Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Middle Miles

Every race can be broken into three parts: the start, the middle, and the finish. The start is always an explosion of nerves, adrenaline, and excitement. The pace feels easy and you feel good. However, while too fast start can lose a race, the race is never won in the first mile. The finish is equally exciting. You can sense the line growing closer, the crowd is going wild, you're trying to catch the guy in front of you while simultaneously holding off whoever is behind you, and you need to hold on for just a...little...bit....more...! However, the races that are made or broken by the finish are usually tactical professional races with money on the line, or college track meets with a slow, strategic start. Then there are the middle miles. The miles where it hurts, but the finish is nowhere in sight. The lonely, solitary no man's land where the lead pack is out of sight, but there doesn't seem to be anyone behind you either. For most of us, this is where the race lies. This is where races are won and lost. This is the make or break point, where you decide whether you want to chase down that lead pack or go with that group that's slowly pulling away, or if you'd rather play it safe and let yourself fall back to your safety and comfort zone. It's also many times the hardest part of the race. It's a tough part of the race physically, but provided you put the training in, your body is ready for it. However, mentally, the middle miles can be pure punishment.

For me, the middle miles are the toughest part of the race. And not only are the middle miles the toughest part of a race, but they're often the toughest part of life, when the initial adrenaline rush of a new undertaking has worn off, but the finish is far enough away that the excitement brought on by knowing the end is near is nowhere to be found. It is there that motivation often flags, but it is there that I am determined to succeed. This blog will be a reminder of that promise.

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