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MCM Race Review: “It’s Time to Listen to My Own Advice”

The 42nd Marine Corps Marathon was my 5th marathon. Looking back, I had a gaping hole in my training. I only conducted one long run of 20 miles and during that run, I spent the last few miles of it hobbling because of an inflamed IT band. Despite two appointments with my chiro, and what I thought was adequate rest, I was hoping that I’d be able to qualify for The Boston Marathon.

I developed a race plan, that was aggressive but seemingly within my reach. I was excited to execute my plan perfectly hitting every milestone I set for myself, including leaving 50 minutes to run my last 10K to achieve my most aggressive goal, or 60 minutes to still hit the qualification standard. Unfortunately, my IT band gave out on me at the 20 mile mark. This forced me to painfully gallop/walk the last 10K in a mentally exhausting 95 minutes missing my qualification standard.

So, what now? Frustrated, defeated, and questioning if marathons should be part of my future, I had a conversation with a couple of my long term and closest clients/friends.  Their words of wisdom were enlightening, yet, I’ve heard them before…in fact, they were a regurgitation of the advice I’ve given to clients numerous times.

When we want to reach our goals, we need to swallow our pride and ask for help. No matter what we think we know OR think we SHOULD be able to do on our own, we need to look outside of ourselves to get the help that we need. I need help. I need someone to help me filter out all the voices inside my head and develop a plan.

I’ll run another marathon, but not until I discuss all the options with my new coaches. I made an easy decision to hire my friends Lisa and Julie from Run Further and Faster (RFF). I know what I am capable of, and I am excited to finally reach my potential and I know RFF can help me reach my potential.

More importantly, to everyone reading this. I hope you realize that every professional athlete has at least one, and typically many coaches helping them reach their goals. Pop music stars have singing coaches, agents and managers to help guide them. CEOs have life coaches, business coaches, and executive coaches. The most successful people surround themselves with people who can help them. If you have goals and aren’t reaching your full potential, seek out the people that can help you. Sarge Fitness is happy to be your fitness coach and help you reach your fitness potential, all you need to do is ask and Sarge will be there for you!

Tom Kalka is the President and CEO of Sergeant’s Fitness Concepts. In addition, to being a successful business owner and fitness instructor, he is a loving husband, father of 3 and dog owner. When he isn’t helping others achieve their fitness goals or training for his next race, he enjoys spending time with his family, volunteering at local community events and supporting military veteran organizations.

Keep up with Tom, see his latest stats and athletic achievements on

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