Those who know me know that I start every new attempt as if I can’t get there fast enough. They could probably have predicted my first race. I lined up, a stout 235 pound, bouncing man in my Kangoo boots, for my first 5K and went off like the wind with the “real” runners at a breakneck pace. I felt great until mile 1 and then the wheels fell off. I couldn’t breathe. I wasn’t sweating. My heart was beating through my shirt and worst, all those people I had passed were passing me by as I had to stop on the side of the road and check myself to make sure I wasn’t having a heart attack.
I didn’t have a heart attack but I learned something really valuable that day. If you don’t run the pace that fits your body, you’re in for one hell of a run and you won’t feel very well when you finish. In running, starting too fast is a recipe for disaster and you have to find your pace and keep with it throughout the race, knowing your training – both mental and physical – is what is going to make for a successful race for you.
This may shock those of you like me but guess what? We have to find our own pace in life also and run the race of life just as we are training. “Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I will not be disqualified for the prize.” (Paul to the Corinthians) It’s difficult to find the pace at which you are designed to go because we want to keep up with the Jones’ around us and we don’t want to fall behind. The bad thing is, that just as in racing, when we go running into life at a pace for which we haven’t trained and maybe we aren’t even designed to run we wear ourselves out a lot quicker.
Living an ultra life is about discovering your pace and sticking with it, everything you do in life is about finding the pace and sticking to it no matter what it looks like everybody around you is running.