by Bryan Peterson (taken from the Fastest Men Alive blog)
It’s been nine months since the first juice fast (back story here). It’s been a very wonderful and interesting journey. I’ve come along way since my first post when I committed myself to this healthful endeavor. Since that first juice fast that started it all, I’ve done two other juice fasts, did a bike two-day bike ride from Houston to Austin, competed in my first triathlon, completed the Tough Mudder, and have truly transformed my life. I just had a birthday and I feel like I have a lot of my life ahead of me now.
When I first committed to doing a juice fast, I also committed to lead a healthier, more active lifestyle. The goals I had set for myself were to complete a 10 day juice fast and, by the end of the year, run my first marathon. They were lofty goals. At the time, I was very unhealthy and very out of shape. Of course I completed the juice fast. This weekend, I will line up at the starting line of the Dallas Marathon.
I’m very thankful to be here. It’s been a long, hard training. I’ve dealt with numerous injuries. I’ve had a number of set backs. It has definitely not been easy. Yet, here I am about to accomplish another big goal. It’s an amazing feeling.
I’ve been training with a group and it has been a wonderful experience. I feel very fortunate having been introduced to the running culture and meeting like minded people. I’ve learned a lot from them. I was intimidated at first. I was relatively new to running. I had completed a half marathon about 5 years ago, but hadn’t really run much since. I was far from anything that could be considered “fast”. And I didn’t have a whole lot of confidence in my ability to run long distances.
In the beginning, I was frustrated. I was one of the slower people in the group. I struggled on my training runs. I wasn’t able to keep up with many of those in the group. Embarrassed and discouraged, I would push myself to go faster and farther. I ran harder. I did not run smarter. It seemed as if the harder I tried the worse it got and the harder I was on myself. Then I learned a key concept in running and training for these types of events.
In running, there is always someone faster, someone who can run farther, someone fitter than you. This doesn’t matter. What I learned from my team members was that it was all about me; how I ran my race. They didn’t care if I was slower or faster than anyone else anymore than they cared if they were faster or slower than anyone else. It’s all about the PR, the “Personal Record”. This is your personal best. I learned that the running culture was not competitive as I thought it would be. At least, not in the way I thought. Everyone is competing with themselves. The bar by which we are measured is, in fact, how we measure ourselves. Was I able to set a new PR? My team wasn’t encouraging me to run faster than anyone else nor did they care how long I could go. Was I improving myself? Was I “better” as defined by what that meant to me? Every step of the way, the other members of the group were encouraging to me and to everyone else. From the people who I only saw headed the other way because they had already turned around, to the people who came up behind me everyone encouraged each other. We each wanted the other achieve their goals, whatever they may be. For this reason, I encourage everyone to train for some sort of running event and train with a group. In addition to being ready to run my first marathon, the experience has been more beneficial to me than I could have imagined.
This is a fitting lesson and can be extrapolated for my life. What I’ve accomplished, what I’ve been through, isn’t remarkable. There are far more interesting stories than mine. People who have fasted for longer, have lost more weight, overcome greater odds, made more of a transformation. Which is great. That’s their PR. This is my story and it means a great deal to me. I’m happy to be here. Happy to be fit and healthy and juicing! I am beyond excited about finally being able to run my first marathon. I’ve been having a lot of emotions and they are getting stronger as the event nears. I’ve come through so much to get here that nothing could deter me. I am about to run my first marathon. And with it being my first, no matter what my time is I’m going to set a PR!
Bryan has been training with coach Allison Macsas’ Winter Marathon group and will take on his first 26.2 mile race in Dallas this Sunday!