Monday, April 11, 2011

Chasing the dream - 7 days till Boston - "Life gets in the way"

Stardate: April 11, 2011.
Location: cross-legged on the living room carpet. (my favourite place to sit)
Captain's log: 7 days till the Boston Marathon.

I haven't been as diligent with my blog as I planned to be.  When the new year turned over and I got down to the nitty gritty of marathon training, I had the best intentions to document, document, document so that I would be able to look back and remember this personal journey in years to come. 

It's down to the final week - final days, really.  I've barely managed to scrape together one blog post per week over the last few months, and I'm trying to rectify that now in the final days.  But what can you do when life gets in the way?  There are so many unexpected twists and turns during the course of marathon training.  Injuries, personal commitments, your professional life, your everyday life: there are so many things that can prevent us from being the runner we have the potential to be. 

The truth is, this is a common theme in most of our lives, whether we run or not.

How many of you have thought, "I would be more successful in my career if 'this and that' didn't need my attention."  Or, "I think I would be a great cook/knitter/tennis player if my job/social commitments/family didn't take so much of my day. 

We're all trying to realize our potential and balance the many things we have on our plate.  The challenge (and joy) of running is that you only get out of it what you put into it.  Unlike a final exam, there's no way you can cheat your running.  You can't go online and plagiarize a run.  There are no Cole's Notes to help get you to the finish line with less work.  Missed training is missed training, so when life gets in the way, running performance invariably suffers.

I have tried really hard to keep the Boston Marathon the main focus in my life - to not let life steal away the time I wanted to spend drinking in the entire experience from the early days of training to the event itself.  I have been moderately successful in this endeavour, but in these final weeks of the journey, life has been busy and Boston has had to take a bit of a back seat.  There are things we can do to try and balance our priorities, such as:
  • Be as flexible as possible: try to "move" workouts around to suit your schedule.
  • Some is better than none: if you can't do the full workout, don't write it all off all together.  Get a short one in instead.
  • Make new plans: This is not the last race you'll ever run. Maybe you can't nail this event, but maybe you can do better with the next.

Running teaches us so many lessons that can also be applied to the rest of our lives.  The perspective we learn as runners can help us have a healthier perspective on our lives as a whole.  After all, life is not a 100 meter dash.  It's a marathon itself.  So really, life isn't getting "in the way" - it's actually the feature event.

1 comment:

  1. good luck, jess! we're all rooting for you... such an inspiring lady!