Half Marathon Update

Several weeks ago, I registered for the Country Music Half Marathon to be held on April 28. In addition, I extended an invitation to Thomas Nelson employees to run with me.


I offered to give employees who registered a special Dragon-slayer t-shirt just for registering. If they complete the race, I will reimburse their entry fee, give them a $100 gift card, and recognize them at the May “All Employee Meeting.”

In addition, in a subsequent post, I agreed to give the employee’s spouse a t-shift and reimburse their entry fee if they also complete the race.

Believe it or not, we currently have 106 people registered. That represents about 17 percent of our workforce. Frankly, I am stunned—and pleased. Initially, I thought that we would be lucky to get 50. Boy, did I misunderestimate (to use a George Bush term) the commitment and can-do spirit of our people.

But, since we now have 17 percent, I would like to see this go to 20 percent. I think we can do it! With 633 full-time employees, we only need 21 more people to register. Come on, what do you say? I want to challenge those of you who have registered to encourage your co-workers to sign-up. It’s not too late. The race is twelve weeks away, so you still have plenty of time to train.

The training schedule at MarathonRookie.com (which I am following) is a ten-week schedule. If you sign-up now, you still have a couple of weeks to ramp up before the training gets more serious. And, who says you have to run? There are plenty of people who just plan to walk. When I signed up, that’s all I planned to do. My goal was simply to finish. Even if that’s all you do, it is a significant accomplishment.

If you are already signed up, you may want to map out your training, so that you accomplish your goal. I did this yesterday on
a simple spreadsheet
. I took the Half Marathon Training for Beginners program at MarathonRookie.com and modified it slightly. If you click on the previous link, you can download the Excel spreadsheet I created and modify it to suit your own needs. I am running four days a week and lifting weights (strength training) at the YMCA two days a week.

By the way, right after I made my initial announcement, someone sent me an e-mail and asked, “What does running have to do with publishing?” Well, on the surface, nothing. But, there is a bigger issue here: the correlation between fitness, happiness, and productivity.

Study after study shows that people who are fit are happier, more productive, and more balanced in other areas of their lives. Not only do I want employees who are more productive, I want employees who are healthy, happy, and fulfilled. If running helps them move toward this, I am all for it. I know what it’s done for my life, and that’s why I am such an enthusiast.

In fact, we are currently working on an overall wellness program that we hope to announce shortly. We want to include something for everyone, regardless of their current level of fitness. Stay tuned.

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