Putting into practice what I learned in my first 5-K, I bounced a half-marathon on Labor Day. It was extremely hot and humid and I knew that I needed to slow my pace down to save myself for the finish. Around mile 9, bouncing through an Army base, I found myself getting passed – a lot! My first temptation was to pick up the pace and find a group I could run with. Instead, I calmed my thoughts, and realized that I was on the pace that I had trained for, and that I was going to be fine. The final mile of this race was on a boardwalk with the Atlantic ocean glimmering on the left, and a row of spectators lined up on both sides. Just before the boardwalk, I was passing a lot of people, who had stopped, trying to straighten themselves out for the run up for a glorious finish in front of all the spectators. After all, you don’t want to puke in front of that many people when you finish. Somewhere, in storage, there is an iconic photo, (in my eyes) of that finish. I am crossing the finish line with a huge smile on my face, while many of my fellow runners look like they are in extreme pain – like all runners looked to me before I started running. Not only did I finish the race strong but I finally broke 2 hours for a half-marathon, which was huge for me.
In our daily lives we can all experience glorious finishes that we store up for future reference but to do so we have to know that the pace we are running is the correct pace for us. Staying on pace requires disciplining your thoughts and your body to make sure you have enough in you to finish the race strong.
Living an ultra life means finding the pace you were meant to run and then enjoying the race no matter what everyone around you is doing.