I’m sure lots of us have seen the GEICO commercial where car insurance customers are ‘happier than a camel on Wednesday’. The middle of the week is a place where we’re more focused on the upcoming weekend than the start of the week. Thursday and Friday, things seem to go just a little bit smoother as we anticipate the weekend. The days themselves are exactly the same length, and nothing has changed except what we’re anticipating. As I’m working towards my goal of running the Marine Corps Marathon, I’m looking forward to my ‘Hump Day’, where I’m closer to the end of the journey than the beginning. It’s been a challenging effort, and the 85 degree / 90% humidity during my weekend run didn’t make things feel any easier.
Instead of running 15-20 miles as I had planned….I stopped after 10. For the next hour or so, I alternated between disappointment about not finishing the mileage….and realization that with the heat and humidity that it was better to back off for the day, train through the week, and hope for cooler weather next weekend. I did that…but I’m still looking forward to being over the ‘hump’.
Why is that? Why do things seem easier in the last stretch towards a goal, than they do up until we’re over the hump? It can’t be physical – we’re not getting any rest or break on the way to that point….so we’ve got to be more tired than when we started. It’s got to be how we view things – on the way to that point, we’re focused on where we came from – how nice and easy things were over the weekend, before we started the run or started working on the project. It’s only when the starting point is no longer visible, when we can ‘see’ the destination, that we get a little jolt of energy to pick up the pace and get to the finish line.
Remember how tired you felt just a few minutes before? That seems to have disappeared, and new-found energy has taken its place. I think it’s because not only can we ‘see’ the end of the effort, but we’ve also let go of where we started. When we’re still holding on to the past, the last week, the time before we launched the effort, we’re still stuck looking behind at where we’ve been. When we turn our focus to the goal, the finish line or the upcoming weekend, it becomes much easier to work towards the reward.
How can we get better at letting go? The past has shaped us, but the sooner we can let go of where we’ve been, the sooner we can focus on, anticipate and push towards the goal. THAT’S what can get us over the hump.
Now that I’m on to the next week, I’m looking forward to my next long run – it’s supposed to be a 20-miler……and fortunately, the weather seems like it’s going to cooperate. Temperatures are a bit more in line with Fall, and I’ve stopped thinking about Saturday’s run as a failure. I still ran 10 miles in sweltering heat. It all counts, and in just a few days, I’ll be over the hump.
Happy Hump Day, everybody.