If any of you can explain WHY I entered the Scotia Toronto 1/2 Marathon race that went off this morning, PLEASE respond in kind! It quite simply made NO sense BUT I did a late entry anyway.I would have been further ahead hanging upside down with my grandniece, Esme! There were definitely lessons learned…and at my ADVANCED age, that’s a good thing. Firstly:
- don’t let ego get in the way of intelligence – ego NEVER wins. If I simply accepted the fact that I was NOT deeply enough trained for speed endurance over 21.1 kilometres, I would have attended a Stapleton family function on Saturday and led my Team Over The Top clinic runners on our normal Sunday sessions – but, NO, I just HAD to register for the 1/2, thinking I could actually just show up at age 63 and reel off a low 1:40 1/2. Come on, now, coach, wake the hell upSecondly:
- if you train at a ‘D’ level, expect no better than a ‘C’ result – if that. My training was quite simply erratic and inconsistent to say the leastThirdly:
- understand that starting too fast for your level of fitness NEVER ends well. Even running barefoot where I am so good at keeping low, compact, quick and forward won’t help with a strong result WITHOUT the attendant DEEP trainingFinally:
- Father Time has NOTHING to do with reduced performance…in spite of the fact that many are already telling the old coach “you ARE, after all, 63! It’s time for you NOT to race anymore and certainly NOT race as much as 21.2 kilometres”. Well, I say ‘poppycock’ to that – I simply need to focus on deep, quality training and I’ll be back in the low 1:40 range in no time. Whether I get the time to do so is another matterHaving said all of that, I still finished 56th out of 189 in my age group of men 60-64 (that was with a 2:02 finish – by far the worst race result of my 40+ year athletic career!) This DID put me squarely in the top 30%. Of course, I am used to finishing in the top 15% minimum in my age group BUT that’s for another day…HOPEFULLY.
I can tell you that there was not much I enjoyed about today. It was a humbling experience where I DID learn about the power of ACCEPTANCE. I also learned how important it is to be PERSISTENT, to PERSEVERE and to show PATIENCE (the magical 3 Ps!) in ALL that you do. It should NEVER be about ME – it should ALWAYS be about others. If I get back to living by that credo, everything else will look after itself. It is God’s message to me yet again.
Moving forward, the old coach will advise all of you to stay true to yourself and make it part of your life’s journey to impact others positively and powerfully.