Medicine From The Trenches

Experiences from undergradute, graduate school, medical school, residency and beyond.

Back to training for the marathon

If you have read my previous posts, you will know that I trained for my first marathon but was unable to complete the distance because of freak extreme conditions. In short, I had prepared for everything except cold and snow which fell and stopped me short of my 26.2-mile goal. I ended up with extreme hypothermia but determined to climb back into my training routine after an overseas trip.

This trip was one of my longest to date; required a 13-hour flight but worth every second the journey. I was transported to a land where I was very different from the crowds of people who live there. I found hills to run, markets and temples to explore but even better, I found connection with those who differ in culture from me. In short, the world became smaller for me but I became more aware of how similiar all human beings are. We are definitely brothers and sisters though we may look different, worship differently and have different professions/lives.

When I entered medicine, many years ago, I was determined to master the science that I knew I would need. Years later, I realize that the science is the tool that allows me to see the wonder of humanity. If I am going to take on the privledge of taking care of the health of those who trust me to have their best interests, then I must take on the connection of spirit with those who seek my care.

On my trip, I was able to explore markets and shops where those who sold herbs, used for thousands of years, explained how their medicines worked. I was able to tour modern surgical centers with those who explained how their medicine worked with equal pride and care. The simularities was the whether the physician was well-trained at some of the great universities or passing on the knowledge gleaned from previous ancestors, each took pride and care in the treatment of those who sought them out.

I also spend some time running the streets of the city that I visited. This city had hills that reminded me of San Francisco which enabled me to keep my training schedule. My marathon training is something that has allowed me to center my thoughts, improve and keep my physical conditioning and work out problems that might need careful consideration. I always allow my mind to go where it seems to want to lead my thoughts moving from something as simple as a song or careful consideration of other sides of a problem that might be present.

Long distance running is far from a chore but an exercise that can bring order to an otherwise chaotic life. As a middle-distance runner in university, I thought that the longer distances (more than 10 miles) would not be enjoyable but I have found a calmness and a serenity in covering those longer distances. I run for myself and for my selfish enjoyment. I have also discovered that with the longer distances, I can enjoy the microbrew beers that I have come to appreciate without thought of calorie intake or weight gain. For the first time in my life, I have to work to maintain my weight rather than weight loss. I am thinner than I have ever been in my life (adult or childhood).

With my marathon training and weight loss, I have found that people who haven’t seen me for six months or even six weeks, hardly recognize me. I remember one of my colleagues stating that he remembered my voice but didn’t recognize how thin I had become. For me, because I had always struggled with weight gain, especially when I am under stress, this new world of weight loss and thiness is uncharted territory. I should also that sleep has become more efficient and restful.  I use what I am learning about my new body to explore my new world. Running the streets of a foreign country was part of that new exploration.

Thus, as I move back into training for my first marathon, I have made it a point to focus on mental, spiritual and physical conditioning. I have also decided to add a healthy dose of weight training with my running. As I trained before, I find that I had lost a bit of muscle mass along with fat but now I need to see how I can work of being a more rounded and strong individual. I know that my physical conditioning is good and excellent for a person of my age but I want to be stronger, healthier and more mentally resilient.My training spilling over into every aspect of my life. This is the best marathon training that I can achieve.


30 May, 2016 - Posted by | age, medical school |


  1. I say congratulations for completing the training and getting in the race!! The whole thing was clearly a profoundly important experience for you!

    Comment by drmoniquetello | 31 May, 2016 | Reply

  2. All the best with your training!

    Comment by drugopinions | 30 May, 2016 | Reply

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