Nigel recently competed in the San Fransisco Half Marathon. We joked about the run before he departed as it was part of a holiday for Nigel so there was never any intention to take the run too seriously. With that in mind Nigel still had a plan to do a good run and enjoy taking on this amazing run in a new city. As it turned out, that relaxed approach may have proven to be a very wise move. After taking out the run at a steady pace, Nigel slowly realized that a PB was within his reach. He increased his pace across the last couple of inclines knowing that it was a ‘fast’ finish with a lot of downhill in the final couple of kilometres. He rolled through to the finish line with a new PB of 1hr 34mins and 13secs. That’s just shy of 14km/hr for those that are keeping track. Nigel was also the first Australian to finish. He was beaten by a New Zealander but we all know that doesn’t count unless it was Russell Crowe.

Likewise, Stav took on the 10km Nike She Runs last Saturday night at Centennia lPark. We decided to use this run as preparation for the Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon on 18th May which will be Stav’s first Half Marathon. The plan which we put in place was to have Stav run 5km beforehand at a steady pace and then run the 10km race at a solid pace, helping to get used to running at a high intensity for the extra time it will take to run the Half Marathon. Again, the ‘no pressure’ approach worked to Stav’s advantage and I’m sure she was suitably shocked to see that she had run a 10km PB of 55mins 19seconds. That’s about 11km/hr average – with a 5km warm-up beforehand!

Of course, it is always nice when we surprise ourselves with a better than expected performance. It is an exhilaration that we all know but rarely experience. What is behind the scenes of these pleasantly surprising scenes of performance is a lot of hard work, commitment and intelligence. If we only look at the performance it is easy to take the attitude that it is all too hard. Milo of Croton could lift a bull and that is shocking and surprising. But Milo trained every day and lifted the calf as it grew, and he grew stronger as the calf grew bigger. The bull was apparently 4 years old when this feat was performed. If you started taking very small steps towards your goal today and practiced just for a few minutes every day where could you be in 4 years time? Lifting a bull? Running a half marathon? Or simply feeling better and happier with your health and fitness?

Nigel and Stav didn’t set out to do the performances they did but we shouldn’t be surprised. Their hard work over many months and years is exactly the reason they performed so well. Congratulations to you both!