As it Should Be.

9 03 2014

Eeeek! One week until Shamrock! I am so not ready, or so I thought when I was up all night worrying about it woke up this morning.

Eats: I’ve been trying to make slightly healthier eating choices over the last few weeks, just in prepping for this race. My husband and I are pretty healthy eaters (minus my recent love affair with ice cream sandwiches and Girl Scout cookies), but I’ve been intentionally eating more fruits (bananas, strawberries, apples, and blackberries), veggies (celery, carrots, stir fry veggies), protein (eggs, peanut butter, fish), grains (bagels), etc. I hate, hate spaghetti, but I actually choked it down a few times to carb-load before my training runs last week.

Workouts: Ever since Disney, I’ve been carefully keeping track of my workouts using a log I designed, although it hasn’t been much. This week, I logged one 10-mile run, a 45 minute run with a 15-minute cool-down walk, a 30-minute run, and a 5.5 mile run. I’m planning on three more training runs before Sunday’s race.

So physically, I’ve been trying to play catch up, but endurance races are also a huge mental effort.


{And there are about a zillion similar quotes on Pinterest.}

So church this morning really helped me to think about how to mentally prepare for this race. During church, our pastor told the story (and later success) of long-distance swimmer Florence Chadwick:

Story from Wikipedia, not quite as eloquently told:

In 1952, Florence attempted to swim the 26 miles between Catalina Island and the California coastline. As she began, she was flanked by small boats that watched for sharks and were prepared to help her if she got hurt or grew tired. After about 15 hours a thick fog set in. Florence began to doubt her ability, and she told her mother, who was in one of the boats, that she didn’t think she could make it. She swam for another hour before asking to be pulled out, unable to see the coastline due to the fog. As she sat in the boat, she found out she had stopped swimming just one mile away from her destination. 

Two months later, Chadwick tried again. This time was different. The same thick fog set in, but she made it because she said that she kept a mental image of the shoreline in her mind while she swam.

I love that her goal mileage was also 26. So fitting and timely! The 26.2 mile course at Virginia Beach is not going to be quite as entertaining as Disney (and not as scary as swimming with sharks!), so I’m wary of getting bored and losing steam, and that’s when my mental picture of the finish line will need to set in. Here are a few finisher pics from last year’s race that I’ll maybe have to throw on my phone as a reminder during the race that it can, indeed, happen:



Our pastor also read Philippians 3:13-14: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)


— Fitting, because that was the verse on one of my Disney shirts that my sister designed! (It’s wrinkled in this pic because I actually slept in it last night!). I also can’t compare this race to Disney. I was in somewhat of a different condition then, albeit recent. And much more prepared.

Pressing on into Sunday School today, the theme continued of putting my focus on God and establishing positive thoughts that will lead me in the direction of my best possible self. Some notes I jotted down from our study of “The Me I Want to Be:”

  • Romans 12:1
  • Vision
  • Appreciate God’s potential for transformation
  • Renewing my mind, changing my mindset with a constant stream of the Holy Spirit
  • Having my body and mind in sync
  • Psalm 139:23 — God knowing my anxious thoughts and allowing Him to lead me


  • Create and hold onto thought patterns that lead me in the direction of my best self
  • Isaiah: perfect peace if centered on God
  • Choose what thoughts to pay attention to
  • My experience will be different than that of others. In this race, it’s different motives, backgrounds, stories, and physical conditions, even though we’re all showing up in the same place at the same time.
  • Romans 8:5 and setting my mind on God’s availability and goodness
  • Pause. Listen. Feed with excellence.
  • Colossians 3:23 (my favorite verse) and a similar one in 3:17
  • Boldness to start.
  • Trying to reach a spiritual goal with physical effort can lead to failure.
  • Philippians 4:8, 4:13
  • Staying on a straight path and keeping my focus forward.

These elements could apply to all sorts of life experiences and scenarios, but I chose today to think about them in the context of this upcoming endurance race, since it’s one of my worries right now. And then our teacher threw this question out there —

What are things about this that I love? Why do I choose to focus on the negative if it is, indeed, something I love?

He’s totally right. I signed up for this. I paid (beaucoup bucks) for it. Obviously I wanted to do it. So why be so nervous about it? I have so, so many reasons why I signed up for this and more importantly, for why I started running again in the first place.


Things like: having to quit Cross Country running in high school and a lifetime of ballet and jazz when diagnosed with a severe spondylolisthesis that required major surgery, landing me in a plastic body brace for a chunk of my senior year and months of physical therapy to be able to walk normally again.

Things like: having a miscarriage in 2011 and needing something to focus on during that absolute black hole. I was involved in a women’s Bible study at the time, but my husband and I started running for something that we could do together to begin the emotional healing process. (The physical healing process was a nightmare in itself). Enduring hurtful things said by well-meaning people. Appreciating wisdom from friends who have been there.


The point is, I’m still worried. I’m still nervous. But I’m going to deal with my nerves in a mindset of faith. Lots of prayer. Lots of allowing God to lead me. Lots of leaning on Him during the hardest times.

As it should be.



2 responses

13 03 2014
March 13, 2014 | Running MOMentum

[…] Our precious star would have turned 2 today. And so I continue to run.  […]

18 03 2014
Race Recap: Shamrock Marathon and a Reveal! | Running MOMentum

[…] Sunday was the big day. I had a lot of mixed feelings about this event (more on that here), but was bound and determined to follow-through and finish strongly. I had also decided not to […]

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