I was running CIM when my sister pointed out a girl, about my age, who was running just ahead of me. “There’s your carrot, Julie. Go get her,” she said in an effort to encourage me to pick up the pace. We were about 20 miles into the marathon and I was not feeling all that good. I was tired and my sister’s cheery, energetic advice was something that I didn’t want to hear, even if it was well meaning. I guess that is why I usually avoid commitments to race with someone.
I have to admit that there are times when chasing a carrot can be beneficial. Today we had an “all hands” meeting where we discussed employee satisfaction survey results and what we can do to improve it. A guy in the back speaks up and says that his direct-reports are chasing a carrot when there isn’t one for him to hand them. Someone in the front says, “who do you want to give you the carrot?” The discussion seems to be going round and round the wrong thing. What is the carrot? Is it imaginary, or is it real? Is it money, monetary gifts, or just a simple thank you? We all want it…just a bit of reward for putting in the extra effort. I just want more recognition for the accomplishments than the disappointments. We all work hard trying to make the difference between success and failure but sometimes the outcome is out of our control.
After the meeting I check my email and head to the fitness center for a 3-mile run on the “mill”. For the next 30 minutes, I won’t think of work; I’ll focus on running. I warm up for a mile with my iPod playing another book on tape that I downloaded. I keep it easy and then prepare for a couple Yasso 800s. I know it’s not the same on a treadmill but every little bit counts. I’m putting in just the little extra effort on the chase to Boston ~ my carrot. I AM chasing the carrot and I know that with a bit more tempo runs, mile repeats, and Yasso 800s, I will be crunching away on it very soon.