KAT Construction Oct 2017

OCTOBER 2017 www.katconstructionllc.com (612) 326-1122

The Drive for Self-Improvement What I’ve Learned From Years of Marathons, Triathlons, and an Ironman

“Before I die, I want to run a marathon.”

liked the trio of activities a lot better than just running for 3½ hours. I began signing up for every triathlon within a reasonable distance that I had time to attend, doing many races every year, especially between 2006 and 2008. “I crossed the finish line at a snail’s pace a few weeks later, barely having survived those 26 miles. But, I was happy to report, I had survived it.”

I relaxed in the sauna and went to bed. When I woke up, I didn’t drink water like I should have, instead going straight for the coffee. I realized my mistake while I was waiting at the starting line in the brutal summer heat. But when the shot went off, I charged ahead. For most of the race, I was neck and neck with these two other guys, in the kind of silent agreement you make during a race to pace yourself with one another. When they started to pull ahead, I picked up my pace to keep up, despite a growing dizziness in my head — and woke up in the hospital. Apparently, I passed out from heatstroke, about 20 measly yards from the finish line. Take this as a cautionary tale for any would-be runner: You need to drink water before a race. But that setback didn’t put me off running for long. I got right back into my routine and continued racing. Since I’ve been running KAT Construction, I’ve been forced to back off a little. Though I only run a couple of races a year, I still keep trying to tackle new challenges. Two years ago, I finished my first Ironman. Surprisingly, I felt a lot better after than insane race than after my first marathon. I guess it just goes to show how much dedicated effort pays off — especially when you’ve got a personality as competitive as mine.

This realization hit me out of the blue one ordinary day way back in 2003. I was talking with a friend of mine, a guy who’d recently been forcing himself into running and regular exercise in order to train for an upcoming race. At the time, I wasn’t a big runner. Sure, I’d go for a jog some mornings to get some cardio in, but it wasn’t exactly my passion. But when that thought popped into my So I signed up, some people would say foolishly, for a nearby marathon, coming up in just over seven weeks. I’ve always been a guy who exercises regularly, but, as anyone who’s run one will tell you, marathon training is an entirely different story. Though I was in at least decent shape at the time, the training trials I was running were a serious challenge, ramping up much faster than recommended to compensate for the short window of time I had before the race. I crossed the finish line at a snail’s pace a few weeks later, barely having survived those 26 miles. But, I was happy to report, I had survived it. goal, and there was no looking back.

I had decent success at each of these races, always feeling like I was holding my own against my age group. But, maybe because I got a little cocky, or maybe because my business

prevented me from training, eventually I pushed my body just a little too hard.

I’d completed my goal, but I found it wasn’t enough. The following year, I competed in my first triathlon, and, surprise surprise, I

One weekend, I was vacationing with my family at the in-law’s cabin out west. Hooked on competition as I was, I’d signed up for a race nearby. The night before the race,

–Keith Thompson



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