Archives For Running

The Mile

Zechariah Newman —  March 2, 2017 — Leave a comment

This last weekend I ran the Phoenix Marathon. I love marathons because they are just like chasing a dream.
Phoenix is my fourth marathon in my third state, and I have a dream goal to run one in every state. This marathon was a special one for me because my mentor and friend moved a year ago, to Arizona. We ran together and had a great time catching up.
Marathons hurt.


Marathons hurt and for me, they take a long time, but there is beauty in them as well. There are new people you meet things to look at and if you’re lucky great conversation. The thing that amazes me is that every marathon I get a life lesson. This marathon was no different.
Here is the wisdom from this marathon.
Enjoy the mile you’re in.
This was the mantra for the run but more importantly one I need to apply to my life.
Marathons are many different races within one.
In the beginning, you are excited and nervous. You are unsure if you will make it and have many concerns but you move forward with anticipation. In this stage of the race, you need to load up on liquids and slow down, or you will burn out.
Dreams are the same way, in the beginning, you are nervous, and your nervous energy can get you to sprint when you should be patient and pace yourself. Fill up with things that will energize you in the long run and practice restraint in your pace.
Slow and steady beat fast and empty every day of the week. Fill up and slow down. Enjoy the mile.
In the middle section of the race, you get bored. Nervous energy leaves your body and mind, and the ache starts to set in. You may find yourself slowing down, and you need to make sure your pace is maintained. Confidence is gained, but you are agonizing over the steps to go. You need to focus on what is right in front of you.
Dream chasers in this section need to have tenacity. When the dream loses it’s shine your dedication to the craft is shown. Don’t focus on what is ahead, focus on the mile. Keep your pace strong to reach your dream.
Fall in love with the process. The process will keep you when excitement is replaced with the grind. Enjoy the mile.
At the end of the race, your whole body hurts. Boredom is gone, and pain has replaced it. You wonder if you have what it takes, and want to quit. You are tempted to look at the whole race and get discouraged. You must focus on one object and reach that then focus on the next one. You must push down your emotions and put your shoulders back and grind out each step.
Dream chasers must stop asking themselves how they feel the longer the dreamer has chased a dream. They must focus on the next step and not focus on the steps behind them. Only the steps that are in front.
Embrace the pain of the step. Enjoy the mile.
There is beauty all-around as you focus on the mile you’re in and not the marathon. Eyes up, take a step, and power through. Be blessed on your journey.

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The drift is destroying your life!

I have watched friends get addicted to drugs. I have seen others destroyed by affairs. One family friend stole thousands, and another convicted and in jail. Real people who I respect going the wrong direction until it all falls apart. It breaks my heart as I watch families torn apart by the drift. Lives cast aside and ruined. Though to us on the outside these acts seemed sudden, I know better. We don’t one day destroy something; it is a slow fade a drift that builds negative momentum. We don’t start at these tragic points, but sometimes we don’t recognize the extent of the drift until those wake-up calls.

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Photo by: KC Newman Photography

In my life, I run marathons. I have been on mountain tops physically, stretching the limits to what I previously thought possible. But I have also experienced the fade. I needed my eyes opened to recognize that I was fading recently. Slowly but surely wandering down a path until I didn’t recognize where I was.

Last year,  at this time, I was running the Eugene Marathon. I was set to break a personal record and finished the run with energy. Twenty-six point two miles and I ate it for lunch. Four months ago I was still doing training runs up to sixteen miles getting ready to run another marathon. My health excellent, as well as my energy.

Fast forward to three weeks ago, I had a doctor’s appointment where they said my blood pressure was high. I haven’t run as much but still maintained my eating habits while training. Today I could run six to seven miles, and that’s it without exhausting myself. Without the blood pressure check, I would have ended up back at ground zero. From Personal records on marathon time to high blood pressure and average fitness. It feels like it happened overnight but it didn’t.

I slept in a little more and ran a little less. I chose snooze instead of my running shoes. I had my running accountability move away. I stopped putting in the work that had gotten me there and took my foot off the gas. I counted on history for today’s success. That’s not how it works. Rory Vaden says, “Success is never owned; it is only rented – and the rent is due every day.”

I am getting my health back and saying no to the fade. But it won’t be easy, you and I will not fix the fade overnight. However, we can start to take steps toward restoration. The further you have faded the longer it will take to restore. Damage is always done by the decline, and it takes time for others or our self to heal. Follow these simple but not easy to stop the fade and gain traction.

Admit failure. We can’t change what we don’t take personal responsibility for. You have failed, so have I. We have broken promises and let down ourselves and others. We can only heal when we admit that there is something to heal from. Acknowledge that the mark was missed to restore what was broken.

Set the Mark. If we are not aiming at something, the fade will happen quicker and will be less noticed. What does your ideal health, marriage, vocation, friends, service, and ext. look like? If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. Mark a destination to slow the fade.

Why? You need to write down why you are aiming at that target. It has to be authentically you or you won’t sustain the momentum that you are creating. Methods will change along the way but your why should be so cemented on your heart so that it will get you through the distractions, disappointment, and disinterest. Cement your why to slow the fade.

How? Though your how will change throughout time you need to come up with an action plan. You need to set a course of action. If you want to accomplish a healthy marriage what steps will you take. As much as possible, the how should be measurable. It is much easier to see a fade when you have measurable actions that you know you did or didn’t do. The point is not to be at the hands of a taskmaster but to have a recognition of fade or growth.

Fades are beatable if you refuse to quit when you fall. If you aim at improvement instead of perfection on your journey, it will be much more enjoyable. When you fall and you will, remember that tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to pay the rent of success. Be blessed on your journey.

What areas of your life are you fading in?

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Several years ago I was so out of shape that I could not run a half mile without stopping and this was after being an athlete in high school. My cholesterol was high and my doctor told me I needed to start making changes. “I had to reduce my stress”, he said. How could this be? I was only in my late 20’s! I was seeing success in a lot of areas of life, but like a lot of hard drivers I was ignoring my health and body. The effects on me physically were nothing compared to my mental health. Unfortunately, when life gets busy I think that exercise is the first thing we drop.

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Fortunately, I slowly but surely have gotten my health back and now run marathons. I have a stretch goal to run one in every state. You don’t need to run marathons, however, you do need to make physical exercise a part of your everyday life. I have no doubt that running has changed my life and no doubt it will change your life too!

Maybe you just need some motivation to start or a reason to keep going. When chasing your dream, exercising is a must. I believe it is a key ingredient of any serious dream chasers journey. Running will help you to chase your dream by doing these 4 things to your mind!

1. Solitude. If you have a family like I do, there are times where you just want to be alone. Running has provided that for me. It allows me time that I can hear from God. To process my life and to come up with ideas. All of this happens because of the solitude that running provides. Run to get alone time.

2. Confidence. As my runs have gotten longer and faster, my overall confidence has improved. If you start running, you will see a difference in your overall confidence. There is freedom in knowing that pain is temporary and it is a choice to stop. My confidence in knowing that I can push through discomfort has changed my life. I have a level of endurance in my brain that was not there before. Run to push through to new levels in your life. Run to raise your confidence.

3. Energy. Since beginning running, my endurance both physically and mentally has shot up dramatically. Starting things in my life is not hard for me, however, the tenacity to keep going is a weakness. Running has helped my mental energy to increase. Just like a muscle pushing through mental barriers, it will grow your mental energy and stamina.  Run to increase your energy.

4. Relieve stress. We all fight stress in different ways. Some combat it with substances like alcohol. Some people tune life out by watching television. When I was out of shape and miserable, I would sit at home and watch hours of television or play video games because I could tune out my problem. Now when I have high stress I run. Running will help you reduce and even remove some stress the healthy way. Run to reduce your stress.

If you don’t run and are physically able, I encourage you to. Start slow and increase mileage slowly as well. Try running for a month and if you don’t like it you could always find another avenue of physical exercise. Running will change your life if you give it a chance. It won’t be easy, but if you stick with it, it will be worth it. Be blessed on your journey.

What benefits do you get from running?

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