“Being positive and enjoying the journey is what matters the most.” Chirine Njeim
We have been following Chirine Njeim’s get ready for the Summer Olympics in Rio in a series of posts. We initially talked to her about her life journey from the 3 year old girl skiing in Faraya, to representing Lebanon 3 consecutive times at the Winter Olympics as an Alpine Skier, to her transition to a marathoner who will be representing Lebanon at the Summer Olympics in Rio this summer, and her preparations for Rio.
This time, as time is ticking away rather quickly until Rio, we were curious to find out about the progress in her training.
Chirine is currently getting very excited about Rio, which is only a couple of months away. Naturally she is feeling quite nervous as well but she continues to push herself day to day, and every day she continues to learn something about herself and running. She told us that training for a marathon, and teaching your body to go faster, is not something that happens overnight. It takes a lot of patience, dedication, and focus. Part of training for Rio or any marathon is learning how to listen to your body and having fun. Chirine feels like she is still learning how to listen to her body and has been learning to be patient during training.
Here is a good example to what happens when you don’t listen to your body: Just last week, Chirinie decided to run a half marathon. This was not part of the plan that her coach had provided her with, but rather a spur of the moment decision she made on her own. Going into this race, she already was feeling tired from the workouts of the week but she let the excitement of the race take over.
Naturally Chirine had informed her coach that she was going to participate and he approved. Little did she know, he was trying to teach her a lesson. He wanted her to understand that it is always essential to plan ahead before a race day. He wanted her to understand that our bodies are not machines and that if we don’t give ourselves enough time to prepare, both mentally and physically, our bodies will fail us. She went into that race unprepared. Her legs were tired and mentally she wasn’t so sure to why she was racing, so overall it didn’t turn out to be a great racing day, but a very good lesson.
Trusting the process and the training plan is so key! Understanding why your coach is making you do some workouts on certain days and in a certain way, is so important. She used to think that she can switch things around, add more miles when possible, but that doesn’t work. Trust your coach, the plan he has set for you, and just run!
Her workout routine is still the same since the previous time we spoke to her. She runs to and from work every day and takes Sunday off to recover her body and mind. She actually looks forward for that day to relax with her husband Ronny and her dog.
Chirine adds that emotionally, running can definitely be tiring, especially after a bad workout or race, but she fortunately is surrounded by a strong support system, that includes her family, friends, and coach. They always help her understand the positive aspect of every bad day. They help her always take the good from the bad and move forward.
When training, Chirine does not like to waste her energy by focusing on whom will she be competing against. She focuses on herself, on her preparation, on things in her control, while also enjoy the run. Her goal is to be 100% healthy, strong, and confident when she will be standing behind the starting line on August 14th. On a final note, Chirine adds that making it to Rio, and being able to represent her country in the marathon means a lot to her.
We’re rooting for you Chirine! #Chirine2Rio