Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Great thoughts of the week!!!

I have compiled a short list of some great thoughts I've stumbled through this week. I have read, heard, felt, and experienced all of them somehow or another...

- Successful organizations spend a lot of time saying, "that's not what we do." "That's not what we do," is the backbone of strategy, it determines who you are and where you're going. Except when opportunities come along. Except when people in the organization forget to ask, "why?" If the only reason you don't do something is because you never did, that's not a good reason. - Seth Godin

- Here's a rule that's so inevitable that it's almost a law: As an organization grows and succeeds, it sows the seeds of its own demise by getting boring. With more to lose and more people to lose it, meetings and policies become more about avoiding risk than providing joy.

- “Though expressed in a variety of behaviors,” Tim Irwin writes, “leaders fail because a lack of failure of one of these four critical qualities” (p. 17):

  1. Authenticity
  2. Self-management
  3. Humility
  4. Courage

- For critical thinkers: Let our minds be focused on the creative and on the constructive above the critical and corrective.

Monday, November 2, 2009

What I wish I knew BEFORE my first marathon!

What I wish I knew BEFORE my first marathon!

I completed the Bass Pro Marathon in 5:30:00 on November 1. Here is a course map.


The best advice I got was at the start line. I was standing next to an older gent and I was nervous as you can imagine. I asked how many marathons he had done up to this point. He replied, “6." Really, “Is this your first?” Yes, my first one. He said these words, “I wish I was you.”

The point he made was to savor the run as much as possible because there is that moment at 20 miles or 22 where you tread new territory that your body has not gone before.

One thing the marathon does is give you plenty of time alone with your thoughts. I stopped to think about my journey from being a couch potato to running in the marathon. I got on to thinking about my inspiration for all this and it all comes back to my beloved wife. None of this would have happened without her gentle unwavering support. I owe her big time.

Now on to the things I learned that no one explicitly told me:
1. Vaseline is your friend.
Use it any place that creates friction (e.g. toes, nipples, arches, stomach, butt, inside legs, etc.)

2. Don't cheat the training.
Find a plan and stick to it. I ran two 18's and one 20 miler. I needed one more 20 miler. In addition, the surface you train on matters. I trained mainly on crushed limestone. The marathon course was almost completely on asphalt.

3. Run easy but stay on pace.
Determine a conservative goal and stick to the pace.

4. Meet new people along the way.
It helps to engage other people in the same boat as you. Plus the encouragement helps pass the time.

5. And last---if both your quads cramp up and feel like someone is pounding nails into both of them at mile 20, walk it off and finish the race. Forget it about the time. Some people race to compete and some race to complete. I completed the race.