24 Weeks And Counting

Good morning, Reno!

The first remnants of spring have cracked through the wintery haze that has buried this side of the state for the past four months. I spent Sunday afternoon outside biking, playing catch, and walking my favorite, furry companion. I even got a slight tan in the process. Baseball has started, March Madness is wrapping up, and The Great Thaw is coming – warmth is nearly upon us! Then again, it has been raining for the past 12 hours and more is expected throughout the week…

I have officially signed up for my first, pure marathon in seven years – and in exactly 24 weeks, less a handful of days – I will have completed only my third marathon (excluding IRONMAN races), with my previous coming back in 2012, and my best the year before in a time of 3:28. I’ve got some challenging months ahead and a nasty goal fast approaching.

If you think about it, 24 weeks isn’t really that long. Only 24 Fridays from now and voila, we will be there. 168 days, 10,080 minutes, or just over half a million seconds (plus ~100,000). Yikes!

The nice thing about pulling the trigger on race registration is twofold – first, you have a giant X on the calendar where you know it’s going down. The condition and mindset that you show up with on race day are your responsibility, and should give you a clear guideline for what needs to be done between now and then. Second, it gives you the ability to dive into the planning details. I know precisely what training sessions are scheduled in the next five months, and I can tell you exactly what I will be doing six days a week from now until then.

2019 has been off to a miserably slow start from a training perspective. In the 14 years I’ve lived in Reno, I’ve never seen anything like it with the rain and snow and grayness just sucking the life out of everything. I love seasons and the refreshment a good rain storm brings, but there has been little to no consistency, so you never know if your run is going to get snowed out or if you should instead dress for a torrential downpour.

So the time has come, and I have signed up for the Tunnel Light marathon, just outside of Seattle, WA. I have time goals, I have a skeleton of a plan, and within 1-2 months, I’m sure that plan will look entirely different :D What’s life without a little excitement?? Commitment is one of the surest ways to drive action, and that being said, our six man RTO team from last year is getting back after it this year, despite my insistence of never doing it ever again (Winkler, you were correct). Plenty of running races for 2019 :-)

I also have two 70.3s, a wedding in Florida, and a handful of other adventures planned with my favorite people between now and then. Long live 2019!

The two things I have talked about over and over are plan establishment and plan adjustment. You can’t get started without some sort of plan, nor can you get to the finish line without adjusting and/or drastically changing/abandoning your plan. Plans are there to get you engaged, driving forward, and thinking about possibilities. Flexibility and long-term thinking help you evolve and adapt your plan as you go. Pick up (almost) any business book, and you will be bombarded with example after example of great business plans that failed, or failed to meet expectations, or even failed to get off the ground. The one theme that runs through all of those examples, however, is that the plan was (or should have been) re-visisited, with fresh perspective, experiences, or understanding, and adjusted as they went.

The racing world is no different. A crazy collision of controllable elements vs. uncontrollable ones frantically meshed into an adrenaline infused, multi-hour event and you’ve got a brewing pot of insanity on the stove. However, that doesn’t mean that among the chaos there isn’t rational and reasonable decision making taking place. Experiences bring insight and and ability to make quality, on-the-spot decisions, but beware the trap of thinking you know all the answers as well :D

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