"When you have completed 95 percent of your journey, you are only halfway there." - Japanese Proverb
Man, the guy who first said that must have been like, "Yoka namae wa nan desu ka!" ... but he must have also been eluding to the marathon! Several people have asked me what my finishing time will be at the Austin Marathon next week. Will I BQ again? Will it be in the 3:30's? Will I have to crawl to the finish line?
The truth is, I'm just not feelin' the ol' 26.2 this time for some reason ... but I can tell you in all sincerity, that's okay! It's not that I don't care, or am admitting defeat. It's just that I am slowly but surely beginning to look at this whole running thing in a different light.
Why this serenity from "Ultra competitive-to-a-fault Jim"? I dunno! But the typical sense of urgency I feel a week before a race is just not diggin' into me like it usually does. Maybe it's because a BQ is already under my belt and I'm a little unmotivated. 'Could be the tough course in Austin scaring me a little. Or maybe I've just accepted that it's impossible for me to run my best race in the winter. But whatever the reason, I have a genuine peace with just being able to run a comfortable, manageable race.
American Idol (yeah, I watch ... so, I admit it), I can't help but think about all these kids who are competing. Almost all of them are heart-broken when they're eliminated, and it got me thinking ... did they enjoy the journey? Did they love the hours of practice? Did they cherish the once in a life time trip to Hollywood? Or did they simply base everything on the success of their journey? If so...wow, what pressure. If that's the case, only one person is going to be satisfied at the end.
I ask Michael (and myself) all the time, "If there were no races, triathlons, or clocks ... would you still run & train?" Now I can't speak for her or anyone else, but as for me ... the answer is an emphatic YES!!!
and I enjoy every step of it. Heck, I would even run if a mountain lion was chasing me.
Running has given me so many things ... self-confidence, a healthy life, and much more will-power and perseverance to name a few. But I think more than anything, it has given me the ability to be thankful and appreciate many of life's small joys along the way like never before. Here's a few ...
- I'm thankful that I can run, or even walk ... a lot of folks can't
- I'm love that my family & friends make me feel special just for having the courage to try
- I've only completed 8 marathons, but I've already experienced a lot of new places
- My daughter now runs with me
- My son is proud of me, but getting him to admit it might be a chore
- I helped nudge my wife into Triathlons, though she probably won't admit it
- I've made new running friends, both in "real life" and in this very supportive blog world
- And I'm learning finishing well is awesome, but the journey is becoming the real reward
So will it be disappointing & a little embarrassing if I have a slower than anticipated time to report from Austin ... heck yeah! But will I allow it to define me ... heck no! I'm understanding more and more that all of the miles, all of the mornings in the dark by myself before 6am, all of the little victories and defeats in setting a personal training pace record - or struggling through a workout, are simply about one thing ... the reward found in the journey. And I'm glad I took this path.
... be great today!