Last weekend, I was running a marathon in Denver and I reached the finish line as the very last runner of thousands of participants. How can that be, since I just ran the Phoenix marathon in 3:50h early this year?
Here the dramatic developments of the day:
I arrive at the Civic Center at about 7.30AM and I realize that the organizer had changed the course of the marathon due to some legal reasons. This means that people are supposed to take a shuttle bus outside town. ‘No way, I cannot do that now’, is my thought, since the marathon is about to start and the new location miles away.
I stay practical and decide to start with the half marathon crowd, which still starts at the Civic center. The half marathon is great, good atmosphere and I hit the finish line of the half marathon after about two hours. But I continue running the course a second time since I want to finish a full marathon. This second half marathon becomes extremely tough, since I am running on my own.
No more crowds are cheering, no other runners are motivating me, no water stations anymore, and the empty course gets turned back into normal city life with pedestrian and cars. This makes especially the last hour to a very tough challenge. I am fighting to run and not to walk. Sometimes I find in Wash park public drinking water fountains just to realize that they currently don’t work.
But I finally make it through the half marathon finish line a second time after about four hours. I am incredible exhausted and happy to have run my marathon despite the complications the organizer has caused.
People at the finish line look at the slowest half marathon runners of all times with pity. How can a guy in his thirties run the half marathon in 4 hours? They obviously don’t know…
But here the good news: Basically I kept self-responsible and I did not go on about how complicated the organizer has made this. Neither I fell into the ‘he should’, ‘he could’, ‘this wasn’t fair attitude’. I think taking self-responsibility for a situation is a key to reach goals in life. Thinking about the others wrong doing seems to me very often rather a waste of energy.
If I look back at the marathon day, I actually realize that I am glad the organizer made it complicated. Because of my unconventional second half, I experienced an extra challenge to run without support, and this was an incredible chance to leave my comfort zone even more.
Taking self-responsibility is actually one common theme in my life coachings.
Who remembers the challenges in his or her own life of getting into the ‘shoulds’ and ‘coulds’ of life? Happy to hear more….
Best, yours Marathon Michael