This past weekend I had the fortune of traveling to Las Vegas to run the Rock’n'Roll 1/2 Marathon. Alongside my wife and two of our closest friends, we journeyed into a world that I swore I’d never go to in my life.
You see, I’m wired as a sprinter – always have been, and as far as I know, always will be. At least that is what I thought for the better part of my 36 years.
Even though some of you know that every year I lace up my shoes and walk 60 miles to fight breast cancer, I’ve historically been a person who avoids enduring at all costs.
I’ve tried, but seldom trained. I’ve been a trier, not a trainer. (see Training vs. Trying, a great book by John Ortberg, who is one of my favorite people of all time.)
Why We Do The Things We Do
One of the (many) reasons that I love participating in the Breast Cancer 3-Day is the overwhelming sensation of accomplishment that I experience as I walk the final mile. At that moment each year, I feel like I climbed the mountain and overcame the odds.
I went the distance.
Up until a month or so ago when we decided to run the 1/2 marathon, I vehemently stood proud over the fact that I’d never run a long-distance race. Call it a moment of vulnerability, or just plain caught up in the conversation when our two friends decided to run with Shelly… I caved and registered for the event.
I didn’t want to be left out – I knew this was my moment to give it a shot. To train, and not just try.
Going the Distance Requires Commitment
After making the decision, I knew that I had weeks of training ahead of me. This wasn’t something I could just get up and do, so I had to develop a plan and prepare myself for something I had never done before. While I enjoy a structured life – obedience to a “plan” would prove whether I was serious about running and finishing.
Uncharacteristically I followed my training program. Because I am a sprinter, the training runs took a toll on my body – but I knew the work I put in before the race would help me get through it.
I started out well – probably paced myself too fast, but I enjoyed it. While I admit that I hit my wall at mile 10 and came close to throwing in the towel, I found the strength to finish the race – something I am very proud of.
For me, as I crossed the finish line, I was so thankful that I valued the importance of training. I wholeheartedly believe that had I not taken it seriously, I would not have finished.
What About You?
How many times in your life do you regret throwing in the towel? Times that you failed to train, and couldn’t go the distance… Or maybe there were times you’re proud of. Times where you overcame the odds, and experienced the glory of finishing the final mile.
Share those times below by leaving a comment…