At the beginning of the summer, I signed up for a marathon in Chattanooga. And I spent most of June through August training for it. At about the halfway point in my training (mid-August), school started back. Then I had a fairly slammed schedule of deadlines and work-related things. As a result, I began missing training runs. In the past, I would have moved an event like this over to the loss column. Instead, I reached out to the event organizers and asked them to move me over to the half marathon. So, Saturday morning, I took my older two children, and we headed up to Chattanooga. We had a blast at the expo, which included meeting Lazarus, the director of the famous Barkley Marathons. We also met some friends of ours who were running in the event. We had a great dinner Saturday and were up Sunday.
At about 7:00 yesterday morning, I saw my friend off on the full marathon. And at about 7:15, I was off on my half marathon adventure. This journey took me over the Tennessee River 4 times, in some of the most beautiful scenery you can hope for in a running event. Along the way, I met a bunch of great people. And though it wasn’t the full marathon and it was not my best time, I felt a sense of accomplishment when I crossed the finish line. And even better, I was at the finish line to cheer on some friends when they finished the half marathon and full marathon. I’m already looking down the calendar at some events on Thanksgiving Day.
Is there a practice lesson from this? I think it’s this. Even when things do not work out as perfectly as you planned them out in your mind, you can make changes and still achieve a perfect moment. Also, it is important to not let some expectation you have for the future get in the way of making forward progress. I could have stayed home this weekend. Instead, I had one of the best weekends of my life, had two great meals with friends, took in some Tennessee scenery, and had some great conversations with my children. Would it be bad to say that I’m looking forward to falling short of some more big plans in the future?