When I tell people I am running the Life Time Miami Marathon next weekend, some say “well that should be easy for you.” They assume that because I did an Ironman anything else is a piece of cake. I wish. Things don’t quite work that way.
I didn’t know that last January when I signed up. I wanted to add “marathoner” to my bio and thought I would be somewhat trained from my November Ironman so a marathon on February 2nd sounded like a good idea at the time.
It’s hard to believe I even ran a marathon after swimming and biking for ungodly hours. But that race was different. The start of the marathon is the end of the Ironman. By then I knew I would complete the race even if I walked the 26.2 miles. And towards the latter part of the run, when the fast people had already crossed the finish line, those of us still out there were simply looking for survival. There were more people walking than running: myself included as I ran in ungracious spurts.
Towards the end of that Ironman process, my life revolved around training: spending seven hours on a bike was common practice, running around fifteen miles a weekly deal. The result was that I was prepared to rock my race, but burnt out from all the training.
Except that I couldn’t slack too much because I had this Miami Marathon hanging over my head; a race that also demands energy and training, though many times I lacked the motivation to give it my all.
So I set a reasonably attainable goal: to finish the Miami Marathon in less than five hours. If nothing goes wrong, that should be relatively easy. Except that I belong to a team of incredible athletes who won’t cut me any slack. They push themselves so much that unless I crush that goal I fear they might be disappointed.
Could I be a faster runner?
Sure I could. But that would take work. And more than that, it would take the willingness to work, something I am lacking.
So the key here is willingness.
Whatever I want above all else I shall have. One of my dearest mentors taught me: “If you want peace above all else, you shall have peace.”
For example, if peace is my main objective then I must overcome fear. If my biggest source of fear were, for example, financial insecurity but I wanted peace more than anything I would have to learn to deal with financial insecurity. It doesn’t mean that all of a sudden I would be rich and not have those problems, but I would not let them get the best of me. I wouldn’t worry so much about my bills, savings, retirement, college for my kids. I am NOT saying this is necessarily smart. But if my goal above all else is peace and not financial security, then I won’t allow fears of college tuition in 2024 keep me up at night.
However, if what I wanted above all else was financial security, my approach would be quite different. I would try to find new and greater sources of income, get a second job, and reduce my expenses as much as possible. But then perhaps I would be spending less time with my family and gain financial security at the expense of peace.
Therefore to be a faster runner, I would have to do all the training that shows up on my Training Peaks calendar, I would need to do speed work and push myself out of my comfort zone. I would have to give my best to every run.
In a nutshell, I cannot expect to have the results I’ve never had with the work I never did.
Thank goodness for Brianna.
Brianna is Dreamer’s friend; a beautiful and bright eight year old who is at Shands Heart Clinic in Gainesville awaiting a heart transplant. I decided to run my marathon to raise funds for Brianna’s COTA (Children’s Organ Transplant Association) campaign which helps cover transplant related expenses. At times, thinking of that little girl and her family was the only thing that got me out of my cozy bed and out for a long run on a Saturday. I would think that regardless of how crappy I was feeling, or how something hurt, or this or that, she was going through something worse. I would immediately think about what she is dealing with every day as she’s stuck in the ICU instead of at a playground. I can whole heartedly say that if I had not committed to fundraise for her, chances are I would not be running a marathon next Sunday.
By this point in training what’s done is done. I am not going to get any faster or gain more endurance. My results will be a reflection of the work I did. Chances are I will meet my goal, hopes are that I will beat it. But what I want above all else? For Brianna to get her new heart and go back to being the little girl I remember.
Thank you Bri Bri for being my source of inspiration these last months.
If you would like to sponsor me in the Miami Marathon to help Brianna’s COTA campaign, please visit here. Any amount will help: $5, $50, $5,000,000. And if you are struggling to meet a goal, why not dedicate your effort to her? You can become a fundraiser. It takes five minutes and I can walk you through the process, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If not her, dedicate your efforts to anyone else who will inspire you to put one foot in front of the other. You can find out more about Brianna here.
Onward we go. Let’s get this party started.
How about you? Have you raced to benefit a cause? Did that help motivate you?