Why do I do this?

Do you ever get the feeling, what am I doing all this for?  Well, I do sometimes.  Sometimes it seems it would just be easier to quit and never go back to it again.  Why can’t I just be a couch potato and lounge around like those people?  Why do I instead choose to rise at the crack of dawn to work out?  What’s it’s all for?  Will I get an award?  Will I get money?  Probably not. And definitely not. 

Sometimes I feel like an imposter.  Every where I go.  Do I belong in these places with these people doing these things?  Where do I fit in?  Do I deserve really to be where I am?  The answer is yes, I do…because I put the work in.  No one else did that for me.  No one else could run that marathon for me.  No one else started taking swimming class for me.  No one else is going to accomplish MY goals except for ME.

Right now, it would be easier to just quit swimming.  Hang up the towel, literally, and just run.  That’s what I’ve been doing and it’s working for me.  But it didn’t always and I have to remember that sometimes.  When I am struggling to get down that lane in the pool, I am disappointed in myself and embarrassed.  Why am I just not good at this?  I know that there is a coach there watching my every stroke, kick, and breath.  That can make a girl paranoid so I think about it.  Is it worth it?  Do I want to do a triathlon that bad?  I’m still going to have to buy a bike and that is an undertaking in itself.

These are some things that I have been pondering lately.  Yes, I do want to do a triathlon but I’m scared.  I’m scared that I can’t.  I’m scared that I will never get good enough…and then I remember training for my first 5k.  How it seems so long ago!  It was only about 2 1/2 years ago though.  I remember deciding that I was going to try and run an entire practice 5k without walking…and I did!  But not without struggle.  I remember calling a friend and telling her about it.  I said, “I just kept telling myself – One foot in front of the other.”  How is it that a mere 2 years later I ran a freaking marathon?!  And my average pace was faster than that of my first 5k!  Geez, Louise!  So I will press on because I can and will do this.  My determination is strong.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?      

If we did all the things we were capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves. – Thomas Edison


Let it go

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your way submit to him and he will make your paths straight. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

I have been struggling with understanding this week in more than one facet of my life.  My professional and personal life have not only frustrated but also confused me.  I always have to refer back to Proverbs 3:5-6 when I try to understand something I’m going through.  I feel like for everything there is a rhyme and reason….so I should know what it is, right?  Wrong.  God knows what He’s doing and it’s all in His perfect timing and I need to trust Him, as I was reminded by a dear friend yesterday.  It’s so hard to try to fix things myself only to have them blow back up in my face, especially when I feel like I’m doing the right thing.  (What God wants me to do.)  But how do I (or you) know for sure what God wants us to do?  I’m asking… because I don’t have the answer.

Tears are a funny thing.  They can come at many different points in our lives.  There are tears of happiness, tears of sorrow, tears of frustration, tears of confusion, tears of relief, tears of love.  For me, tears come when I am overwhelmed by a single emotion.  In a word, I am a crier.  They won’t always be sad tears but if you see me experiencing any pure, raw emotion you will see my tears.  (Don’t be scared.  ha!)  Tears of Unspeakable Joy (as I experienced this week) are the best kind.  I felt God so close to me,  in my soul, that I just cried, thanking Him for loving me as He does and only He can do.  I felt that He was speaking to me.  And I still believe He was but I think I just misinterpreted it or that I haven’t been patient enough.  I have this problem with patience.  I consider myself a very patient person but when I see something put in front of me.  I feel like I should go for it.  Take a leap of faith.  Not wait around for it to come to me.  That’s usually when things go awry for me.  Annnddd then, come the other tears.

There was a valuable lesson at Redeemer today.  Every relationship goes through these steps.  What was.  What is.  What can. What will be.  In the Gospel, Creation-was, The Fall-is, Redemption-can be, and Restoration-will be.  There is always a was, is, can, and will be.  You see I, too often, see the “was” and “is” and want what “can be”.  As I have said before I am a planner; therefore I make a plan.  Sometimes it works out, sometimes not.  So when it doesn’t go “as planned”, I get down on my knees and I pray…then I get up and go for a run.

I still don’t know what is going to happen with any of these things I am struggling with but I am learning to let go.  As with running, so is life.  You have to let go to do your best.  My best runs are the ones that I don’t think about.  The ones where I don’t have to tell myself to relax my jaw, open my chest, keep my shoulders back, and land on the midfoot.  ‘Cause when I don’t think about it, it usually comes together just right and I run an excellent pace with an effortless form.  So this is my new plan with life, don’t think about it and it will all come together effortlessly.  (Or so I hope)

Side note:  I have been to two swim classes so far.  It is not nearly as embarrassing as I imagined.  Coach Chris is great, understanding, and extremely patient with a newbie like me.  It is scary.  I have had to trust and let go here too.  It is not natural for humans to be in water, nor does it feel so.  But, in order to breathe, I trust.  I trust that I can blow out while under water, turn my head to breathe in above the water.  My natural reaction is to lift up mid-stroke but that’s too much work.  Let. Go.

Jumping in with both feet!

As I said at the beginning of the year, two of my “running” resolutions were to get a quicker 5k and compete in a triathlon.  Well, I’m getting on my way there…

I have looked up and will be following Hal Higdon’s Advanced 5k plan.  I am looking to cut a minute off of my 5k PR (hopefully).  If Hal doesn’t bring it, I don’t know who will.  The 5k I’m shooting for is the AmazinGrace on May 6th.  So, 5 weeks out.  Obviously I couldn’t start at the beginning of the plan but I have a good base so I’m just going to jump right in where I am.  The plan calls for increasing long runs on the weekend starting with a 70 minute run.  Now, if I ran at my slowest, 10:00 pace, that would only give me 7 miles.  So I may just make some of my long runs longer.  Or I may not.  I am going to try and go by feel.  I’m excited about having a plan again.  I get so lost when I don’t have a set amount of miles or minutes or pace I should be doing.  Just like my students at school, I need structure.  As I have said before, I’m a planner.  Let’s make a plan.

As for my second resolution, the triathlon, don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about it.  Actually, it has been on my mind a lot recently, especially yesterday as I watched the videos of the Half-Ironman in Texas.  I would like to make my way up to this distance…but I’m going to have to get in the water and on a bike to make that happen.  This is why I contacted the master swim coach tonight via email.  Eeek!  This is a huge step and makes me extremely nervous.  What if I can’t swim well enough?  What if I just flop around like some beached whale?  Will everyone laugh at me?  I took swimming lessons as a kid but that was a long time ago.  I’m extremely anxious about this.  It is a great fear/challenge for me to overcome.  I will keep you posted.

The bike…shall come soon, my friends.  I have been searching online trying to figure out what kind and size to buy.  Considering I am freakishly short, I’m afraid it will be difficult.  There are so many different variations that I don’t know what to pick or where to look first.  Soooo, if you are my friend and enjoy all things bicycles, please, help me out.  I have no idea what I am doing.  I am also extremely anxious about riding too.  I’m afraid no one will want to ride with me because I will be too slow but I am hoping these cheerleader quads are good for something and will help me out on the bike 🙂

I will leave you with this quote that I found very motivational…

“Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.”
-PattiSue Plumer, U.S. Olympian