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"The Final Countdown"

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Written by Pat Curran

Posted on 17 January 2018

Last Updated 17 January 2018



We’re leaving together, but still it’s farewell,

And maybe we’ll come back, to earth, who can tell


I guess there is no one to blame, we’re leaving ground

Will things ever be the same again?


It’s the final countdown!



Europe singing, “The Final Countdown”

To view the music video, click here



First and foremost, CONGRATULATIONS to all who decided to take their “Hero’s Journey” with me. I sincerely hope that this year’s notes helped you see what you are truly capable of when you fully commit. However, I still have one more task for you. Consider taking a moment to write down what you learned and share it with someone you love. Think about it as an investment in their future. From time-to-time, I still look back at my first letter to my girls titled, "Life is a Game of Inches." A lot has changed in my life since I originally wrote this; however, the message still seems extremely relevant.


So, now we’re at the point where we have to part ways. You see, the Hero’s Journey is not simply about training. At some point the “hero” has to split from the pack and go off to do what they need to do. In my case, it’s asking for donations to support our nation’s best and helping others see what’s possible by achieving a very difficult goal.


Next week (Race Week), begins my official call for donations for any of the 5 charity organizations listed below. It’s your opportunity to be a hero for our military, first responders, and children impacted by terrorism worldwide. 100% of your donation goes directly to the charity. My job is to simply make it easier for donors to connect. If these notes have inspired you in any way and you choose to donate, please let me know!


Once again, thank you for helping me stay positive and focused during my training.


Until next week...


God Bless,





Did this week’s message help you? If yes, here’s an opportunity to help other Great Americans, starting at just $25.

  • Fisher House: To donate, here
  • Tuesday’s Children   To donate, click here
  • Wounded Warrior Project: To donate, click here
  • Children of Fallen Patriots: To donate, click here,
  • USO’s Operation Care Package:  To donate, click here



Letters From Your Father –

Belief # 13: I Believe in You!



“There comes a time, thief, when the jewels cease to sparkle, when gold loses its luster, when the throne room becomes a prison, and all that is left is a father’s love for his child.”


Max von Sydow playing King Osric in “Conan the Barbarian”

To view clip, click here

Dear Girls:


Thank you for reading my letters this year. I am now on my final enduring belief. Simply put, I believe you!


Elizabeth, this year you learned the value of throwing yourself completely at something you feel that is worth doing (swimming) and had the wherewithal to look critically at the results to become better on the next try. Don’t ever lose that skill because that’s how true progress is made. We all see the courage in what you’re doing. You’re a role model for the family.


Lauren, you took on several of your fears this summer and made the task simpler by not trying to be perfect the first time. Instead, your first goal was to just show you can be brave and try. And you did! You can’t see it yet, but you are doing things that nearly all of us would not dare to try especially with gymnastics. Just keep going and allow those lessons to inform other parts of your life.


And finally Julia, I’ve never seen a 2 year old try so hard to play with her big sisters and say “Please?” or “Thank you!” or “You OK?” more in my life. There is no question that you possess a strong spirit and kind heart. Allow those two things to guide you decisions no matter what the world throws at you.


Next year will be the final year of “DESTINATION TOUGHMAN.” The larger theme will analyze lessons of the modern day “Hero Myth” and challenge readers to incorporate them into their lives. My final series of personal notes to you will be called “The Hero Within.” From the last 2 years of notes, you have several lessons to consider from some of my major decision points and a perspective to think about for your own faith formation. But what I have not provided you yet is my best advice for understanding the world around you and the skills necessary to help your light shine through.


Keep up the great work girls! As I complete this year’s journals, I feel like you have enough insights to build a relationship with God, not be easily fooled by others, and be the intelligent, confident girls you are born to be. These are the core elements of becoming a leader. And, that is the larger goal: To develop the three of you as thoughtful and compassionate leaders dedicated to making this world a better place.


More notes next year! Until then…


Love You Forever,





This Week in Training:


As I enter the final 2 weeks of training, it’s important to accept that there is nothing more to be gained through long distance, endurance training. That window of opportunity is now closed and my training priorities must shift to the following:

  1. Sleep a minimum of 7 hours each night until race day
  2. Fine tune my nutrition plan; help the body heal
  3. Reduce caffeine to no more than (2) cups of coffee
  4. Continue to drink 10-12 cups of water daily
  5. Technique! Technique!! Technique!!!

This all seems like common sense but so many times the guilt of not training as hard as you’d like causes people to try to cram in miles during the last two weeks. Last year, I made that mistake and paid for it during the race and months afterward.


What I am adding this year during the final 2 weeks is a very high focus on technique. Besides the obvious benefit of small efficiencies adding up to a lot over 6+ hours of racing, I am going to rehearse the last 3 miles of the run in my mind. This is the “make or break” period. If I can clear my mind of everything else other than leaning into my run with good form and getting to the finish line efficiently, I think I will be able to shave a significant amount of time off the clock compared to previous years.


With that in mind, here’s this week’s training plan:


Monday: Swim 10 x 100m; 8 x 400m intervals (Timed Intervals)

Tuesday: Bike 60 min, Run 30 min (increase speed each 400m)

Wednesday: Swim 2000m < 40 min; Bike 60 min @ constant 90 RPM

Thursday: Bike 2.5 hours (rolling hills); Run 2 miles <16 minutes

Friday: Long Stretch, Core Strength Training

Saturday: Run 24 x 400m (Timed Intervals; 30 sec recovery)

Sunday: Stretch; ToughKids Training w/Girls



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