As I look at my Hal Higdon training program, I notice that there are quite a few 3 mile runs sprinkled among the days with 11 mile, 20 mile and 18 mile jaunts. After a 20 mile trek, a 3 mile run seems like a sprint. 22 minutes and done. You don't sprint a marathon. You need to pace yourself.
My entire approach to life has been like marathon training. You have to pace yourself. "Slow and steady wins the race." I've never been one to fall for get rich quick scams. I didn't feel the need to claw my way to the top early in my career. Why bother? I'm not a flashy dresser. Expensive cars don't impress me. I prefer not to be wealthy (although that just might be an excuse for being poor...I'd take the wealth if it were given to me). My goal is to just cross the finish line.
Like marathon training, life is filled with sprints along the way. Those times when you need to move quickly, make decisions fast and push yourself to get through that time when you need a short burst. But for the most part, we need to pace ourselves in life more.
Marathon training is hard. It takes time, patience and stick-to-it-tiveness. The problem is we live in a world that wants to treat everything like a sprint. We eat fast food. We get perturbed when check-out lines are too long. God forbid there is an airline delay on our flight. I'm certain that every green light sends a signal to the horn in the car behind me to honk immediately. We want instant, meaningful and long-lasting relationships without putting forth the time and effort necessary to cultivate the sort of lasting reward friendship has to offer.
Oh, and by the way...don't just give it to me fast...give it to me my way. I don't want to buy an album, I just want one song. I don't want to experience the serendipity of reading a newspaper; I just want to read the one article that interests me. I prefer not to go into a store and be treated to all the different styles and colors...I'll just buy it online. I don't want to work out, just give me a weight loss pill.
This is how we've been trained to live our lives.
Marathon training affords us the opportunity to take new paths, enjoy everything the outdoors has to offer with regard to new scenery all while taking life in at a slower and longer pace. At the same time, we're learning to pace ourselves for the long haul and reap a big reward just a bit later. Like marathon training, we might get hurt along the way. We might feel some aches and pains but in the end, we always come out better on the other side for having done it.
Take some time to enjoy your training experience. Make a new friend. Take a new path. Slow down and pace yourself for the long haul. It'll be worth it. You'll learn more than how to run a 26 mile race through this journey and hopefully you'll take away many lessons that you can apply to other areas of your life.