coaching clients in effectively communicating what they want to their dog blends her MSW background into her dog training and behavior practice. Katherine was a behavior consultant for Heeling Hounds after graduation. She opened Four Paws and You Dog Training LLC when the military relocated her family to Fort Sill, OK in 2015. During this time, she volunteered with Rainbow Bridge Can Wait where she provided post adoption consultations to new pet parents. She also developed and implemented tailored behavior modification plans for highly reactive dogs residing at the shelter. She also provided educational programs to military children through interactive workshops at the Fort Sill School Age Center. In 2017, Katherine relocated Four Paws and You Dog Training LLC to Germany. She served the Armed Forces communities in Bavaria. She continued coaching and advising her clients in addressing their companion dog’s fearful and reactive behavioral issues. Katherine takes a Do No Harm approach first and foremost in providing behavioral plans. She is committed in serving clients with gentle and modern science approaches in modifying behavioral concerns such as reactivity, aggression, separation anxiety and fear based responses. Katherine is a member of the Pet Professional Guild. She is focused on integrating a holistic and modern approach in addressing her client’s pet companion reactive behavior issues.

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