mfong

Mabel Fong

About Mabel Fong

Mabel Fong has run over 36 full marathons (15 in 2013 alone!) and 37 halfs. She is a member of the Marathon Maniacs (3 stars) & Half Fanatics (2nd level) racing club. Mabel is also a marathon/half marathon group leader in a running clinic in Vancouver and has encouraged & helped many runners achieve their running goals. "Never be afraid to take that first step, for you never know where it leads you!!"

How I Started Running 14 Years Ago

You know if someone had come to me 14 years ago and asked if I ever would become a runner, I would have laughed right in his/her face. Me? Then, I was a mother of 2 grade-school children, I barely had time to take care of myself. Being a full time mom, I was the chauffeur, I was the cook, I was the cleaner, you name it, I was wearing all hats in my household. Why would someone that busy decide to pick up running then? Sometimes, I looked back and couldn’t figure it out myself. Fourteen years is a long time. It is basically the years it takes a child to go from his/her kindergarten years to graduate Grade 12. That’s 14 years! What had I accomplished??? Today, I look back and I can very humbly tell you this: I still have a long way to go! I had gone from a sedentary housemother to someone who thinks about running daily, not a moment goes by without a running thought crossing my mind.

You might ask then, how did I get started? I was out of shape, I was not confident, I was lacking energy, I felt inferior to Moms who had a career. There was something missing. One morning, after I dropped my kids at school, I decided once and for all to should join a gym. But which one? Since my university days, that was the very last time I stepped foot into a gym. I circled around the neighborhood a couple of times, and said, ”ok, this is it!” I had my big loose sweats on over my black leggings.With a number of deep breaths, I got out and walked into […]

By |May 6th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

Finding Strength Through Marathons

Recently I have been dealing with life’s adversities.  At such a time, one’s immediate reaction is to whine and complain, “why me?” I look at life positively and say, “why not me?” Many things in life are beyond your control, but running is one within your grasp. The hours you put in will show up on your race day results. The mentality that goes into training will prep you for anything in life, especially training for a marathon.

The marathon in my view has to be one of the most demanding of all running distances, because it puts your body and mind to enormous stress, fatigue, anxiety and pain. And no one is excused from such pain. I question any marathoners that says they don’t feel pain at some point in time between mile 23-26.2. Physically, mentally and emotionally your mind tells you to stop, but you have to fight such a negative thought and go on. Running requires a great mental attitude. There will be so many unknowns during the course of 3 hours, 4 hours, even 5 hours but you have to think STRONG!

Unknowns like:

weather: wind, rain, heat, high humidity;
the course: hill climbs, uneven surfaces like rocks and loose gravel;
time expectation: I don’t dwell on this, but a lot of runners do (I feel like running is already hard, why beat yourself up?)

 

When things are beyond your control on race day, take a deep breath and just accept the conditions you are dealt with. There’s nothing much you can do but to move forward. I like to take the relaxed approach-and I know eventually I’ll get to the finish line. Panic never helps. Stay positive and relaxed!

Be in control. Feeling helpless only reinforces […]

By |April 3rd, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

My Running Canvas

When we are born, we begin with a blank canvas. Along the way, we add different strokes & colors to it. Running is such a canvas. Every runner begins on the same blank page. Some are blessed to run long, some short & fast, some slow. If you are born with fast twitched muscles, you might become Usain Bolt. Slow, you might become John Bingham -“The Penguin.” Or long, you might become Dean Karnazes.

In my eyes, they are equally successful. The common denominator is that it all involves running.

Running is like getting your degree. We begin as kindergartners: learning the basics, how to run from the 1st lamp post to the next. Then we go further from one block to the next, 1/4 mile loop, 1 mile loop and so on. The knowledge we acquire along the way allows us to venture further and further. What a feeling when we are able to run non-stop for that first half hour to one full hour.

It really is about putting one foot in front of the other.

As you build up your canvas, you become more confident, and your life becomes more colorful.

One day you’ll wake up and say “I AM A RUNNER!!!”. From that day onward, you will begin to build your dreams.

My running dreams began with my first marathon. I trained for a full 16 weeks. I bought all the running books available for first time marathoners. I followed the training program to a tee. I even did hill work! My “hill work” was this ramp that I would run up & down for about 10-12 times once a week. I laugh about it now. But I was so determined! On marathon day, I had […]

By |March 3rd, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

Try Your Best!

With the Brazilian World Cup coming this Summer, I am going to bring up an old soccer icon: Pele. He was considered by many as the greatest soccer player of all time, having won three World Cups and scoring the most goals of any players out there.

By |February 11th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

My Marathon Journey

As I am writing this blog, I have one man in mind: none other than Steve Jobs. Few people in the world haven’t heard of him, and most young adults in this world all own a piece of his Apple legacy. But why I want to write about him? He is a very interesting figure to me. A native San Franciscan, an adopted child, his creation would not have happened had he gotten a normal university education. Jobs dropped out of college after 6 months, spent next 18 months dropping in on creative classes, including calligraphy. Jobs later said, “If I had never dropped in on that single calligraphy course in college, The Mac book would never had the multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.”
 
So why is this relevant to runners? The answer is a lot of times things happen for a reason — by fate or destiny. My marathoner journey was such that I never intentionally planned to become one. I was introduced to the sport accidentally and fell in love with it.

 

From my first charity 8k run, to my Goofy Challenge last week, and 38 marathons later, I can honestly admit to you that I have encountered sleepless nights, disappointments, aches and pains, frustrations, obstacles, and even failures (DNF’s). Through it all, I have blossomed into the more focused, self-driven athlete that I am today, but not without hard work, dedication, commitment and self-motivation. At the same time, the understanding & support of my husband, my children, my family, my coaches and running buddies have all contributed to my success!

 

Therefore , I can boldly say, there is an ATHLETE inside everyone of you-waiting to be discovered. So, dare to venture forward, take that first giant step… it will […]

By |January 23rd, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off