Saturday, June 20, 2009

Press On - The Run Report

I track my runs (because everything in life must be quantified) with a little Nike thing on my running shoe. For the most part I love having this information. It tracks miles, speed, total time, and produces this fun graph.

This device tells me that I have logged over 55 miles since I started training for the October race three+ weeks ago and it tells me how far I have gone each day so I know when I can turn toward home.

Most days my graph looks a lot better than this ... it will often dip in the middle but it is not usually quite so roller-coaster-ish. The majority of the time I am able to start and finish strong - with the toughest part of each run being right at the mid-point. (Running is more mental than it is physical in many ways.)

Above is yesterday's run, which was mentally and physically very tough. I've been fighting something for a week and am constantly coughing and not sleeping much. Our week was emotionally more draining than most weeks. We're all a bit tired. Yesterday the conversation in my head was "You will never be able to do this race" (see dips in the graph) mixed with pockets of "you have to do this you can do this you will do this!" (see spikes in the graph)

The lack of sleep, the very muddy/wet sidewalk and the heat and humidity made for an extra tough running day. A lot of my run was side stepping to find a place to land that was not deep mud. Have you ever seen those Army drills where they run through tires so they are forced to go left then right left then right ... that was Friday's run. The obstacles seemed not to end.

I will never be a fast runner. I will rarely feel a great sense of pride in the time it takes me to cover 6 or 16 or 26 miles. My speed cannot be where I find my satisfaction or motivation. For me the sense of accomplishment has to come simply by moving forward step by step and day to day.

I got home and looked at that 5.55 mile run on my computer and thought " It was hard, but I kept moving forward, and I covered the distance."

Running is a lot like life that way. In order to succeed you have to push through even when it hurts and even when everything is stacked against you. Many times you've got to get beyond yourself and just go even though nothing feels good or works right. We all face highs and lows ... it is rare to go very long without a major obstacle. Those who succeed are the ones who keep moving forward and keep pressing on. Sometimes it is all about just showing up.

Next week the jump in training miles begins in earnest. The Friday runs get a little more intimidating.

As I am running, I pray. God meets me in those moments, right where I am whether it is a good day or a bad day, He always shows up. I pray for Renald, I pray for Haiti, I pray for a variety of things ... and sometimes I just pray for my own endurance ... Both in life, and in that day's run.

Thank you to those that posted links to the information about raising money for Medika Mamba. Thanks to those that sponsored me this last week! I truly appreciate your help.


Tim and Amie got in safely on Friday. We're thrilled they're here and enjoyed a busy Saturday with them. Tomorrow at Port au Prince Fellowship Tim will be our guest speaker. We're hoping for a peaceful day in town as they re-vote on the Senate elections from April.

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all the Dads out there - but especially to my Dad. I love you Dad!