I’ve had a thought in the back of my mind over the last week or so. For the last few days, though, it’s moved to the front of my mind, and I’ve actually spent some time thinking about it. And after a weekend of super tough shifts when breaks and sitting down for 5 minutes were the stuff of dreams (well, there was that one bathroom break when my eyeballs were about to float), I’m finding myself thinking even more about it.
The thought has entered my head of quitting marathon training. Yep. I’m hanging my head in disappointment that I’ve had the thought, but there it is. I’m thinking of quitting.
I’ve been thinking about feeling tired, trying to run 25-30 miles a week, working full time, keeping up with 20 hours of physical class time plus homework and study time, cross-training, maintaining a house, keeping up with friends…I have a full schedule. It’s tiring. And I find myself wondering if it’s worth it? Is running another marathon really worth all the effort and extra time?
As I’ve entertained the thought of quitting, I’ve been thinking about other people I know who are going through tough times.
I think of a couple of friends who are battling cancer.
I think of my refugee friend from Sierra Leone who tells of hunkering down in her house while bullets flew through the windows.
I think of my Sudanese friends who hid in the fields while their village was raided and burned.
I think of people I know who’ve lost babies.
I think of people who are working two or more jobs just to kind of make ends meet.
I think of people who would probably love to run but for some physical condition never will.
Those people are really having a tough time, and they just can’t make things better by deciding to quit. When I think about my little bit of fatigue as I chase down my dreams, well…how can that compare to losing homes and jobs and people you love, or having a big, noisy monster chase you in your house?
So will I quit marathon training? NO!!! I may want to quit and may think about quitting and whine and complain because I’m tired, but I won’t quit because…
- I refuse to throw in the towel when the going gets tough. This toughness in temporary. I know in November, my schedule will ease up. And I grow in the tough times. When my strength to just be patient is gone because I’m worn out, I find myself praying more, depending on Jesus to give me the patience I just can’t find on my own. Growing my faith is a good thing! So no throwing in the towel. My hat stays in the ring, and whatever other cliché you can come up with to say, “Heck, no, I’m not quitting!”
- I’m a competitor. I never would have said that of myself at 180 pounds, but finding my inner athlete underneath all that fat ignited a spirit of competition within me. I’m not the type of competitor that always has to win and is always competing with other people. I’m a competitor against myself. I want to test my limits, to reach that athletic goal, to beat my best time. And that’s part of why I know I won’t quit marathon training. I ran my first marathon in 4 hours 37 minutes and 22 seconds; I know I can do it in 4 hours 30 minutes. I KNOW I can! And by George, I’m going to train my tail off and keep trying until I get there.
- In the end, it will all be worth it. So the ending may not look like what I want it to, but just following through and persevering will be worth it. There’s a strange sense of satisfaction in finishing something tough that makes me look at life and say, “Bring it on!” So whether I run a 4:30 marathon or not in November, I’m going to have the satisfaction of knowing I didn’t give up when I cross that finish line. One way or another, I’m gonna do it.
So there you go. I’m in this marathon training thing until the grizzly end. And strangely, reminding myself of why I won’t quit has given me renewed determination to keep on training. I CAN DO THIS! (I hope.)
Talk to me:
What do you tell yourself when you need a pep talk?
How do your pets react to the vacuum cleaner?