Saturday I ran my first ever mini-marathon. Here in Indianapolis this is the official beginning of the build up to the Indianapolis 500. A mini is actually a half-marathon. It is 13.1 miles! I still find it difficult to believe that I ran that far. It was barely over two years ago I found it life sucking to walk a mile.
But since that time I have lost sixty pounds, reduced my waist size from 42 inches to 34. I am running consistently 20-25 miles per week. Even with all of that I never felt I could run thirteen point one miles without stopping. The furthest I have ever run previously was 8 miles. Yet some friends encouraged me to enter. So reluctantly, I did.
I trained on a special program for twelve weeks. This was developed by a guy name Hal Higgdon. He is a running guy who helps those of us wanting to do this kind of thing figure it out. I followed his training religiously. I have found that when I am moving into areas I have never been before I tend to get very anal. What I mean is I march after the instructions given EXACLTY as they are laid out. I waver very little, if at all.
Building up to this time I set two goals: 1) Finish; 2) Finish under two hours. I DID IT!!!. My time was one hour fifty-eight minutes and forty-one seconds (1:58:41). On my watch this is under two hours.
A contributing factor to attaining this goal was my friend Chris. Chris is a marathoner. He could have easily run this mini in much less time than he did. The reason he did not was he had committed himself to helping me achieve my goal. He stayed with me. He let me know my progress. When we got to the last mile he said to me, “Phil, if we pick up the pace just a bit, we can get this in under two hours, but it is up to you.”
He knew what I needed to do to achieve my goal. I was out of gas, but having someone let me know the goal was achievable and what I needed to do to achieve it, I found the energy. I picked up the pace a bit and even sprinted (whatever that looks like after running almost two hours) the last quarter mile.
It felt great! There are few things in life more awesome that setting a goal; working toward that goal; and achieving the goal. What might it be for you?