Performance athlete and melin Family Alec Merlino is inspiring us right now. After quitting his corporate job and training for only 5 months, he completed his first 63.5 mile ultra marathon last week in Zion National Park, Utah. Best of all, he decided to put his A-Game HYDRO to the ultimate test in the grueling 102 degree heat and extreme terrain. It took heart, fitness, and mental fortitude to complete, but Alec finished all 63.5 miles, placing 11th out of 150 competitors and 87 finishers.
Tell us your story, what made you get into running and how did you get started?
For the record, I never enjoyed running up until five months ago. I used to go for a “run” and after a mile or two I would get over it. After splitting From my girlfriend, I needed an outlet to channel any negative energy. It started out as me simply wanting to run 5K a day every day for a month straight. After finishing the month, The mental clarity I had gained was priceless. Running became my happy place and an outlet that proves to be therapeutic every run I go on.
What made you want to run your first ultra marathon?
My entire life motto has been “if it makes you nervous do it”. Running an ultra marathon was a way for me to not only push my own limits but test my mental fortitude in a time when I was at my absolute lowest points. I’m constantly chasing experiences in life that become tools for me later on down the road that I can draw back on when times are tough.
What were some of the feelings you experienced on this first race?
The feelings I experienced during the ultra marathon in Zion were agony pain, suffering, and at times discouragement. The best feeling I had was when I decided I was going to finish. I made up my mind, I was deliberate in my decision, and my body followed.
What does your training routine look like?
My training is pretty simple. I run every day and because I’m training for an Iron Man I’m starting to throw in biking and swimming as well. I’ll run anywhere from 8 to 15 miles a day. A lot of the days it sucks and I don’t want to do it but that’s what makes us better.
What was the best piece of running advice you've ever received?
The best piece of running advice I've ever received is a piece of advice that most of us have already heard. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. We are all running our own race in life and my 100% it’s going to be different than someone else is 100% so don’t get discouraged.
What is one piece of advice you have for people who want to live healthier, more active lifestyles?
Just get out there and do it! Don’t procrastinate and make excuses. The reasons we come up with as to why we can’t do something is simply your mind playing tricks on you. Throw yourself into things in life, channel any negative energy, and you’ll be surprised at what you’re capable of and what you can accomplish.
Follow Alec's Journey: @Alecmerlino
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