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The Finish Is More Important Than the Start

Mark Batterson writes in Wild Good Chase:

I discovered the importance of pacing when running my first triathlon. I did all my training for the swim leg of the race in a pool. And my times were fantastic. But the Atlantic Ocean is no pool. I was confident going into the race. And so on the opening swim leg, I sprinted from the beach to the first buoy. I wanted to be at the front of the pack so I didn't have to embarrass everybody by swimming past them. That's just the kind of guy I am.

Well, let's just say that the ocean ate my lunch! Or more accurately, I drank the ocean. It's amazing what a couple gallons of salt water will do to your stomach. Lora said I looked like a dazed boxer when I finally hit the beach. She was being kind. I started so fast that I couldn't catch my breath the rest of the swim. I'm embarrassed to say that I ended up doing the backstroke instead of freestyle for much of the swim leg. And I learned an important lesson: how you start is not nearly as important as how you finish. And pacing is the key.

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