Go For It!

May 30, 2008

Earlier in this month, May, 2008, I completed my first official half marathon. It was a long feat to be honest with you, but I completed it. The hills of northern Wisconsin were quite challenging and the cold and rainy weather added extra fuel to a quite interesting story.

My plan was to use a slow and steady, “turtle” strategy to conserve my energy for later in the race. I kept pace of approximately 11 and a half minute miles for the first 4 miles. Then the hills started in the fifth mile. Overall, I did great for the first 10 miles of which I completed in a respectable 2 hours and one minute, an average of a little over 12 minutes per mile. Then things got interesting.

At about the 10 mile marker the weather quickly deteriorated. The rain really settled in and the temperature dropped from 58 degrees at the start of the race to 48 degrees, which felt quite cool with the moisture. It went from cloudy, cool and comfy at the beginning of the race to cold, damp, and “I want to sit next to a fireplace” weather by the end of the race! Ultimately, the weather didn’t help my quest any.

The real battle started in the last 2 miles. Some of the hills returned again. I found myself walking more than I had early in the hills part of the race (which I deemed a good strategy for the hills because I couldn’t seem to run any faster than a walk up the hills anyways). The hills were pretty tough and this late in the run, I just didn’t seem to have the energy to keep going.

Even though I was fairly strong at the 10th mile, the 11th was noticeably more difficult. In the 12th mile, I really couldn’t wait for “this thing” to be over because it was significantly more difficult. Approaching the 13th mile marker, I thought that finishing was just a mere dream. Then glory presented itself and the hand of hope took me by the hand. This was the point where I saw the finish line in the distance as I rounded the bend at the 13th mile marker. I KNEW I could finish.

Now, I burst into a full sprint. Well, I mentally did, but I was really lucky that I was able to move my legs at all. Continually, my feeble legs churned. Even though I had run 13 miles (plus) at least a handful of times before, this was a real challenge because I hadn’t run this distance in almost two years because of my bad knee. With the end in sight, tired, blistered, uphill, with my bad knee, in bad weather, as my first official time ever, I pushed ever so hard.

My face showed the strain that I put on my body. It was obvious that I wanted the finish line and I wanted it badly! I pushed and pushed to get every second that I could. Never mind the nauseating feeling in my stomach that told me several times over the last mile to make the effort to remove anything from my digestive system. I wanted to finish strong! And that goal line was mine!

I almost didn’t think that I would make it. I planned to give it my all! At times I can be fairly aggressive, however, I didn’t know that I would actually reach this point in the race with all of the challenges I have faced. I just knew that I had to finish. I knew that I would crawl by my eyelashes if I had to, but here it was – this was the real, true realization of my goal! I did it! I finished with a really good time and an even better overall effort! I broke through the finish line at 2 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds!

When I crossed the finish line, I started to “lose it.” I started to cry. I couldn’t hold it in! It was a remarkable experience! It was truly amazing!

Truthfully, the run did take a slight toll on my body. As I said, I really pushed myself. For the record, I kinda ended up taking a ride to the hospital in an ambulance with a slight case of dehydration, slight hypothermia, and other minor challenges, but overall, I survived just fine. After a few treatments, I walked out of the hospital a few hours later victorious! – ready to eat a house! Overall, I accomplished my mission and I succeeded in reaching my goal!

Here are some questions for you and your life. When is the last time that you really pushed yourself? When have you last “gone all out?” When is the last time that you gave your all? When did you last work to finish a task that seemed nearly impossible? When is the last time that you started something that you had no idea that you could really finish or accomplish? When is the last time that you “dominated?!?!” Are you overdo for a repeat? Should you step up and do something that you know you should do and if so, what?

How great did you feel when you successfully got the result or at least gave everything that you had? That is the point! You are responsible for the outcomes and results in your life by your level of effort that you exert! You are the key variable!

As you already know, life takes interesting twists and turns. Not everything goes the way that you would like it to go and it certainly does not always go as planned. My belief is that if you are not “out there making things happen,” you will never know what beauty life holds for you. When you step up to the challenges in life, you will certainly live a life worth living!

As you live your life passionately, great things will be attracted to you and they will manifest in your life. Perhaps now is the time to start living your life – the life of your dreams!?!?