So I missed the deadline for my weekly blog goal this past week. I am only a little bummed about it, mostly because I am always blogging to myself in my brain.
My runs have been really good for that lately. In fact, all of my run training is quite possibly the reason I did not write out any of my brain blogs last week. And they have been mentioned in my last several blog entries. So if you are getting tired of my running stories, my apologies. I will return to the regularly-programmed random musings soon. And if you are just now checking in, I promise I write about more than running…I also write a lot about potty training debacles! (I can’t imagine why no one wants to sponsor this blog!!)
Anyway, back to the running…
To recap, I am just a couple short weeks away from my first half-marathon. My first attempt at my long run was pretty nasty. But never being one to know the difference between powering through and killing myself, I took a week off and completed another long run at the end of this week. It went much more smoothly, thank goodness. And it was probably due in large part to my “blogging.”
I love running. I always feel like life’s great mysteries are revealed to me on a jog. Maybe it has to do with the rhythmic breathing. Maybe it has to do with the steady pounding of my feet on the pavement. Or maybe it has to do with the fact that I am exerting myself too much to talk, so I finally have some peace and quiet to think. Whatever the reason, about three quarters into this run I started up a mental dialogue with myself—giving myself a mental high five and a quick pep-talk and calculating why this round was going so much better than the last time. At first I thought it was because I had been building up my endurance. I had been doing a lot of run training, after all. But I disvovered that wasn’t true. It was because of my pace. I had slowed down a little and wound up improving my time, (not to mention my experience,) overall.
Then it dawned on me…this race training has never been a test of my endurance. I have endured much more difficult things than 13.1 miles. Like when I was completing a full college load, and working full-time, and raising a newborn with no money and even less sleep. Or when I took care of a potty-training two-year-old and her week-old brother by myself while my husband was gone for six weeks of military training. Or when I survived all of the ins and outs and ups and downs of a nine month deployment. No, endurance has never been my issue. I have, however, had problems pacing myself.
Like the time when I was completing a full college load, and working full-time, and raising a newborn…
But also during the constant battle I have with myself about whether I want to work, or volunteer, or stay home, or go back to school. Or in the New Year’s resolution lists I make for myself that are 20 items long. Or how I keep piling expectations onto myself about the amount of things that should be accomplished in a single day…or how many family memories should be made in a weekend…or how many miles should be ran in an hour.
We live in a nation where families (and governments) throw themselves into debt because we think we need everything now. Right this minute. And everything in excess. We kill ourselves working to achieve somebody else’s bottom line. To cash this week’s paycheck. We waste twice as much money as we save. We miss twice as many moments as we actually live in.
I spend my life rushing around like time is slipping away from me when I am one of the lucky ones who knows I have an eternity left to live. And this is not to suggest that I should sit around and do nothing because I’ve scraped up some extra time. It is rather a gentle reminder that the timing has never been mine to begin with.
And the one who holds the stopwatch doesn’t really care how fast I finish. He only cares about how I run the race.