I do it, and I do it big. Here's to not forgetting about it.

Posts tagged ‘control’

We run tings; tings no run we! Race Report

I think it’s quite appropriate that my race report for my 10k at the Reggae Marathon is coming 8 days later. Normally, I have them up within 24 hours. Jamaicans aren’t exactly known for their promptness. I feel I’m representing my people well.

That being said – this was one of the most well-organized races I have ever attended, which I was most definitely not expecting. The race started at 5:15 AM, and I had turned on my Garmin and corralled myself in the back with my mother by about 5:10. I was sitting on the ground doing a bit of stretching when I heard an air horn. I looked at my watch. 5:15. I looked ahead and saw people take off. Legit. I walked toward the start with my mother, turned on my music, and started running as I crossed the first timing mat.

Bob Marley’s “Exodus” was playing as we started. I grinned as I appreciated the appropriateness of the song. It always feels amazing to be part of the mass exodus toward glory that is the start of any race. Off went my own music. At the beginning of the course, the road was lined with people holding torches and cheering us on. A band of steel pans was playing for us just around the bend. This music is pretty sweet. Each time it would fade, I turned on my music, but I found myself having to turn it off and on to hear the awesomeness the race organizers were offering me. You read that right. I had no choice.

Like Coachie said, I was there to have fun. My goal was to run no less than a 12 minute mile, and that I did. I sang along to the best songs. I paid attention to my angry left foot. I passed incredible scents as I ran along the main road where the resorts were preparing food for the day. “Singing – good. Stopping for jerk chicken during the race – bad.” I do have boundaries, even for my fun, you know.

The race was just an out and back course. I saw the chute where we had started and I began to pick up my pace. I crossed the timing mat and looked at my watch. “5.8 miles…weird.” New rule: if someone isn’t handing you a medal or bottle of water, don’t slow down. Thankfully, I created this rule right then so I didn’t lose any time. A bit ahead was a sign that read, “10k turn around, half and full marathon straight ahead.” “Thank God!” I shouted. I wasn’t terribly fatigued, but I had free beer and bacon waiting for me. I pushed for the actual finish line, feeling strong and happy.

“We run tings, tings no run we” is a Jamaican saying. It essentially is a reminder that circumstances can’t control us. I am elated, beyond the breakfast and booze, that I did not allow what I had scheduled previously (a full marathon) to dictate what I did because that would not have been good for me. I went to Jamaica and had a blast. If running a 10k at 1:12:46 is my rock bottom, by God’s grace I’ve come a crazy long way in the last two years.

Rasta runner.


Seventy Point Free: Pre-Race Report, Part II

Like many active people, I wear a Road ID. You know, the “if I collapse before the finish line, call…” bracelet. On it, I have a line from one of my favorite Bible verses: “Run with perseverance.” It’s funny what can happen when you see something frequently. I can look down at the bracelet as I am training and think to myself, “that says run with perseverance.” Then I go back to hating what I am doing, or wishing I hadn’t committed to doing whatever race is coming so I can stop in the middle of my workout. As the weeks before my race turned into days, I started to reflect upon why I had chosen that phrase to be on my bracelet. I would go to the Bible and study the verses –

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭12‬:‭1-2‬ NIV) (emphasis mine)

The writer of Hebrews continues –

Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭12‬:‭3-4‬ NIV) (emphasis mine)

When I arrived in Augusta, the hype was high. Because I am a head case, I cannot feel support from others without simultaneously feeling pressure. “Oh, man. All these people believe in me. If I don’t finish for some reason, I’m not just letting myself down. I’m letting all these people down, too!” Truth be told, I was already planning my next move if I didn’t finish. “Well, I’m signed up for an Olympic in November. I can just upgrade to the half-iron distance then.” Well, what if I don’t finish THAT? Oh, dear.

This pressure support was around to remind me to think positively. “You WILL do well. You WILL finish. You have trained enough. You’ve earned it.” While I think that focusing on the positive is absolutely necessary for sanity, I believe it’s also important to be real. Here is what is real:

1. While I have swum, biked, and run the full distances, I’ve never done them consecutively. I do not know what my body will do.

2. I do not know what the weather will do.

3. I do not know what Red Rocket will do. If she does anything other than move forward when I pedal, I won’t know what the hell to do with her.

There are a million things that could happen on race day. I have absolutely no control over the vast majority of them.

How liberating.

I stop to consider Jesus. Indeed, I have not resisted anything to the point of shedding blood. My charge is to run free – free from the things I cannot control. I cannot allow what may lie ahead to entangle what is immediately before me. This may sound strange, but knowing that there is no guarantee of my finishing helps me to race more freely. I am not guaranteed even one more stroke in the water, an additional hill, or one last step. My race is marked out before me, and it’s my job to get there because – while I don’t know that I can, I also don’t know that I cannot. God knows what lies ahead and is with me. I’m still living and therefore must press forward.

This medal would be pretty neat, but the most important battle is already won. Because of Him, I can run free.


Tag Cloud