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On Monday, April 20, roughly 31,500 people will leave in waves from the starting line of the Boston Marathon. They’ll spend the next few hours running down city sidewalks, climbing hills, and navigating descents. It might be pouring rain, like it was in 2018, or it might be an apocalyptic 89 degrees like it was in 2012. Rain or shine, I’ve heard it’s an incredibly difficult course to pull off. I don’t spend much time thinking about marathons these days, but once upon a time, I was one of those runners lined up to kick my own butt. I didn’t run the Boston Marathon, but I did run the Chicago Marathon — twice. If you didn’t know me 20 years ago, that might surprise you. I hung up my running shoes in my early 40s, but running was a big part of my life back then. In my late 20s, a cardiac scare got me hooked on the sport. The event turned out to be nothing — just a combination of too much caffeine and too much stress — but it still scared me enough for a trip to the emergency room. The doctors told me I should probably quit drinking seven Diet Cokes a day, get some sleep, and try to relax (shocking), but I decided to get in better shape, too, and thought running would be a good way to do it. At first, I took the “walk a block, run a block” approach. Eventually, I started doing a little more running then walking, and after a while, I thought, “Hey, why not try a 5K?” I still remember that first race vividly: It was the Marion Turkey Trot, and I was so nervous. Considering I went on to run a 10K, then 15 or 20 half-marathons, and then two marathons, those nerves seem silly to me now. But back then, it felt like a huge moment. Funnily enough, my biggest takeaway from the Turkey Trot was this: You know you aren’t in great shape when, about 200 yards from the finish line, an older woman with her kid in a stroller jogs right by you and beats you to it. Still, I did finish the race! WHY I STARTED (THEN STOPPED) RUNNING MARATHONS THE MAKING OF A MARATHONER
of making it through those 26.2 miles, and I was completely hooked on running. In fact, I’d probably still be going on morning runs today if my Achilles tendon hadn’t gotten in the way. If I got into running with a bang, I went out with a whimper. One day, about a mile into one of my regular morning runs, I got a sharp pain in the middle of my left calf that shot down into the arch of my foot. When I eventually went to see a doctor about it, they told me that, over my decade of running, enough scar tissue had built up around an old Achilles tendon injury that I’d either need to quit running or have surgery. I decided I didn’t want to keep running that badly . Now, I still do some kind of workout every day. I’m a big Beach Body guy, so more often than not, I’ll stream one of those workouts on my phone in the morning, lift some weights, or do cardio. Over the years, I’ve found that what I do is less important than that I do something . Working out is really all about having the discipline to do something you don’t feel like doing, because you know you’ll be better off after you do it. I think that applies to work, too. Getting through a tough day of meetings is a heck of a lot like dragging yourself out of bed and pulling on four layers for a morning run in the dead of winter. Luckily, as an entrepreneur, I bring the same level of dedication to both. If you’ve got a tough investment question or a challenging proposition, I’m your guy.
It took me about four years to work up to running my first marathon and another three to cross a second one off my list. I was really proud
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