The Taste of Gold – A Running Dream Realized @ArsenalSSKuwait

The goals of some peoples lives can vary in a myriad of different ways; this past Saturday, I had the chance to cross an important entry from my bucket list; to finish in first place in a race.

It started off simple; a blog post (and a friend) alerted me that a race was taking place on Saturday the 11th of April 2015 (one day after my first year anniversary with my lovely wife). It was free to participate, and donations were accepted for those wishing to donate. Initially I thought the weather to be too dusty to run, enter great friend (different than friend that alerted us to this event) that insisted he was going, so I followed suit.

Showing up at the start of the race, I began to scope out the competition; deeming two or three to be shoe-ins for first place. I fancied my odds of being top 3, however having already lost a race to one of the contestants (Captain America – CA) whom I pegged to come out on top, my hopes waned for first place.

Captain America won this round

When last we met, Captain America blazed a trail of glory ahead of me

At the sound of the whistle, the contestants were off, and after the initial frenzied vying for the top spot, I found myself at the front of the pack, with CA hot on my heels.

(Previously I had written an article on the power of peripheral perception for runners, and it plays a very important part in this story, read it here)

The KMs ticked away, and I could still hear CA behind me, just outside my peripheral vision unless I glanced sideways. I could also hear him breathing, hear his feet pounding the pavement behind me.

As the race progressed, negativity began creeping into my mind, making me acutely aware of the fact that I had not had breakfast, much less coffee or water, in the morning, and my stomach was beginning to complain. Almost in unison, my legs began to voice their discontent and plead with me to slow down, that it would be OK to let CA pass me, to just slow down a bit so they can relax. I began to be my own worst enemy, until I reminded myself that I had been in the lead since the get go, and it would be a shame to voluntarily give that up as we had just rounded the half-way point.

Pretty soon, the voice nagging me to stop was replaced with a whispered voice to push forward, to try harder, run faster, and dig deeper, echoing the mantra of the Insanity Workout I had been diligently following every day after going home from work – I would prop my phone up, play the videos, and move in sync with the instructor and his team mates. I synchronized my breathing and got my feet in rhythm with the mantra in my mind; you can do this, you have been training for this, do not let this opportunity slide, seize the day, carpe diem.

Almost ¾ of the way in, with CA still within arms reach of my elbow, I decided the only way to guarantee victory was to dig deep and push forward enough to build a gap between us, and try to maintain that pace toward the end.

My vision kept raising and dropping, looking towards the horizon for the finish line, and at my feet to will them to keep moving forward. Again they voiced their contempt, but the will to push harder was stronger than the groan to give up.

Sure enough, the distance put between us grew, and I began to audibly will myself forward, a strange sight I must reckon to all partaking on the pedestrian path at that day, however it served its purpose well, for the finish line was finally in sight, and I could neither hear nor feel anyone close behind me, and so I reached down for one last hurrah and took off for the red and white checkered balloons, as many a race have been lost by losing momentum near the finish line.

And sure enough…

Flash was justalittlebit faster this time

Flash was justalittlebit faster this time

The organizer held up the cup, high above her head, and I reached for it, crossing the finish line with cup in hand, finally etching my name in the long list of first place winners in races. My legs and body protested in righteous indignation, however the elation of having crossed the finish line first deafened their cries, as I collapsed on the grass to catch my breath.

Q8FootSoldier For the Gold!

Q8FootSoldier For the Gold!

Take what happens above and replay it every single time anyone goes for a run, whether practice or race, the negativity exists for all, the ease of giving up.

If you buy into it, you rest to run another day.

If you rebel against it, you get the gold.

Choose your path.

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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