An Invitation to Run a Half-Marathon

My wife, Gail, loves to walk outdoors. She likes the fresh air. The scenery. The sense of connecting with God’s creation. For her, it is all about the process of walking.

A Motion Blur of People Running a Marathon - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/soupstock, Image #1722120

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/soupstock

Not me. I’m all about the destination—or the results. This isn’t necessarily better. In fact, it’s probably not. On the Strengths Finder test, “Achiever” is my number one strength. Unless I have a concrete goal, the process doesn’t mean much. (I apologize to my “Relator” friends.)

So, to be consistent at exercise, I need a goal. And, for me, the bigger the better.

So, at the urging of a couple of friends, I have decided to run the Country Music Half Marathon on April 28. This will be a challenge. I am currently running about 20–25 miles a week. Still, I have never run anything longer than about six miles. But I have 15 weeks to get ready. I figure that is plenty of time. (Said like a true first-timer!)

Because misery loves company—and because I love working with a team—I’d like to invite you to join me. That’s right YOU. Not some other guy or gal reading this post, but you. Maybe you can’t run it all (it’s 13.1 miles), but you can walk it. That’s just as good. You really don’t have an excuse. Even people in wheel chairs will be participating!

The Country Music Half Marathon looks truly unique. The event features 50 live bands playing along the course and 25 high school cheerleading squads. (You gotta love Nashville.) It will also feature a post-run concert “featuring one of country music’s name acts.” It costs $75.00 to register for the half-marathon and $90 for the full marathon.

If you want to participate, I encourage you to go public with your commitment. Register your resolve in the comments section below. You can run either a half-marathon or a full marathon. But you must register soon, because they are only allowing 18,000 participants to run in the half-marathon. They expect to sell out.

And, if you are a Thomas Nelson employee, I’ve got an offer you can’t refuse. First, go ahead and register for the race. Next, notify Suzanne Thompson that you have done so. I have asked her to serve as our official team leader. We will then give you an official “Thomas Nelson Dragon Slayer” t-shirt. Here’s the cool part. If you complete at least the half-marathon—even if you only walk—you will receive the following:

  1. Reimbursement for your registration fee.
  2. A $100 gift card to The Mirror Restaurant (my new favorite)
  3. Official public recognition at the May “All Employee Meeting”

Why am I doing this? I need the accountability and the encouragement. And, I believe you can profit from it, too. Plus, I believe that if it motivates you to workout on a consistent basis, you will be a more productive, happy employee.

Question: So, what do you say? Will you come run with me?
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  • http://www.wmarkwhitlock.com W. Mark Whitlock

    Mike,
    I committed to run the marathon last fall. I have been training, but not as regularly as I should have. My blog (www.wmarkwhitlock.com) has a countdown timer descending to the gun for the Country Music marathon. I’ve also created a run blog (wmwruns.blogspot.com) where I chronicle my daily struggles and workouts.

    I encourage all takers to consider Jeff Galloway’s training schedule (http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/index.html). He’s the expert in injury-free running. He’s doing a FREE clinic Saturday morning at Fleet Feet in Brentwood. I can’t go due to a previous commitment with my children, but I encourage all to go for the 5K training run, Q&A with Jeff, and an opportunity to have your feet and shoes inspected.

    What a generous offer as a way of incentive. Thank you.

    Related to slaying dragons, I have something to add to the metaphor. In order to slay the dragons before breakfast, one must prepare his armor and sword the night before. I needed to run this morning. I didn’t get all of my gear (shoes, socks, long underwear, flashlight, etc.) together last night. This morning, I wasted so much time that I gave up and didn’t run.

    So, again, if you want to slay your dragons before breakfast, prepare your armor and sword the night before.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    Mark,

    I love the extension of the metaphor. I do prepare my “sword and armor” each evening. That truly is the key to success.

    I will definitely check out Jeff Galloway. I am also reading Chi Running, which is supposed to be an injury-free way to run.

    Thanks for your input,

    Mike

  • http://www.wmarkwhitlock.com/ W. Mark Whitlock

    Mike,
    I committed to run the marathon last fall. I have been training, but not as regularly as I should have. My blog (www.wmarkwhitlock.com) has a countdown timer descending to the gun for the Country Music marathon. I've also created a run blog (wmwruns.blogspot.com) where I chronicle my daily struggles and workouts.

    I encourage all takers to consider Jeff Galloway's training schedule (http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/index.html). He's the expert in injury-free running. He's doing a FREE clinic Saturday morning at Fleet Feet in Brentwood. I can't go due to a previous commitment with my children, but I encourage all to go for the 5K training run, Q&A with Jeff, and an opportunity to have your feet and shoes inspected.

    What a generous offer as a way of incentive. Thank you.

    Related to slaying dragons, I have something to add to the metaphor. In order to slay the dragons before breakfast, one must prepare his armor and sword the night before. I needed to run this morning. I didn't get all of my gear (shoes, socks, long underwear, flashlight, etc.) together last night. This morning, I wasted so much time that I gave up and didn't run.

    So, again, if you want to slay your dragons before breakfast, prepare your armor and sword the night before.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    Mark,

    I love the extension of the metaphor. I do prepare my "sword and armor" each evening. That truly is the key to success.

    I will definitely check out Jeff Galloway. I am also reading Chi Running, which is supposed to be an injury-free way to run.

    Thanks for your input,

    Mike

  • http://bonniescalhoun.blogspot.com Bonnie Calhoun

    God bless you! I will pray that you succeed! But as for myself…I have a hard enough time staying on the treadmill!

    Oh, I love the new look by the way! Very you!

  • http://bonniescalhoun.blogspot.com/ Bonnie Calhoun

    God bless you! I will pray that you succeed! But as for myself…I have a hard enough time staying on the treadmill!

    Oh, I love the new look by the way! Very you!

  • Vilmantas

    > So, what do you say?

    I would like to be a Thomas Nelson employee :-)

  • Vilmantas

    > So, what do you say?

    I would like to be a Thomas Nelson employee :-)

  • http://wowimo.blogspot.com KIP

    What a great commitment to yourself and to your employees! I always wondered why one company I worked at would bring in “treats” on Fridays (i.e. donuts and pastries) but then hold weight loss seminars that no one attended . The average weight gain at the company was 15 pounds.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. As the poster above mentions, this makes me want to be a Thomas Nelson employee. Good luck and keep us updated on the endeavor.

  • Christine Jones

    Mike,
    I am taking you up on your challenge and I am going to try to convince my husband to sign up as well. Every year brings new commitments to be healthy and exercise – I think this is an excellent goal “end point” that is achievable. Four months seems like such a short period of time to be able to get to the point of being able to run a half marathon. The sad thing it is easy to let even bigger chunks of time pass by without making any meaningful commitments.
    I hope to run, but know I can walk. Thank you for the invitation and the incentives! It’s good to be a Thomas Nelson employee!

    Mark,
    Thanks for the information on Jeff Galloway’s website. It appears if we start next week, we can nearly finish the training program he has on there for a half marathon!

  • http://www.WinningMan.com Pete Thomas

    Mike,

    Great ideal. Although I won’t be able to make it to Nashville I will commit to sign up for the Cleveland Marathon which is closer to me.

    Someone may also want to consider Phil Mofftone’s running methods which basically cause one to go faster by slowing down. It is also a great program for beginners who do not want to walk (i.e. Galloway) since it is based upon heart rate and not time.

    I will post the blog about it as soon as my site gets its much needed update. If anyone wants information on his methods immediately they should email me through my site.

    Pete Thomas

    of NBC’s The Biggest Loser

    http://www.WinningMan.com

  • http://wowimo.blogspot.com/ KIP

    What a great commitment to yourself and to your employees! I always wondered why one company I worked at would bring in "treats" on Fridays (i.e. donuts and pastries) but then hold weight loss seminars that no one attended . The average weight gain at the company was 15 pounds.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. As the poster above mentions, this makes me want to be a Thomas Nelson employee. Good luck and keep us updated on the endeavor.

  • Christine Jones

    Mike,
    I am taking you up on your challenge and I am going to try to convince my husband to sign up as well. Every year brings new commitments to be healthy and exercise – I think this is an excellent goal "end point" that is achievable. Four months seems like such a short period of time to be able to get to the point of being able to run a half marathon. The sad thing it is easy to let even bigger chunks of time pass by without making any meaningful commitments.
    I hope to run, but know I can walk. Thank you for the invitation and the incentives! It's good to be a Thomas Nelson employee!

    Mark,
    Thanks for the information on Jeff Galloway's website. It appears if we start next week, we can nearly finish the training program he has on there for a half marathon!

  • http://www.WinningMan.com/ Pete Thomas

    Mike,

    Great ideal. Although I won't be able to make it to Nashville I will commit to sign up for the Cleveland Marathon which is closer to me.

    Someone may also want to consider Phil Mofftone's running methods which basically cause one to go faster by slowing down. It is also a great program for beginners who do not want to walk (i.e. Galloway) since it is based upon heart rate and not time.

    I will post the blog about it as soon as my site gets its much needed update. If anyone wants information on his methods immediately they should email me through my site.

    Pete Thomas

    of NBC’s The Biggest Loser
    http://www.WinningMan.com

  • TNI Employee

    I would like to point out another thing that Thomas Nelson does for their employee is offer the Weight Watchers at work program. If I remember correctly the group had lost as a whole over 1150 pounds. I think the company as a whole deserves two thumbs up for caring about getting healthy even if a $100 gift card isn’t always offered.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    The Weight Watchers program is great. It is a very sensible approach, and I have seen lots of our people drop significant weight using it. Love it!

  • Scott Schwertly

    Mike,

    There are some great half and full marathon training programs at http://www.halhigdon.com. I have used these workouts for my last few races, and I highly recommend it.

    I love that the program alternates between hard and easy days with one big long run. It makes it easy to tackle. Right now, I am using the Intermediate II marathon training program.

    I hope to see you out there on April 28th!

    Scott

  • TNI Employee

    I would like to point out another thing that Thomas Nelson does for their employee is offer the Weight Watchers at work program. If I remember correctly the group had lost as a whole over 1150 pounds. I think the company as a whole deserves two thumbs up for caring about getting healthy even if a $100 gift card isn’t always offered.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    The Weight Watchers program is great. It is a very sensible approach, and I have seen lots of our people drop significant weight using it. Love it!

  • Scott Schwertly

    Mike,

    There are some great half and full marathon training programs at http://www.halhigdon.com. I have used these workouts for my last few races, and I highly recommend it.

    I love that the program alternates between hard and easy days with one big long run. It makes it easy to tackle. Right now, I am using the Intermediate II marathon training program.

    I hope to see you out there on April 28th!

    Scott

  • Mark Schoenwald

    Mike,
    Count me in. I signed up this am.
    Great opportunity to step up and lead by example. I have never run this far but with training, support from others and commitment, we can all break thru any self imposed barriers. Growth lies in the path of boldness, so lets go run.
    Who else out there at TNI is up for the challenge?
    Mark

  • Mark Schoenwald

    Mike,
    Count me in. I signed up this am.
    Great opportunity to step up and lead by example. I have never run this far but with training, support from others and commitment, we can all break thru any self imposed barriers. Growth lies in the path of boldness, so lets go run.
    Who else out there at TNI is up for the challenge?
    Mark

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    Mark,

    Atta boy! I love the thought of doing this together. Now I am going to need to get serious about my training!

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    Mark,

    Atta boy! I love the thought of doing this together. Now I am going to need to get serious about my training!

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • Anonymous

    You aren’t the only one who needs accountability and the encouragement. Don’t forget little fact.

  • Anonymous

    You aren't the only one who needs accountability and the encouragement. Don't forget little fact.

  • http://www.topflightmarketing.com Christopher Nalty

    Mike-

    I’ve been following you for awhile. Nice idea! I committed to and ran in the Twin Cities Marathon last October. (Made it 19 miles before cramping up). I used Jeff Galloway’s program and would recommend it to anyone.

    The great thing about Galloway is you don’t have to beat yourself up.

    When running, if I feel tired or not motivated, I think to myself that I may not be able to go the next mile or five miles, but I certainly can go the next minute.

    This really helps keep things in perspective when looking at the big picture. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

    I cannot make Nashville, but I will commit to run in the Grandmas’ Half-Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota. Saturday, June 16, 2007. Let’s see if I can get my wife to join me…

    Good luck with the training. Remember, with God, all things are possible!

    Chris

  • http://www.topflightmarketing.com/ Christopher Nalty

    Mike-

    I've been following you for awhile. Nice idea! I committed to and ran in the Twin Cities Marathon last October. (Made it 19 miles before cramping up). I used Jeff Galloway's program and would recommend it to anyone.

    The great thing about Galloway is you don't have to beat yourself up.

    When running, if I feel tired or not motivated, I think to myself that I may not be able to go the next mile or five miles, but I certainly can go the next minute.

    This really helps keep things in perspective when looking at the big picture. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

    I cannot make Nashville, but I will commit to run in the Grandmas' Half-Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota. Saturday, June 16, 2007. Let's see if I can get my wife to join me…

    Good luck with the training. Remember, with God, all things are possible!

    Chris

  • http://thebusinessoftechnology.blogspot.com Rick

    Mike, I wasn’t going to run the Country Music this year, but when Regina saw that you were offering gift cards to The Mirror (one of her favorite resturants also), she begged me to. Being the dutiful husband that I am, I told her that I wouldn’t do it unless she entered also. Now we’re both in it and we’ve dragged her sister in as well.

    See ya at the finish line!

    Rick

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    Rick,

    I am so glad that I included spouses in this. Three cheers for Regina! I’m glad you are both going to do it. Now let’s recruit a few others!

    Mike

  • http://thebusinessoftechnology.blogspot.com/ Rick

    Mike, I wasn't going to run the Country Music this year, but when Regina saw that you were offering gift cards to The Mirror (one of her favorite resturants also), she begged me to. Being the dutiful husband that I am, I told her that I wouldn't do it unless she entered also. Now we're both in it and we've dragged her sister in as well.

    See ya at the finish line!

    Rick

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    Rick,

    I am so glad that I included spouses in this. Three cheers for Regina! I'm glad you are both going to do it. Now let's recruit a few others!

    Mike

  • Dan Lynch

    Ok Mike and team…. I’ve officially registered. When I read my wife who has run the Chicago full marathon in the past Mike’s email she encouraged me. When the spouse offer was made, I was in…. this will be a first for me. I’ve never been a runner, but have due to the at work Weight Watcher program dropped 44 pounds over the past six months and have been in the gym 3-4 times each week during that period. I may be walking or lightly jogging but Kim and I will cross that finish line. Thanks for the extra push…. Let the race begin!
    –Dan

  • Dan Lynch

    Ok Mike and team…. I've officially registered. When I read my wife who has run the Chicago full marathon in the past Mike's email she encouraged me. When the spouse offer was made, I was in…. this will be a first for me. I've never been a runner, but have due to the at work Weight Watcher program dropped 44 pounds over the past six months and have been in the gym 3-4 times each week during that period. I may be walking or lightly jogging but Kim and I will cross that finish line. Thanks for the extra push…. Let the race begin!
    –Dan

  • Anonymous

    Dan,

    Awesome! I may not run the whole thing either. We’ll see. The main thing is finishing. I went seven miles yesterday. That was the longest I’ve ever run. (Well, actually, I ran & walked.) It felt great!

    Glad you are in!

    Mike

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    Dan,

    Awesome! I may not run the whole thing either. We’ll see. The main thing is finishing. I went seven miles yesterday. That was the longest I’ve ever run. (Well, actually, I ran & walked.) It felt great!

    Glad you are in!

    Mike

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    Dan,

    Awesome! I may not run the whole thing either. We'll see. The main thing is finishing. I went seven miles yesterday. That was the longest I've ever run. (Well, actually, I ran & walked.) It felt great!

    Glad you are in!

    Mike

  • Anonymous

    Dan,

    Awesome! I may not run the whole thing either. We'll see. The main thing is finishing. I went seven miles yesterday. That was the longest I've ever run. (Well, actually, I ran & walked.) It felt great!

    Glad you are in!

    Mike

  • Laura Minchew

    I’m in…for the Half!
    Ran the CMM 1/2 Marathon 2 years ago and it was loads of fun. Thanks for making the company offer to participate. I was on the bubble and this gave me the push I needed to go for it. See you running around Franklin.

    BTW, I really enjoy your blogs.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    Laura,

    Fantastic! I’ll look for you on the road.

    Also, glad you like the blogs. (You should start one!)

    Mike

  • Laura Minchew

    I'm in…for the Half!
    Ran the CMM 1/2 Marathon 2 years ago and it was loads of fun. Thanks for making the company offer to participate. I was on the bubble and this gave me the push I needed to go for it. See you running around Franklin.

    BTW, I really enjoy your blogs.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    Laura,

    Fantastic! I'll look for you on the road.

    Also, glad you like the blogs. (You should start one!)

    Mike

  • Scott Phillips

    Mike–

    Here’s proof to the power of suggestion and incentives. Because of your “nudge” and incentive to Thomas Nelson employees I have signed up for the Music City half-marathon.

    I am not a “big” runner and have never run more than 3-4 miles without stopping. However, I look at running 13 miles as a mountain I MUST climb.

    One of my passions is wilderness hiking and backpacking. This discipline should help me to get in the best shape of my life.

    I look at this as a great challenge. For me, the positives gained from this discipline will be a great personal reward.

    Thanks for your encouragement.

  • Scott Phillips

    Mike–

    Here's proof to the power of suggestion and incentives. Because of your "nudge" and incentive to Thomas Nelson employees I have signed up for the Music City half-marathon.

    I am not a "big" runner and have never run more than 3-4 miles without stopping. However, I look at running 13 miles as a mountain I MUST climb.

    One of my passions is wilderness hiking and backpacking. This discipline should help me to get in the best shape of my life.

    I look at this as a great challenge. For me, the positives gained from this discipline will be a great personal reward.

    Thanks for your encouragement.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    Scott, I’m so happy you have joined our happy little group. I think we have about 26 people signed up so far! Make sure you let Suzanne know. Thanks.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    Scott, I'm so happy you have joined our happy little group. I think we have about 26 people signed up so far! Make sure you let Suzanne know. Thanks.

  • martie

    wow. i don’t even work for your company and i am impressed! i bet you have some very faithful employees. you obviously know how to run a successful company.

    i ran the country music half last year and boy what a great feeling when you cross the finish line and relize your goal.

    i never post but i was FLOORED to see this post. best of luck on your running adventures….

  • martie

    wow. i don't even work for your company and i am impressed! i bet you have some very faithful employees. you obviously know how to run a successful company.

    i ran the country music half last year and boy what a great feeling when you cross the finish line and relize your goal.

    i never post but i was FLOORED to see this post. best of luck on your running adventures….