Day #8: 8.6 Seconds


After yesterday’s post, I thought it would be helpful for me to return to the story of my Olympic Trials efforts of a few years back. I was just 8.6 second off pace to make the qualifying standard. Yet try as I may, I never made up those 8 seconds. And never enjoyed the thrill of standing on that national caliber starting line to compete for the greatest of athletic glories – a spot on the Olympic team. But I never gave up in my training and I have no regrets looking back at my efforts.

How is this relevant for you – the newly dedicated runner who is just embarking on her 2nd week in a yearlong streak? In just this way: NEVER GIVE UP! NO MATTER WHAT THE ODDS… NEVER GIVE UP!

Now that we are clear on that, how can I inspire you practically through my own travails? Perhaps the best way I know how is to encourage you that when I look back at my career, I have no regrets. Not that my career is over — for it is not. I have miles to run… — but looking back at the effort to get my pace down 8 seconds — the track work, the day after day distance work, and the years long dream which eventually ended as I stared at my shoes, sitting dejectedly on a curb after a failed trials attempt at the Las Vegas Marathon… Through all of this, I have no regrets because I gave it everything I had. I was my best in those years – running as fast as I could. And that is all I am asking you to be – your best.

In lacing up the shoes daily, measure yourself not by the arbitrary speed of the distance run, but rather by the proportion of your heart that you expended in the pursuit of the dream. Push on – looking not to the right nor to the left, but fixed determinedly upon the goal. Get today’s run done, stay healthy and be there in mind, spirit and with a full heart to meet the demands of the run tomorrow.

If you can hold your head up high, knowing that you gave it everything you had, you’ll have no regrets – and so no fickle defeat will claim you.


~Coach Reed