I’m training for the half marathon in Baltimore that is part of the Baltimore Running Festival on October 13. My goal is to break the 2 hour mark which necessitates a pace of less than 9:08. Tonight I did a 4 1/4 mile run, with hills, at about an 8:43 pace. If I can sustain that pace for three times the distance plus a little bit I’ll more than meet my goal.
No sooner did I think that, I said it. (The filter wasn’t working very well at the moment.) When I heard it, though, some things rang true for me.
• Suffering/pain are easier to endure when they are broken down. It’s not permanent. It’s not 13.1 miles. It’s 4 different 5k’s and a little bit more. I know I can drive myself and suffer through a 5k. Now 3 more times. And 2 more. You get the idea.
• It helps when someone reminds you that pain and suffering are good. They build strength, endurance, and power. They can provide clarity and focus. If we are willing to suffer we can truly become great. (Hat Tip to Greg Rittler.)
• Having success on smaller projects builds confidence for the bigger ones. Kids, teammates, coworkers, friends… Smaller wins build skills which builds confidence and leads to success. Ride the bike, then jump the garbage can. Close the individual sale before closing the huge package deal. Etc…
• Doing the work prepares you for the distance. I recently failed at a long distance run. I couldn’t run the full distance. So next time I ran a distance I had done before but this time I did a route more difficult than I’d ever done. Hills galore. (My wife picked the route. We must have been in a fight I didn’t know about. Or she knew the work was necessary. Those hills rivaled roller coasters!) The next time I tried the longest distance I did it…because I had done the work. I was prepared physically and mentally.
Break it down. Be willing to suffer. Build up to it. Do the work.