I did laundry last Thursday, and here these baskets sit on Monday morning. Taunting me with their need to be folded and put away. And while I know many adults who struggle to complete that task that is laundry, for me it points to a larger issue I've had all my life. I don't finish things, I don't stick with them, and my enthusiasm that marks the start of projects for me never lasts through the drudgery of the day-to-day.
So when I joined the Y in late January and met with a trainer there about my goals; my answers to her questions didn't surprise me. One of my goals I listed was to be able to run a 5K. Having never run an entire mile in my life, this felt like a bit of a lofty goal for me. She asked me to rate my determination on a scale of 1-10 and I rated it an 8/9. She then asked me to rate my belief that I would complete my goal. Ummmmm, 5? 6? Because I don't stick with things, even things I really want.
In my head, while I really wanted to run a 5K, I figured my chances were good that it would be filed away with a long list of goals and things I had started strong with and simply didn't complete. See my various efforts at keeping up a specific plan for meal planning, budgeting, cleaning, reading, home school, diet changes...
But I downloaded the Couch to 5K app for my phone and started. Because I'm good at starting things! And then it got hard and not as fun, and I wavered. Thankfully, Scott's firm is a sponsor for a race that was this past weekend and I was able to sign up for it. It was great motivation to keep moving forward. Then I found out that the race I had just signed up for was not just a 5K, but a 4 mile race. Gah!
A few weeks before the race I had basically resigned myself to the fact that I would just walk part of the race. No big deal, whatever, it's not THAT important that I run it.
Then I had a heart-to-heart with myself. I'm tired of not finishing. I don't want that to be the narrative of my life. So the week before the race I tried to pick up the pace. I started running outside and maxed out at the 2-3 mile mark. The only way I could run over 3 miles on the treadmill was if I only ran a 12 minute/mile pace. And even then I couldn't get all the way to 4 miles.
I went to bed very nervous on Saturday night. And on Sunday morning of the race I was still telling people that I would be walking part of the race. All the while in my head desperately wanting to actually finish it having run the whole thing.
So I prayed. I want to finish this race, but just like everything else in my life, I'm not a finisher. Make me a finisher. Empower me to actually finish something that I don't think I'm capable of.
And I started running. My iPhone was telling me my pace and I kept trying to slow down because I was so scared of not finishing. But I just kept moving and it felt GOOD. I stopped myself from full on crying twice because I was actually doing this. And I wasn't walking. I was feeling good and I was going to finish this thing.
And as I sprinted the last 100 yards to the finish line, having not walked any of it, I could hardly believe it.
I finished a 4 mile race with a pace of 11:09/mile. The fastest I had ever run a long distance and the farthest I had ever run.