By Shannon Walent

Experience a better deployment with these tips from a marathoner
Photo: DVIDS, James Frank

Last year my husband left for a 10-month deployment to Afghanistan. As we all know, this is a lengthy and painful stretch of time. Some might compare it to running a marathon-a long 26.2 miles, where staying focused and strong is a must.

Besides being a stay at home mother of two, I decided I needed another challenge during this deployment to keep me “busy”.  I teamed up with a friend to train for my first marathon! I think friends and family thought I had lost my mind (in a loving way), which of course made me even more determined to do this.

Rather than outlining months of daily activities and many miles,  I will tell you that my family crossed the deployment finish line just three days before I  crossed the Marine Corps Marathon finish line

Here are five things I learned during our marathon deployment and you don’t have be a runner to use them…but if you are, they sure help!

  1. Focus on and celebrate the time or distance you have accomplished, not how far you have to go.
  2. Keep a good buddy close by. The support is priceless.
  3. Rest. Take a week off and don’t stress about the break. It will only do you good.
  4. Reward yourself often…a decadent milkshake or a movie night with your best friend. You deserve it!
  5. Remember you are a role model for somebody whether that’s another military spouse, a friend, a sibling, or  most importantly, your children. Show them that it can be done. Set a goal (whatever that is for you) and go for it!

SExperience a better deployment with these tips from a marathonerhannon Walent, Military spouse, mom of two and a silly dog, Daisy.