Thursday, October 23, 2008

Raise the bar

Whomever it was that said a red sky in the morning is bad news, probably wasn't a runner and certainly never saw the sky I saw last Saturday morning.  

At times it was like I was running inside of a photograph that was being worked on in some photo editing software and different levels of sepia tones were being experimented with to find what looked best.  It was simply spectacular, a great way to end off my training for the Niagara Falls Half Marathon.

As I look back over my training log, all I can say is man, I nailed it.  I reached every training goal, ran smart and injury free.  I've always tried to instill in our Running Club members that they should talk more openly about how proud of themselves they are.  Sometimes, modesty, well, sucks.  So let me follow a little of my own advice and get my celebration going a little early.

I've never run better, or stronger.  I've never been in such good shape.  It's all down to the calorie management and the miles, no doubt, but more than that, it's down to my mind.  I have figured out that running and physical fitness in general is not about sweating and panting and achey muscles, it's about having a strong mind, raising your bar, and working hard to clear it.  As I read over the comments I wrote in my log, one really stands out to me:

"Best run of my life. Who is this guy?"

There were times, during my longer runs, I didn't know who I was, or where it was coming from.  If you want to run faster, you have to run faster, if you want to run longer, you have to run longer.  Don't be afraid to ask your body for more -- we're bigger than our bodies and we're as great as our minds will let us be.

So as I head to Niagara Falls this weekend I've laid out three goals for myself -- one that I will be happy with, one that I will be thrilled with, and one that I will be over the moon with.  Whatever race day brings me, I will run smart, stick to my plan, finish strong and leave everything on the race course.

I've read that achievement is the result of dedication, hard work and constantly raising the bar.  The achievement was the training.  This weekend's race is the celebration.

One cheeseburger and a chocolate shake, please!  I've earned it.

Run for your life.


Crazy Legs said...

Congrats Mark - you should boast a little. You have achieved a lot in the last 12 months. Gloria also deserves a lot of credit. I hope you both have a terrific weekend and you both reach your goals for the Niagra half. Your pace is wicked - you look like a runner these days and I am sure you are going to surprise a lot of club members with your time for the half. I am going to ask is sub two hours a possiblity. I guess I better like the look of your back because I think that is all I will see of you in any future race we run! Good stuff! Go Chanceys Go!

Beav said...

Yahoo...It's Celebration Time...Each and every time I see both yourself and Gloria I think "wow" you both look amazing. You are so've created the perfect training plan, set the goals and worked so very hard each time you hit the pavement. You've inspired, encouraged and changed lives along the way. I wish you both the best of luck in your run on Sunday, and hope you both reach that goal I know you have in the back of your minds and then celebrate, celebrate, truly deserve it!!!

Good Luck!!!

Anonymous said...

I just read "Raise the Bar" and you are absolutely right. Both you and Gloria are wicked - you are faster and stronger than ever. I just sent an email to Gloria saying that I wish we could all be there to watch you both cross the finish line - we'd love to cheer you on and help you celebrate. Two 1/2 marathons in one year. That's incredible. You both continue to inspire. Good luck!!!

Anonymous said...

Yet another barrier to dispose of to get to your ulitimate goal and I'm sure it will be done with easy by both you and Gloria. The best of luck to you both and know you have the support from your running club here at home.
If you think you can or if you think you cannot, you're right!
Congrats in advance