Hard Work Pays Off

In honor of Global Running Day, I went out to the local track and I did a mile run time trial. I haven't run an all out mile in about 10 months so I was really excited to see what I was capable of on the track.


I got to the track at 9:30am with a strong level of focus and I was ready to send it for four laps. This feeling has been lacking since COVID began because racing has virtually disappeared, so it was good to feel a sliver of competition again. I did my warmup which consisted of one mile, dynamic stretching, another mile, then 100m strides and felt ready to go, but a sense of doubt began to creep into my head as I toed the line.


My mile from last September had been a 6:25 and at the time that was monumental. I had never run a sub 7:00 mile so I was pumped, but I think I had doubt in my ability today because of the unknown. During my 100m strides I tried to get my pace up to a 5:50 which was my goal and it felt hard so this automatically made my mind go to the worst case scenario: "There's no possible way you can hold this for four laps."


As many people have stated in all arenas of life, the mind plays a significant role on performance. I knew I had the ability to run sub 6:00, but my mind was trying to dispute this fact. I had to put this aside and get ready to compete.


I started my watch and took off. I came out at a 5:15 pace on lap 1 and progressively slowed throughout the next three laps. Going all out for a mile is extremely difficult and a true mental test especially when it's just you on the track.


I kept pushing and finished in 5:45 and I couldn't have been happier. On today's podcast with UGA runners Jess & Sam Drop we discussed our middle school mile times and it made me remember my 8:50 when I came in right in front of the kids that walked. Then I thought of a workout back from Lafayette where we had to run a mile and my 340 pound former self was close to a lap behind my fellow 300 pound linemen teammates. I never could've imagined running sub 6 in my entire life and today I cleared it by 15 seconds.


This just shows that ANYTHING can be accomplished with work and hunger. I've focused on running for a year and a half now and its given me so much. It has helped me lose 50 pounds and gave me happiness again after encountering the adversity of losing my first true love...Football.


Not only has running given me a lot, but its also helped me give to others through coaching and fundraising. There's nothing like running for a cause and knowing that every step you take is for a greater purpose than yourself. Without running, I don't know where I'd be and it's real privilege to get to spread this message everyday through my blog, website, podcast, and social media platforms.


So running...I can't thank you enough.


What are your thoughts on hard work paying off? I'd love to hear! Send me an email or reach out on social media.

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Tanner Kern is a 22 year content creator and endurance athlete from Connecticut. He is the host of The Tanner Kern Podcast and creator of "It's a Process: My Tips for Becoming the Best Version of Yourself."

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