“Ultimately talent and desire will let you down. The three Ps-patience, pacing and persistence-will get you to the finish line.” -Runner’s World training log.
I have found that the longer my distances get and the busier life is (and the COLDER the weather is!!!!!), the less I want to stay committed to running a marathon. I had always feared that running in any kind of event would make me resent running more than enjoy it. That fear always held me back from even a 5k. I was delighted that training for the half-marathon only made me love running more, however, training for the marathon is totally different. I am not resenting running, exactly, but I think maybe I am learning the three Ps. I’m learning to respect running on a new level and to value the discipline it takes. Just like any sport or goal of considerable expectation, it takes plenty of determination to keep pushing forward when the fun and novelty wears off. Of course a new pair of flashy Nikes or electric blue running tights can always help recharge one’s desire to lace up, suit up and head out for another run, but even that only gets you so far. (Yeeeees, I did get a new pair of electric blue running tights from Santa and it actually does help me dread the cold runs a little less.)
Many nights I am exhausted after work and saying, “Markeith! Sit DOWN!!” for the 2,875th time this year, and would like nothing more than to crawl straight into my mint chocolate chip ice cream bed (oh, yes….chocolate sheets and a mint duvet…that’s heaven!) and read my runner’s world magazine with some pretty piano music on in the background…and maybe actually indulge in some mint chocolate chip ice cream while I’m at it. However, I know I have to run. As I rush home and change, I get frustrated knowing how long it will take to complete my run and realize that by the time I do it, stretch, come home, shower and eat, there will be no time for anything else but to go to bed. Another day gone. I want to hurry through the run and just get it over with so I can get back home and relax a minute before bed, which, ironically, makes the run seem to take much longer. This is where the Ps of patience and persistence come in.
But the other reality is, there are some days that I leave work and have so much pent-up tension and angst from my little thug-wannabes pushing all of my buttons all day long that I can’t wait to start my run to burn off some steam. Today was one of those days. I shot around the park like a rocket and even did 1/4 mile sprints every mile of the 10 mile run. I could feel my calves begging for mercy about mile 6 but my mind still wanted to go. I still had some resentment to burn off from not having a lunch period, due to 28 of my 32 4th period students NOT DOING THEIR HOMEWORK. Their punishment was, of course, a zero, and then eating lunch in the classroom with me, the disgruntled teacher, while they completed the homework they chose not to do the night before. They absolutely loathe being forced to miss eating lunch with their friends in the cafeteria, but I’m not sure if it was more a punishment for them or for me. Finishing that run was so satisfying…it released every ounce of anxiety and tension from the day. Ready for the next round.
“Do you not know or have you not heard? The Lord is the eternal God, creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint nor grow weary, and his knowledge is beyond scrutiny. He gives strength to the fainting, for the weak he makes vigor abound. Though young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall, they that hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar as with eagles’ wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.” -Isaiah 40:28-31