We are continually inspired and in awe of our M2M Athletes. In our most recent Q&A with M2M Athlete Karla Decoran, we learn about what inspired her to get into running, how she fits it into her busy schedule, and much, much more. There are some great takeaways in here that everyone can learn from. Thanks for taking the time to share with us, Karla!
Karla is coached by Coach Laurel and is a regular at our Tuesday night group runs in Vancouver.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I am a runner, artist, registered veterinary technician, optimist, opportunist, advocate for mountains and all things outdoors and kicking butt enthusiast. I was born in the Philippines but moved to Vancouver when I was 2 years old and have been in love with the place ever since.
When & Why did you get into running?
I got into running a couple years ago. It started with a half marathon with some numbers in mind but since has evolved into so much more. I look at running as an opportunity to challenge myself as I don’t think the benefits occur when it’s easy but when you’re going through the grind and seeing what stuff you’re really capable of.
The action of putting on shoes and running out the door is simple. This is great because this means anyone can run. But the real stuff with running occurs even before the run starts. The sense of purpose you cultivate when you make the decision to go for a run that day and commit no matter what wrench comes your way. When you are forced to practice a positive mindset because halfway through your run you start feeling really sorry for yourself and think of how easy it is to quit, but still commit to what you said you’d do. And even after multiple runs, when you learn lessons of being patient and forgiving yourself when you don’t hit a daily or weekly goal, feel physically or mentally incapable but still keep moving anyways.
To me, running is so much more than trying to be the fastest or hardest runner out there. In my eyes it is a testimony to resilience and positive thinking. It’s about the attitude I choose and practice during each run and one I continue to adapt in all aspects of life.
How do you fit running into your busy/full lifestyle?
This is a good question as I still struggle. I’m currently in a field where 14 hour workdays are not a surprise, so when possible I’ll do morning runs as early as 430am to avoid running after an exhausting day. The best tip I can give is to just decide you’re going to run that day no matter what (excluding injury or illness), no excuses. I promise even the feeling of hating your life while you’re running at the crack of dawn won’t be as bad as feeling defeated and guilty and runless when the day is basically done.
What was the impetus to start working Mile2Marathon?
I was running a lot every week but was tired all the time, I had the commitment and eager attitude towards running but had no plan. Slowly I started reading about heart rate zones and marathon training before starting M2M and knew there were benefits in smart running instead of running as fast as you can all the time. I resonated with Coach Laurel after reading her bio on the website and when I learned how mental training was as important as physical to her, I knew that it was my time to sign up.
Best running advice you’ve been given?
Run slow! Rest! Listen to your body! Don’t forget you’re awesome!
Favourite workout/ type of running session?
Long slow distance. It just makes my day to cruise long distances in good weather
Where to next/What’s your big goal currently?
My running goals include my first marathon at the end of February and my first trail ultramarathon (the Golden Ultra) in September. This summer I’m really hoping to get into more trail running and long distances.
I’m also excited as of recent to be an ambassador/community team member for Run Like A Girl and Canada Running Series. These communities have great core values that I’m honoured and excited to contribute to. Can’t wait to be a part of the big steps forward in the upcoming year!
The person that inspires you in running, sport, or life?
Those moms running out there with strollers in the heart of winter. They’re the epitome of having other responsibilities screaming (literally) in their ear but still making a point to prioritize running. Or anyone who can list a thousand excuses not to run, looks outside and see the most undesirable weather but still lace up and throw themselves out there.
Oh and Courtney Dauwalter because she still smiles after crushing 240 mile races.
“Some men see things as they are, and ask why. But I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” – George Bernard Shaw