I started out yesterday morning, looking for some inspiration. It was the day I was running my second 5K in three years. This race was canceled last year. A few years ago I finished my first race in almost 40 years. I ran it in about 42 minutes, which was kind of disappointing.
This year, I wanted to find something that would pump me up so I could do better. As I was walking my dog, I found a book in Blinkist by Haruki Murakami titled, “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running”.
I know that people participate in charity runs for different reasons. But one thing I know is athletes and musicians do something special. They tend to practice more than they compete. I wasn't running to compete. I was running for myself and to support Suicide Prevention Services. And I never expect to win anything other than a feeling of achievement.
When you start a race, there is always a sea of people. You have no clue about their story. Who are they running for? Who did they know who took their own life? But I could tell you this. When the race starts, it's on.
Run For Health
I started running again 4 years ago for my health. I've been working my own business for years. All-day I sit at a desk and I kind of let myself go. While I was at a doctor's appointment, I told him I started running. He said to me, “The only reason I'd start running is if a bear was chasing me”. There's also an old joke that goes, “You don't have to run faster than a bear. You just have to run faster than the person behind you.”
You might've read the story of how I almost died from sepsis last year. I think that running actually helped me make it through because I was in much better shape. I don't think I would have made it if I hadn't started running. So, it's worked out in my favor.
But the biggest thing about running is it helps you to create goals and achieve them. Like running one mile without stopping or finishing a race without stopping. Each one of those is a milestone.
So, what goals motivate you in your business? What races are you running day to day?
Run For Your Mind
Another reason I run is for mental health. I need to take a break every once in a while, so I get out and run. Usually for about a half-hour. I listen to old music. Classic tunes that bring back memories of years gone by. They help you know and see how far you've come by thinking about your past and looking where you are today.
Do you take time to appreciate where you've been and how far you've come?
Run For Others
This race was special. It was to support those who support others. I was running for friends I met through networking. A person I consider my friend lived through the pain and trauma of her nephew's suicide. She is also the local president of Suicide Prevention Services. Also, one of my best friend's nephews took his own life so this hit even closer to home. His family was devastated.
I saw an opportunity to not only do something for myself but use that in a way that could help other people. When I look at my business, it's become more successful because I've learned to focus on how it can help other people be successful. So, why couldn't I do that with running?
The night before the race, I set up a playlist of music that I thought would motivate me to beat my last time. These tunes are all timed out at 160 beats per minute (the pace that I needed to run consistently). I created a list of songs, put them in order, and timed it out with the time calculator. I had it all timed out to match the 14-minute mile marks I had been running during my practice runs. Then I chose a closing song that would help me hit a crescendo, so I could finish strong.
It was a beautiful sunny day, and a little hot and humid. We walked across a bridge and everybody lined up at the starting line. It was a sea of people. I had no idea who they were or why they were there. But chances are, they were all there for similar reasons.
They were running for a cause.
They were running to support this group.
And maybe… They were running for somebody they know who had a tragic ending.
I had my sight set on two main goals.
Number one, finish the race without stopping.
Number two, beat my last race time.
I had no idea if I could because the days before, I was doing practice runs where I was finishing in 45 minutes. So, I set my playlist to be 45 minutes. That meant if I've run out of music, I missed my mark. But I was motivated not to let that happen.
We stepped up to the starting line and the starter says, “On your mark, get set, go.” I started my playlist on my Apple Watch and started the journey.
My earbuds started cranking out this tune by Chuck Berry that says, “C'est la vie, say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell.” As I looked around at all these people, some were just blowing by me. There were all these speedsters, the ones who were going to finish way ahead of me.
Then the second song came on, Don't Stop Me Now by Queen, and I was just pumped, ready to rock it. Then all of a sudden, right behind me, I sensed this person ready to pass me. I was thinking, ooh, it's going to be a big strong person. It happened to be a shorter, much stockier person. Ans I thought, “Oh man, this is just gonna suck.”
But then I went back and thought about that first song, “C'est la vie, say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell.” You cannot judge anybody on that starting line. How fast they're going to be or what their story is. So, I let it go and I just focused on running to the beat of 160 beats per minute. My feet were stomping and I kept pushing on.
When I got to about the first mile, the song Crazy comes on by Seal. It got me pumped up again. It's like, “Man, go crazy”. Then, after a while longer, we made it out to the halfway point and they turned us back around towards the finish line.
As I made that turn, there was a couple in front of me. I saw them from a while back and I thought, “Oh man, I'm gaining ground”, and that became my main focus. I kept running to that 160 beats while trying to catch up to them. Well, as we were approaching the finish line, I finally passed them. And I said to myself, “Don't slow down now. You've got this!”
Then all of a sudden, Ain't Nobody Love me Better by Chaka Khan started. I started thinking to myself that I was doing a great job. Love yourself. Push. Go. Get it done. So, I kept pushing on until I could see the finish line, and as I was looking up at the clock, I thought, “Oh man, there's no way.” That song I was listening to was set for the third-mile marker. So while Chaka Khan is blasting in my ears, I cross through the finish line, and I huff and puff my way back to where everybody was gathering.
I wanted to wait around to see what all the finishing times were. I wanted to see if that number at the clock on the finish line was right. “There must have been a malfunction or a disruption in the space-time continuum?
My friend, Amanda, (my networking friend and president of SPS) got up, grabbed the microphone, and started announcing all the winners. Right before my age group, she announced that one of my friends and neighbors who runs in my neighborhood won her division. She wasn't there to get her award.
Then Amanda announced my age group and of course I didn't win, but I did finish without stopping. And I think I beat my time. So I walked up to her afterward and looked at it, and I had. I beat my time from the first one.
And even though I didn't win my division, I delivered on my two goals. But I delivered more…
First, I delivered that medal to my next door neighbor
Second, I delivered to a friend on Facebook who's half brother committed suicide and thanked me for supporting suicide prevention.
And finally, I delivered on my best time,
38 minutes, 45.9 seconds.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about how you deliver on your goals. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to your expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?
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