On Saturday, November 5, I’ll toe the line at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon for the second time, and compete in my 10th marathon overall. Early on, we all have ambitions and set goals to accomplish in our lives. However, I assure you running 10 marathons wasn’t one of mine. So, how did my fondness of running 26.2 miles come about? Going back to the spring of 2007, I was training to run my third Indianapolis Mini-Marathon.
My wife, Andrea, and close friend, Jerod, encouraged me to attempt the “big one” – the marathon distance. At the time, I was happy with running Indianapolis and some other Midwest half marathons. Yet, the allure of accomplishing the marathon and pushing myself to limits never previously reached was too good to resist. So, in December of that year, I ran my first full marathon, and no better place than Las Vegas.
Having been to Las Vegas a number of times before 2007 (OK, and a few times since then), the adrenaline of running on the famed Strip was very enticing. Thus, when I began my 26.2-mile journey, I had to make sure my energy levels weren’t spent after exiting the Strip as approximately 20 miles still remained. I was happy to finish the race in under four hours (3:56), telling myself repeatedly during those last five to six miles, “Hey, Brett, just a little further and you never have to do another marathon.”
Well, those thoughts lasted only a short while, as I was hooked and already focused on my second one. In the nearly four years that have passed, destination-type races have been my focus: Las Vegas (two times); Chicago (four times); San Francisco (once) and even a couple local races with last year’s Indianapolis Monumental and this spring’s inaugural Carmel Marathon. Furthermore, I’ve seen the results of increased training and experience with the marathon distance, as a personal best was set this spring – 3 hours, 19 minutes, 24 seconds. My eyes are focused on other destination races, especially New York City and hopefully soon landing a qualifying spot in Boston.
For the vast majority of us, running any race will never be about finishing first or picking up the prize money. Running marathons to me has always been about competition. That is, competition first and foremost with yourself, then the course and, finally, with other runners. No matter what goals you have, seeing progress is very rewarding. I’ve always thought of running and business as having many parallels. Set goals, pick the right strategy, discipline yourself and don’t cut corners and you will come out ahead. Most importantly, at the end of a hard day in the office or on the running course, you’ll come out a winner.
The November 5 Indianapolis Monumental event will include a marathon, half marathon and 5K. An estimated 12,000 participants are expected to take part.