Monday, September 6, 2010

Ain't no shame in walking

Once upon a time, there was a race. It was a half ironman race. The 70.3.

The race that tests your ability to go as hard as you can for as long as you can.

At this race, there was a female participant. A regular little hottie, if I do say so myself.  Little Hottie was setting up her transition, going over her race day plans and apparently mumbling to herself when the guy setting up next to her turned to her and asked, "Are you talking to yourself?"

Unashamed at quiet mumbling, she replied, "Yes, I'm just going over my strategy."

Mr Dude replied, "Ah. Well, just remember, there are few things that you can control. You've done the training. Now, just trust that you have the tools to do what you want to accomplish."

Curious as to Mr. Dude's quiet demeanor, she asked, "Have you done an Ironman before? I'm doing my first next year."

Mr. Dude, smiled, and replied, "Yes, I've done 12 of them. I've had 8 finishes. 2 barely finished & 2 DNF's."

Little Hottie now staring and this wealth of knowledge that dropped into her lap said, "I'm worried a bit about the run."

Mr. Dude replied simply, "Ain't no shame in walking. Run the downhills and walk the uphills. Keep looking forward and if something bad happens....well, sometimes a finish just isn't in the cards."

Then he disappeared.

not really, he more or less went back to setting up his transition.

Those words stayed with Little Hottie. Regardless of the race distance, she always remembered when things got tough "walk the uphills, run the downhills."

Many moons later, Little Hottie was out doing a long run that wasn't going very well. She wasn't disappointed in the run. She wasn't upset with the run. She'd been running for more years than most people and knew that there was no such thing as a "bad run"....only tough, grit yer teeth, tough runs and great runs.

So it was a grit yer teeth kind of run when she realized that she wouldn't be able to run much more. (Plan A)

Then the words of Mr. Dude came back to her, "Run the downhills and walk the uphills". (Plan B)

Then she realized that, even Plan B was feeling a little too aggressive. "I know" she smiled to herself, "I'll switch to Ironman run plan. Run 5 walk 1". (Plan C)

Soon however, it was obvious that Plan C wasn't working out. It was time for more drastic measures and Plan Wes went into effect: Keep moving forward.

With one foot in front of the other, Little Hottie chugged her way home....walking.

It wasn't a "walk of shame".

She didn't place a rescue call.

She could have quit.  She could have called it a day.

Instead, she simply adjusted her plans. Sometimes a finish isn't in the cards. This, however, was NOT one of those days. Because just like on race day, you can choose to give up or you can choose to bear down and get'er done.