Wednesday, January 14, 2015

26 Miles to Boston ...

Those around me have heard me talk the past 5, 6 years about my dream of running the Boston Marathon.  Some might even be tired of me talking about it.  :)

At my age, I have to run 26.2 miles in 3 hours and 25 minutes in order to be eligible to run the Boston Marathon.   That's a 7 minute and 49 second per mile pace. 

And it's a big stretch for me. 

I finished my only marathon 10 minutes slower, at 3 hours and 35 minutes (8:12 pace).   I used every single ounce of energy to get that finishing time and I couldn't have run any faster, not even one second.   That was five years ago, and it gets harder the older I get.  My joints can't take as much running.   Critical hormones that help recovery between intense training runs reduce as we age.  Heart and lung capacity diminishes.   Etc, etc.

But I'm committed to achieving this dream. 

I don't care about being the fastest runner.  Although I love it big time, I'm not obsessed with running like a lot of runners.  I love the challenge of a tough goal and striving for something difficult.  I enjoy stretching outside my comfort zone.  I've put Boston on the shelf several times, discounted it on occasion, and justified that it's not that important to me. 

All that may be true.  And I may never achieve a fast enough time to qualify, but I'm gonna go for it.  I'm Recapturing this dream. 

I'd rather fall short of qualifying, but have an inspirational quest.  At the end of the day, it really is about the journey (and not the destination).  There are so many other things we get when we're courageous enough to take that path. 

If I end up running another 3:35 marathon (or 3:26, or 4:15), I STILL get the benefit of being in excellent shape.   I get the benefit of going after something – putting myself out there, even if I come up short.  I get the advantage of being focused.  I'll have more ideal eating days than not.   I will generate more energy in my body.   And create more feel-good brain chemicals.  Through the process of training I'll deliver more oxygen and nutrients to all the cells of my body, naturally cleansing toxins.   I'll be doing more of something I love.   I'll feel good about my health.  All these will happen on the journey towards Boston, regardless of the outcome. 

Think about one of YOUR BIG 5 outcomes for 2015.   What are all the benefits you will realize during YOUR journey, all the good that will come as you put in the effort required to strive for that outcome?  More often than not these "other" benefits significantly outweigh what we initial thought was the intended outcome. 

Fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, or ninety percent of something that inspires us is WAY better than 100% of nothing.  

How do you want to put yourself out there THIS year?

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins
NSCA-CPT, ACE

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