The Mile-And Life


Today I ran a sub 5 minute mile for the 21st consecutive year at a low key indoor college track meet (Graceland University-4:45.30). My running journey has been at the non elite level (4:14.30 best ever), but I value the time and health God has given me to use this gift and compete. The PR and the streak of sub fives are representative of the running journey I’ve had. Whether it’s the years of dedicated training only to be a non elite, or the development of mental toughness, or the wonderful people who have come into my life as a result. I’ve had the privilege of interacting with so many great people as a result of running from teammates, to coaches, to athletes I now coach, or family and spectators. I’ve even met so many wonderful people who didn’t really consider themselves runners but did indeed run (a local 5k, etc) who I first crossed paths with because of running.

Both my PR and the streak represent something that took a lot of work and dedication-just to be decent. That process has helped develop character traits that carry over to life and work. So regardless of whether I ever made it—the mile helped make me. My timeline below is a glimpse of how long it can take to make modest progress sometimes and all the effort that goes into even small improvements. Training year round for the past two decades and at times it yielded only modest improvements, but I did know when I stepped to the starting line each time that I had done the work. I wouldn’t give back the training miles regardless of the results. Running miles early in the morning is a unique way to enjoy Gods creation that few people outside of runners may understand.

5th Grade PE timed mile 1991-5:45
6th Grade PE timed mile 1992-5:30
7th Grade-5:19 Equiv
8th Grade Track 1994 5:15
9th Grade Track 1995 5:02
10th Grade Track 1996 4:55-1st Year
11th Grade Track 1997 4:42
12th Grade Track 1998 4:39
1999 Freshman college 4:32 Equiv
2000 Sophomore college 4:26 Equiv
2001 Jr Year College 4:18 Equiv
2002 Sr Year College 4:18 Equiv
2003 Cox Medical Mile (4:14.30) PR
2004 4:26 mile equiv
2005 4:27 Cox Medical Mile
2006 4:29 Equiv
2007 4:47 Equiv
2008 4:52 Time Trial
2009 4:47 Equiv
2010 4:47 Leon Iowa Dirt Track
2011 4:51 Equiv
2012 4:31 Equiv (Iowa Games)
2013 4:24 Time Trial
2014 4:47 Equiv
2015 4:50 Corydon Road Mile
2016 4:45.30 Graceland Indoor Mile-21st Year


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12 thoughts on “The Mile-And Life

  1. Thanks for sharing, Reece. I can relate to the dedication and discipline of running you speak of in your post. Your results re-affirm for me my dedication to the early morning runs, speed workout days, long runs, tempos, fartleks, hills, and all the crazy stuff we do!

  2. I love the image you’ve chosen to accompany this post – it’s so appropriate. Well done on your awesome streak πŸ™‚

  3. Amazing timeline, image and inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Very awesome. I love the dedication that you have.. It inspires me to just always strive for the best for my PR

  5. Impressive dedication. It’s always interesting to me, a non-athlete, to see how the hard work that runners, or anyone who participates in sports on any level, flows over into their lives on the whole. Discipline and dedication that is inspiring.

  6. What simple advice would you give to those just looking to get in shape. Should I just start walking / elliptical training? I am really weak due to inactivity. I paid the price for lying in bed too much! Thanks for liking my blog post on The trouble with Crowd-Funding!

  7. goalliedathletes on said:

    This is a great post, particularly because you show the dedication it takes to perform at an elite level. Thanks for sharing!! Because of this common bond that we have as athletes, we’ve created a website that brings together former and current athletes and provides a supportive and non-judgmental space for individuals to share their athletic triumphs and struggles with one another (See the forums page and members and events page). We’d love to hear an account of how running has influenced you (anonymously if you would like). Thank you for your consideration! Keep up the fantastic work! Margaret

  8. It’s amazing to see how many years you’ve dedicated to your craft, and it’s amazing how you’ve ran sub 5’s for YEARS! Wonderful post, got me feeling a little bit better about my progress in my own goals πŸ™‚

  9. @fitone on said:

    That’s definitely a sign of mental toughness πŸ™‚

  10. Your dedication is impressive. The fact is that the success really is an iceberg. In the time leading up to my black belt test, I faced more mental resistance in my training than I think I ever have in my life — and it all accumulated in about 30 minutes to an hour of testing; a time period very short compared to the journey leading up to it.

    I think that the people who have had to fight for what they have stand out from others when you know what to look for — they carry themselves differently, have a different look in their eye, and are usually immeasurably more hard-working than the general population. I couldn’t say for certain without meeting you, but I would imagine you’re one of those people.

    Great article!

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