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WW: Why Waushara?

A man at the marathon starting line


Have you ever visited Waushura County, Wisconsin? This small rural community has little to see besides cornfields and cheese businesses. It also hosts a Boston Qualifying Marathon race. If you enjoy farms or running, consider visiting.

The "Trump in 2024" and "Let's Go Brandon" signs in the front yards of some homes made me feel concerned for my safety, but thankfully, I didn't have any issues.

If running a marathon, 10k, or 5k is on your bucket list, read this post. I have some advice to share with you.

After the American Medical Association Change Med Ed conference in Chicago, I drove four hours to Waushura to compete in the annual Jailbreak Marathon. I made it fifteen minutes before the cutoff time to secure my race packet and complimentary pasta meal. Then, I checked into a hotel for the night.

The next day, I arrived at the starting line thirty minutes before the race’s start time. I completed my pre-race routine of pushups, mountain climbers, Capoeira movements, and active stretches.

When you run your race, plan to get to the starting line with enough time to warm up and feel grounded in the environment.

Ten minutes before we crossed the starting line, the organizers gathered the participants and explained the loop course. The leader discussed the directional signs planted to prevent losing the route and the volunteers' locations alongside the roads. I clarified my last-minute questions, and shortly after that, I trailed the elite runners.

One guy sprinted from the start. He outpaced everyone, and I attempted to stay near until I remembered to run my race.

It’s important to avoid getting carried away in emotion when racing. The crowds, other runners, and adrenaline can make you start faster than you can maintain for the duration. If you obsess about the distance, you will involuntarily slow down before the finish line.

Like anything you pursue, a balance of logical thoughts and emotional responses is fundamental to success.

I don’t always find a happy medium between ideas and feelings, but that's one of the reasons I run. Clarity is often the byproduct of a solid run.

What types of activities help you to think clearly and creatively about projects?

Here is another question.

What motivates you to act? Research suggests you want a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic inspirational sources to sustain progress toward significant goals.

waushara county marathon signs

During the Jailbreak Marathon, the event’s logo motivated me to push harder. It appeared on the course markings. I envisioned the black figures depicted in jail uniforms as the countless people wrongfully imprisoned. I also thought about the incarcerated individuals with untreated mental illnesses.

While we know that everyone in prison is not innocent, the reality of injustices fueled me to continue.

The challenging rolling hill course also helped me to engage in an internal dialogue with God. For two weeks leading up to the race, I experienced tightness in my left leg. I had trouble with lifting and bending it during training runs.

But, during the marathon, I didn’t have any pain in my leg. It was not adrenaline or a runner’s high filled with endorphins that carried me for more than three hours. Something spiritual strengthened and guided me.

How else do you describe an out-of-body experience?

From the spiritual, the push to continue transferred to something more tangible in the later miles. The faces of my family passed through my mind. I also thought about the students and readers like you who may receive inspiration to pursue fitness goals from my exercise feats.

The suffering endured from the tough terrain and distance made me recognize the mental, spiritual, and physical forces propelling me through another marathon.

A man holding two metals from a marathon

As usual, I sprinted in the final stretch to the finish line. When I returned to my car after winning first place in my age group and improving the time from my previous marathon, I voice-recorded my thoughts about the race and how to improve for the next one.

It was a proud moment.

While I didn’t meet the qualifying time to run the Boston Marathon, I maintained a solid pace for most of the miles. I went to Waushara to learn that I needed to get faster after mile 20 and to touch something deeper inside me.

By the time you read this blog post, I’m on day three of a 100 KM, 62 miles ultramarathon in Antigua. The race is a fundraiser for the island's hospital's pediatric unit. To join me in contributing to the cause without lacing your running shoes, visit this website.

If anything I shared with you today encourages you to pursue a health goal, subscribe here. God willing, I don’t die during this week’s ultramarathon, and there will be more inspirational and actionable content for you to read next week!


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