Archive for May, 2011

Anything Is Possible with the Right Tools and Determination…in Racing and in Business

May 3, 2011

It’s human nature to set goals for ourselves and to constantly strive to be better…whether in racing or in our professional lives.

For runners, the goal is to push yourself to be faster and set a new PR (personal record) at every race and in every distance.  This year, my goal was to break 4:30 (four hours and thirty minutes) in a marathon.  My best marathon time was 4:41.  Now shaving twelve minutes off your marathon time may not sound like that big of a challenge, but it is.  And I knew if I was going to achieve my goal, I was going to need the right tools because desire and dedication alone, wouldn’t be enough.

I had set my previous PR last year with the help of the Runner’s World Challenge and their training program.  So this year, with a new goal in sight, I went back to the experts who had helped me the previous year.  This year, Runner’s World had a new set of training programs.  These programs were custom designed to help you achieve specific marathon finishing time goals.  So, I purchased and trained with the Break 4:30 program.

I was diligent in my training.  I did all the workouts and met or exceeded all the pace goals for each workout, but still I wondered if I had what it took.  I knew my mind and heart were up for breaking 4:30, but I wondered if my body was up for it. On May 1, at the Flying Pig marathon, I got my answer.  The answer was YES!

This year’s Flying Pig was my sixth marathon. Traditionally, I feel good for the first 17 miles.  But somewhere between mile 18 and 22, my body starts to feel fatigue, my pace slows and it’s my heart and mind that get me to the finish, often setting a PR in spite of my fatigue.  This year was different.  I felt strong the entire race…so strong, I ran a negative split (a faster second half than first half) and my last mile of the race was a 9:31 pace, nearly 45 seconds faster than my average pace for the entire race.  I crossed the finish line in 4:27:25.  I couldn’t believe it.  Not only had I achieved my goal, but I did it feeling strong the entire time.  That was truly an accomplishment.

So how does this story relate to business?

First, to achieve success in business, we need the right tools.  Those tools can be equipment, financing, strategic alliance partners or just simply being willing to ask others for help.

Second, we need to have our heart and head in the race.  When either of those call it quits, we are likely to fail.  Sure, there are times where it’s no longer wise or feasible to continue on. This economic downturn certainly showed many companies that lesson.  But how many of those companies just gave up without a fight?  More than I think we’d like to admit.  Some just got fatigued as the miles of their journey got longer and harder.  They just didn’t have the determination to continue on and they called it quits.

So the next time your journey becomes long and hard and you think you can’t go on due to fatigue…think again.  Take a deep breath and dig deep.  Reevaluate your situation and attack it with everything you have.  I think you’ll be surprised what you can do when you’re fully engaged in the race and determined to achieve your goal.