Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November 10, 2010 – 3.75 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

This morning’s (Yes! I dragged my bones outta bed in the morning) run was just OK. I didn’t enjoy it very much at all. I took Sarah and she made it a tempo run, which is something I really need to start doing. Unfortunately, I am at a point in my fitness where it’s no longer OK for me to “Just Finish”. I’ve done 2 half marathons and countless 5 and 10ks, so now, I really need to be working on a PR every time I race. This means I need to work on speed now that endurance is reasonably in hand.

This was the first run I’ve done in quite a while (about 6 days) and I really wasn’t looking forward to it. But God had given me a poke this morning and as usual, if He brought me to it, I knew He’d bring me through it. The entire time was miserable and I just kept thinking of how glad I would be when it was over and how thrilled I’d be that I had done it! I could consider myself a success today, even if I didn't do a single useful thing for the rest of the day!

I had a Bazi Energy Shot this morning. I’d never taken one of those before a run and I was interested to see if it would give me the boost I needed. I’m not sure that it did. I’ll run without it tomorrow and see how it goes.

Mile 1 was not too bad, which was good for me. Usually I really don’t like mile one. It was at a pretty decent pace for me so after I got to that point, I walked for a bit because I knew I wanted to recover enough to be able to sprint once I got to the turn around point.

Mile 2 and 3 were good. I was feeling fine and most of it was a pretty good pace for me. However, I just really don’t think it helped my time all that much. It still took about 40 minutes to complete the run, which is how long it takes me when I’m at my normal steady pace.

I know I should be working on speed and striving to do better and beat my last race time, but it really does seem that working on speed robs me of the joy I get from running. I find myself wondering if it’s worth it.

Should I stick to a snail’s pace and be a happy little runner, but feel that tiny sting of regret at the end of every race when I know that I could have done better? I keep hearing the famous Steve Prefontaine quote. Go ahead, you know it! Say it with me: “To Give Anything Less Than Your Best is to Sacrifice the Gift.”

Or should I strive for perfection on every run and berate myself when I don’t quite meet my standards but swell with enormous pride every time I do?

Oh, it’s so hard! If you’re a runner, you know the ecstasy of blasting through a plateau or setting a new PR. Also, if you’re a runner, you know the bliss of just ...... going. Just losing yourself in the act and loving God’s creation and being grateful for a healthy body and a good run.

I really don’t want my ambition to ruin the joy of running for me. Yet I don’t know if I can stand to remain mediocre.


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