Dang This Hurts!

Dang This Hurts!

I have a personal struggle I believe most people can relate to – sometimes I’m just an impatient person! There are plenty of times when I am able to breathe a little and wait. But sometimes, especially when I have some experience with an issue, I tend to rush the process. And it’s that rushing that gets me in trouble every time. Take for instance my latest attempt at getting in shape by running two half marathons in one month. Yes, I’m that crazy.

Don't turn your leadership into running marathons for your team! Speaking of which, Chris LoCurto is in this marathon somewhere rushing to the finish line!!

Some of you may think it’s not that crazy of an idea. What makes it crazy is that I’ve never done a half marathon before. In fact, I believe the longest I’ve ever run was a 12K, roughly 7 1/2 miles, 20 years ago. But in Classic LoCurto fashion, I figured I could just… run, and I would be ready to tackle almost twice the distance I’ve ever run before.

The problem is that my body doesn’t even remember what running looks like. When my mind told my body what we were going to do, it scoffed. “You and what 20-year younger body?” it said. But my mind won out. We were going to do this thing. And we started to run to see how well we could do. (I keep saying we, because it should be a collaborative process between mind and body… HA!)

As I ran, I began to realize that my mind didn’t really win out at all. At least, that’s what my body began to scream. It hurt like crazy! So I figured I would fix my impatience by getting on a training program. I asked around and received a walk/run plan from Chad Nikazy that would get us up to speed in 16 weeks. So what if we were already four weeks behind? We could just jump right in and make it happen!

Yeah…. that’s been another win for the body as well. But no biggie, we’ll make it work out. Oh wait, did I just commit to TWO half marathons? And the second half marathon four weeks earlier than the original event? Sweet! We can just crunch the 16-week program into an eight-week deal, right? How bad could that be?

Well, it hurts. What I’ve realized is that I did what I always do with something I believe I can conquer with my mind. I compressed my time frame and put the demand on my body. Only thing is, my body never signed up for the trip.

I did both half marathons, but there certainly was a better way to prepare. One that didn’t tax my resources. There’s a reason it’s a 16-week plan; it takes 16 weeks to get you through the process without hurting yourself.

The same happens with us as leaders. While there are many times you should compress time frames to make things happen, you should always check first to see if your resources can handle it. If so, rock it! If not, step back and re-think the process. Perhaps go a route that will get you there with all of your limbs intact.

101 thoughts on “Dang This Hurts!”

  1. Chris, you might want to look up Jeff Galloway, he is a former Olympian, who advocates the run/walk concept and has many plans and books for all levels. He also writes for runner’s world who has a dot.com by that name. Good luck.

  2. Chris
    I’m getting ready for the RAIN ride this summer, which is the Ride Across Indiana. 160 miles in one day in July. I started training right after Christmas, but am having troubles with saddle comfort after 40 miles, so I understand your issues. Take it slow, enjoy the journey. Running and walking is the way to go. You’ll recover faster and feel better. I know I used to be a hard core runner and walking didn’t make sense to me either, but you’ll increase your distance a lot faster with walk breaks. I’m a Chiropractor and have many patients doing this run walk thing. If you have questions, I’ll be happy to help as I can. You’ve helped me a lot with your blog and one day I hope to get to the seminar, but Friday didn’t work for me this time. Maybe you guys could put one on DVD for those of us who couldn’t come.

    Thanks to you and Dave, as well as all your support people for your great work. I have recommended your blog and Dave’s books to many people. I’m down to $200 M/C bill, $1000 to my accountant, $525 to a lawyer then some back taxes and I’ll be debtfree. Can’t wait!
    Keep up the good work and happy trails for your feet!

  3. I’m getting to do the Ragnar Relay next weekend and I have to run 12 miles over 3 legs and the most I have run is 5…I might just be screwed. I’m thinking there will be complete and total anarchy by my calf muscles on mile 10.

    1. Wow!!! That might hurt a little. 🙂 I learned yesterday that it takes 10 days to recover from a long run, and you can’t do a lot to help within 10 days of the race except be on your feet for the total amount of time it will take to do the 12 miles. In other words, if 12 miles will take you 3 hours, try to get out and walk for 3 hours so your body knows what it feels like to be going that long. you don’t have to run, just be out there. I believe it’s true because my the longest I ran was for 2 hours, and in the marathon that’s when my body shut down. Either way, JUST HAVE FUN!!! Don’t stress over any of it.

  4. I wish you luck with keeping those limbs intact — you are a brave, brave man…

    Great parallel to leadership, by the way. While leaders can typically accomplish their goals in a compressed time frame, the results are often less spectacular than if a strategic approach had been planned and implemented.

    Resources are vital. Ignoring a lack of them can prove frustrating for all who are engaged.

    1. That’s exactly it Mikalee! While sometimes it’s vital to shake your team up and get them to do something in a compressed time frame, sometimes they aren’t able to handle it. It’s understanding the line that’s most important. Great comment!!

  5. Congrats for signing up! There is no better feeling than completing a half marathon. I love it. Yes, it’s crazy to minimally train for a half marathon because you can die! Ok…jk…but you do have to be really careful with your body. You will be surprised at how far you can actually run. My only advice is pace yourself. Running two half marathons in a month is very possible. Honestly, I think it’s great to do it that way because after the first one your mind knows you can do it. The second one will be even easier because your body will be prepared. You will get hooked after that first 1/2 marathon…trust me on this!

  6. My mum is impatient when cooking. She tries to toss in the food before the oil is heated enough which means broken fried food bits. I on the other hand am impatient when time doesn’t move fast enough.

  7. I’m trying to do the same thing with a 5K – compressing training into a stupidly short amount of time. The mind can carry you a long way, but sometimes the body just says “no”.

  8. Haha, I did same thing when I signed up for the MD Warrior Dash in Sept when I don’t exercise regularly (in fact I HATE IT). Now it’s a little over a month away and NOW I’m training for it. Nothing says motivation like panic!

    Good luck on your marathons!

  9. I have done a half marathon, but would not do a full marathon. The key for me is that I run because I enjoy it and for the health benefits. There is definitely a point at which it stops being healthy and enjoyable and consumes you. The same goes for business. I think you have to ask yourself whether something is healthy and whether you are enjoying it. Sounds as though you will struggle, but perhaps the enjoyment comes from the challenge. Good luck anyway! 🙂

  10. I’m all too familiar with what you’re talking about here Chris. I’ve tried many times to squeeze in some “training” before a big run and I must admit that when the times comes around (for the marathon) I never feel that I’m in adequate shape to handle it. Either my body is aching too much from the training or I don’t fit in enough training to actually be able to pull off a whole 26 miles (I’ve never run more than a half marathon). I wish you the best of luck Chris!

    1. I was sharing with another commenter that one of the most important things I learned was to make sure you spend at least one of your long runs going as long as the total run will be. Even if the miles aren’t the same. Your body needs to know what that length of time is like.

  11. I had to take about 2.5 weeks off of my plan due to some sort of “hurt” in my leg. We’ll see what happens when I pound this half marathon out on Sunday. Because I agree with you- there’s a reason the plan is as long as it is! Ugh…

    Good luck!

  12. Good luck on your half marathon. I also love to run and head outdoors 4 times a week for a 5k. It’s great being on the road, theres’ no other feeling so free. Congrats on Freshly Pressed.

    1. Thanks a ton!! It’s pretty cool to be Freshly Pressed. And you’re so right about being out on the road. I think of what the dude in Chariots of Fire said, “When I run I feel His pleasure.”

  13. Last year, at the grand old age of 50, I walked two marathons within two weeks. I figured that since I had the training, I might as well go for the two and who knew when I’d have the chance again. Lake Tahoe Marathon in September in 6:46 (hot!), Bizz Johnson Marathon two weeks later in 6:15. Take care of yourself in between and treat it like a really long taper. By then, it’ll be 75% mental because you’ve done the physical work.

    Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

  14. Best of luck on the half-marathon. I just did my first 10K last week, and I felt like I should have taken some more time to train, but it was good to get one under my belt. Also just found your blog!

  15. I don’t know if you are into logging your progress, but my family has lots of runners and we do the Nike+. (I don’t mean to be promoting) but its a chip you put in your shoe and ipod and you can listen to music, log your run, and it even has a training plan. Usually like you said 16 weeks but I think if you put in how long your event is in, it will adjust to it. Congrats tho! I think you have inspired me to run with my sister 4 miles today(I have not ran in 2 months ha, but I can do it right!)

  16. Wow. That’s crazy and amazing at the same time. I’ve been wanting to sign up for a half-marathon and just make it happen, but I’ve only committed myself to 10kms so far. I wish you the best and hopefully I’ll be able to take the plunge and just go for it soon enough. Good luck!

  17. Last year a good friend and I ran a 50 mile ultra marathon with almost 10,000 feet of elevation gain. At mile 47, my friend turned to me and said: “It hurts to walk, it hurts to run, we might as well run.” I still laugh every time I think about that moment . . . and it always gets me running again. Good luck in the half! Love the post, especially the analogy at the end. I have learned that even when we over-tax the body and deplete the mind, there is always heart to get us through.

  18. totally agree with you, i’ve had a cycle event i did in december – 50km – and with an torn ligament 3 weeks before the race, i didn’t think i could do it – but then i made the mental decision, and DID it!

    really rocked – so keep rocking your side and keep the mind focused!

  19. The battle between mind and body… Completely agree on that. I’m a rugger, well a starter actually, I’m a 17 year old girl and play as a winger, so I’ve done a lot of running, but to be honest I haven’t got the guts to run as far as half marathon, so bravo to you 🙂

  20. wow nice! ive been wanting to try joining a marathon, like a run for a cause thing.. but im kind of hesitant because i have asthma, but i really wanted to try it, do you think i could give it a try??if so, what preparations should i have to do so i could start joining marathons??

    1. Well, obviously I would start with the docs. I can tell you though, I have sinus issues and they go away when I run. It’s the craziest thing. I would say to try and follow at least a 3 to 4 month plan and see how you can do. But I’m obviously no expert. 🙂

  21. Lol, I’m of the belief that mind conquers body every time however that doesn’t mean you won’t experience some pain in the process!

    This reminded me of a time when I was running to raise awareness for some health issue years ago. I was young in pretty good shape and played a few sports in school. I figured why not run(even though I had no experience in long distance running.)

    As I was running I remember seeing some people getting picked up by vans oR leaving the course after having ran a certain distance. I decided that I would finish it no matter what.

    To make a long story short about halfway through I got a cramp in my leg and I ran all the way to the end limping in great pain. After that I told myself that I’d never run in anything like that again lol.

  22. I find it funny that i stumbled up this now, because I’m in the same boat! Well, somewhat. I’m doing a half marathon relay this coming Saturday, so I will run the first 6.5 miles and my partner will run the second half. This is my first race, and I definitely didn’t train like I should have. I went for a run yesterday and did about four miles, which was difficult but I pushed through it. I’m really hoping that I’ll be able to push through it on Saturday morning. I thought the same thing as you though, my mind thought I could do it easily but my body screamed NO!

    1. You can totally do it! Probably the most important thing is to spend the amount of time that it will take to complete your part, in one training session. You don’t have to go the distance, just spend the time out there. That will tell your body that you can go that long.

  23. I don’t know if you are into logging your progress, but my family has lots of runners and we do the Nike+. (I don’t mean to be promoting) but its a chip you put in your shoe and ipod and you can listen to music, log your run, and it even has a training plan. Usually like you said 16 weeks but I think if you put in how long your event is in, it will adjust to it. Congrats tho! I think you have inspired me to run with my sister 4 miles today(I have not ran in 2 months ha, but I can do it right!)

    1. I haven’t tried the chip yet, but I would like to! And great job getting out there. My other half marathon is this weekend and I’m praying the shins work out!! 🙂

  24. hi Chris!!!l i just finished my first 5k marathon..(Manila International Marathon)MIM it feels so GREAT! so fun!i didnt use my inhaler the whole time and it really feels good inside that i got to finish something that i didnt imagine that i could do, because of my asthma..il be posting pictures for you to see..hehehehe it was the best sunday of my life:)

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