The Last Mile
The race started as it was planned. From the opening miles, the mid way point and until you approach the finishing push everything went the way you had envisioned. You followed your race plan, you ran your race, running slightly faster than your goal, and approaching the final mile you are positioned to close this deal. No matter how you’ve positioned yourself, everything hinges on this final mile.
It’s within this final mile that you will meet or exceed your goals or fall short as you have times before. Mentally you’re in this race to not only finish but to make a statement. Physically, closing in on your goal, your heart is pounding, your forehead is covered in sweat and your feet are landing on the pavement in an ever quickening pace. After placing all the miles behind you, you’re physically committed.
The last mile judges your fitness, and validates your preparation. The last mile of the race makes you who you are as a runner.
During the final mile, your mind has to overcome your weakness. Unlike at the start when excitement, energy and motivation will cover any gaps in conditioning, desire and talent, the final mile will expose any weakness. The last mile of the day is when every part of your body wants you to slow down, to take a break, and coast on in. The final mile puts on display any weaknesses in your competitive armor.
During the closing mile, your legs scream out, they burn deep inside and they are overcome by fatigue. During the opening miles your muscle responded and propelled you at will now they crave more fuel, they desire relief and recovery from the repeated tasks they have been required to perform. The final mile multiples all the stress your legs have suffered.
During the last mile, your lungs crave a volume of oxygen that your chest is incapable of providing. Compared to the relaxed breathing as the gun went off, nearing the finish line the chest cavity attempts to expand beyond it limits as your lungs seek more and more oxygen and yet no matter how deeply you breath it’s just never enough. The final mile taxes the body’s ability to fuel the push towards home.
During this last mile, pride propels you forward when everything in you desires to stop, when no one but you would know that you gave into your weakness.
The LAST mile validates that you are the runner you want to be.