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Running for My Life…

Finishing the 2011 Shamrock Marathon

I’ve written several times here about my training and completion of six full marathons over the past three years. The photo insert is my most recent finish from last year.

During that time, I’ve learned a lot about myself through running. Here’s a post I wrote about 10 Life Lessons I’ve Learned From Marathon Training.

One of the reasons I love running is because of it’s similarities to writing.

Both are challenging disciplines that require time, attention and practice. I believe that both help make my life better.

Additionally, I’m running for my life – literally. As I’ve written before, both my parents died prematurely from heart disease complications, which could have been stalled for several years it they had made better lifestyle choices regarding diet and exercise.

To forestall that genetic predisposition in me, I signed up to run two full marathons this year, the first of which was to occur in Buffalo during the Memorial Day weekend in a few weeks.

I had been training for that Buffalo race for several months and completed a decent training run of 15 miles about three weeks ago.

However, after a few discussions with my wife – it became clear that due to the advanced stage of her pregnancy (she’ll be nearly 39 weeks at the time of the race) she couldn’t comfortably make the 6+ hour drive and I couldn’t risk driving two states away if she went into early labor.

So I stopped training for the Buffalo marathon.

I knew that was a possible scenario when I signed up for the race, but I was willing to risk it.

What I didn’t know was how quickly I could lose the benefits from training. This past Saturday, I went for what I thought would be a relatively easy six mile run – especially given the fact that I had run 15 miles a few weeks prior.

Needless to say, the six miler was much tougher than I thought.

It was a classic case of “use it or lose it” – so I’ve learned another lesson from marathon training (or lack thereof) to add to the 10 mentioned in the second paragraph above.

11. There’s a Shelf Life to the Gains in Life: the successes of the past will not carry you forward without the required dedication, time and attention to keep the skills sharp that made the success possible in the first place.

That got me thinking about other areas of my life that have gone lax and how I can regain what was lost.

How about you?

Question: Any “use it or lose it” areas in your life that you’d like to recapture?


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