MEKITA AZNAR

Canadian Running - - EXOTIC DESTINATION -

on sleep

“Sleep is su­per im­por­tant, in fact, it’s the rea­son that I don’t do dou­ble days dur­ing train­ing – I value that sleep­ing time. The week be­fore a marathon, I’ll go to bed an hour ear­lier than I usu­ally do so that I can bank some sleep be­cause be­tween feel­ing ner­vous and hav­ing to wake up early, the night be­fore the race isn’t usu­ally a great sleep.”

on hy­dra­tion

“I made the mis­take of over­hy­drat­ing be­fore a race once – the New York City Marathon and it was bad news – bloat­ing and di­ar­rhea. Now I know not to overdo it with the water the week lead­ing into a race (which can ac­tu­ally hurt your out­come be­cause you di­lute your body’s elec­trolytes when you’re pee­ing all the time). I ac­tu­ally get re­ally ner­vous when I see peo­ple car­ry­ing huge bot­tles of water around race ex­pos, I just want to snatch it out of their hands and say – ‘don’t guz­zle it!’”

on ‘the wall’

“I bonked dur­ing the Bos­ton Marathon in 2014. I was on pace for a PB un­til 36k and then it was ‘lights out,’ so to speak. I had a break­fast that I wasn’t used to and didn’t eat enough of it and com­bined that with go­ing out too hard. It was a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.”

best story?

“I just ran the Cal­gary Marathon linked up with nine other run­ners, in sup­port of Mi­toCanada, a char­ity for mi­to­chon­drial disease. We were go­ing for a world record, which meant that we needed to have it filmed, so we had a cy­clist join us along for the ride. At about 36k, one of us started to hit the wall and to dis­tract us, our cy­clist, Kari, started telling us her story – about how she had lost two chil­dren to mi­to­chon­drial disease and how sport had helped her per­se­vere through the pain of each of their deaths. Our sin­glets for that race said, ‘Run­ning for those who can’t,’ but it was Kari telling her story that put things into per­spec­tive – any hard­ship that you go through dur­ing a race is noth­ing, ab­so­lutely noth­ing com­pared to what peo­ple are bat­tling through. She was so pos­i­tive through­out the whole ex­pe­ri­ence and it re­minded me of the strength of the run­ning com­mu­nity and the op­por­tu­ni­ties that we have to help one an­other.”

AGE 42 HOME­TOWN ED­MON­TON MARATHONS 14 PB 3 : 05 Mekita Aznar at the 2013 Bos­ton Marathon While there’s no magic trick to the marathon, there was one word that came up in ev­ery sin­gle con­ver­sa­tion I had with ex­pe­ri­enced marathon­ers, a word that seemed, to them, to hold a sort of mag­i­cal qual­ity to it. That word was con­sis­tency. Avoid­ing in­jury, get­ting sleep, stay­ing mo­ti­vated, all of these things were of­fer­ings that these run­ners seemed to make at the al­tar of con­sis­tency. So while you’re fill­ing up your jar, pour smoothly and slowly and think about each el­e­ment as you add it, be­cause all the lit­tle things, well, they mat­ter. Caela Fen­ton is a staff writer for Cana­dian Run­ning. This fall, she will be­gin her Ph.D at the Univer­sity of Ore­gon

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