An example of determination

In the past years I’ve had the opportunity of participating in B2Run, a company run taking place in several major cities in Germany. This year I made it to the 5 fastest athletes of the Vodafone Runners community, which won the team run in Düsseldorf on June 23rd! This basically meant that we were invited to participate in the B2Run Final in Berlin this month, to compete with finalists from other cities such as Hannover, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich.

I had a rough week with lots of business travel and deficient sleep. While travelling Berlin the plan was to work the early morning hours and get some sleep on the train before hitting Berlin. Needless to say that when I looked out of the window, the train was suddenly in Berlin already. After a late pasta lunch and a half-hour nap where I literally crashed in the hotel bedroom, it was time to leave for the race venue. I felt broken, sleepy and heavy…

As soon as our party left the hotel, the sky went dark and literally poured down on us. As we ran towards the train station, our 10 min run changed from a warmup session to a wet and cold experience. When we got to the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, a locale both full of modernity and sour historical memories, we were soaked!

To everyone’s surprise we were greeted with dry weather at the starting line. With a fatigued body and mind, I fought to find my inner strength and the motivation to push myself forward into race mode. These are the events where one seeks to go beyond limits, fight its inner demons and prove that one can just do better than all previous races. Race ready to start, I kept thinking: what is my motivation? Where is my strength? How fit am? How determined am I really to do it?

For long I’ve found that my motivation is personal. Social engagement is good for commitment, when you’re uncertain whether you should participate in an event or not. Announcing it to the world is a great step forward to ensure that it will get done. In a race built for speed the emotions are quite different from the ones I’m passionate about when trail running, e.g. enjoying the run, absorbing the landscape and nature around me… What is coming is pain and a need for an absolute focus on target. My mind plays tricks on me… why should I go through that pain?

Virtually slapping myself, I got it together, reviewed the motivational words from The Grind, leveraged on the fact that I was not running alone but as part of a 5-strong team, recalled all the intervals sessions in the track & field and the work done in previous weeks… race mode here we are… shot went off and here we go!!!

The race was very challenging but the result absolutely rewarding, as I covered 6.5K in 24m12s, hitting a PB on the 5K distance.

Full race stats were:

  • Distance: 6.5K
  • Individual time: 24m12s, placed 131 of 9000 overall
  • Team time: 1h57m19s, placed 7th of 870 teams
  • All team members got a place in the top 150, Marko hitting an individual times of 21m46s, Jörg finishing in 23m17s, Johannes in 23m34s, myself in 24m12s and Kieran in 24m28s. Well done guys!

Vodafone B2Run Final 2015 team

Looking back at the demons in my head at the start of the race, I’m quite happy with the result. I wonder though… where does one get its motivation from? How does it work for you? How determined are you on your endeavours?

As we left the Olympic Stadium towards the hotel, rain started falling again from the sky as if there would be no tomorrow. Oh well… thoughts in our minds were set already on next year’s race, which we look forward to participate in.

The more I run for speed though, the more I understand there is a lot to improve and so much to learn… especially on how to control your mind to succeed.

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