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Yesterday was sunny, unseasonably warm and wonderful. I had lots of energy and was excited to start the challenge. I did some good writing and knew my next steps. Then I ran into problems. The website wasn't going live and I was up till 2:00AM trying to upload video to no avail. I didn't get my "way of the day" up either and the site doesn't look the way I want it to. Today is cooler, cloudy and I am very low energy. I am soooo tired. Not the best conditions to start a challenge. I have the world's largest bags under my eyes. I look like Bill Clinton. Maybe I should invest in some cucumber stock. Can you say spa day needed? Starbucks anyone?

One of the 100 day challenge guru's, known as the goals guy, Gary Ryan Blair says, "Start fast. Finish strong." Well, I might not be off to the fastest start. I should've gotten a good night sleep.

When running a marathon, all the runners are herded behind the starting line. They are pooled together based on their hopeful finish time. So, if you think you can finish the race in 4 hours, 30 minutes, you'll be with the 4.30 pace group. This means there are thousands of runners ahead of you. The idea is to stay with your group and finish on time. This theory is great except when you have to stop and wait in line to go to the bathroom and your group keeps going without you. Then you are shit out of luck - no pun intended. Also, a lot of runners from the pack behind you will pass you, which makes you feel like you're running in slow motion. If you are faster than your start group or those running around you, it will be difficult to get ahead because you will inevitably be dodging and pushing through packed crowds of runners just to move forward. All this was frustrating and ultimately slowed me down - the diarrhea didn't help either!

Then I remembered running with the bulls in Pamplona. The friend I had cajoled into partaking in my ludicrous fantasy demanded we get to the race early, so we could line up right at the front of the starting gates, so he would have less of a chance getting run over by a bull or being gored to death. I stupidly said, "But we'll never know what's behind us and we might not see any bulls". I thought the point was to run with the bulls not to out run them! My friend corrected my thinking, reminded me it's called "the running OF the bulls" and now I am grateful because as we ran through the finish line into the arena with the bulls, there were already dead people behind us and plenty of bloodshed to follow, even inside the arena.

I wish I'd used this technique in the marathon - start in the front, with those runners faster and better than me, with more skill and knowledge. I wouldn't have struggled to get ahead and the process would've gone smoother and felt better. I wouldn't have had to mess with any bulls, I would've had time to stop and pee and it doesn't really matter what's behind me. Starting fast might just be starting smart. Finishing strong is reaching your goal and having enough energy to "kick it in" and pick up the pace as you run through the finish line, for a truly victorious finish. It's not hobbling across the line, exhausted, rather being energized by the process and having fuel left over for what's to come. You can finish strong in 3 hours or 6. It's more about how you finish that matters.

So, even though I didn't get enough sleep and am off to a slow start, I know that proper training and perseverance will get me to the finish line and I can still finish strong. I may have to face some bulls along the way but hopefully, it will only be Ferdinand!

For information about "Start fast. Finish strong" or the goals guy, Gary Ryan Blair, author of Everything Counts, go to

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Created by Janet Kohl Oct 23, 2010 at 2:40pm. Last updated by Janet Kohl Oct 23, 2010.




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