My hubby and I spent the last two weeks visiting our two oldest sons and their families. We first went to Colorado to attend our grandson’s third birthday party. Apparently, if your grandparents are babysitting on your birthday, doughnuts with “sparkles” and a root beer float are an acceptable breakfast.
We tried to run, we really did, but the breathtaking views from the deck
and the even more breathtaking view on the deck
always made running seem like the less appealing choice. We logged less than 10 miles in Colorado.
Then we traveled to Oregon to visit another son and his wife. We hiked,
relaxed, and visited the beach.
And had some wonderful food and Oregon wine.
(Hubby and I shared this delicious, but huge breakfast.)
And, again, running took a back seat to family and fun. We logged less than 10 miles in Oregon.
This mileage is not ideal for a runner three-four weeks out from a marathon.
When we got home, there was the usual requisite grocery shopping and laundry, and, of course, we had to catch up with our local grandchildren.
My anxiety about the marathon (which is this Sunday) was starting to build, so I thought I would do a 13-mile training run to allay my fears. If I can get to the half-way point of the marathon, I figure I can always run-walk the rest. And then I crashed and burned on the 13-mile confidence-building run.
I turned to the source of all wisdom and advice (Twitter, of course) for some encouragement and suggestions. Runners on social media are an invariably positive group, quick to share knowledge and inspiration. Many followers went with the “bad rehearsal; good race” theme. Some mentioned the difference between a training run and a race and assured me that the adrenaline generated on race day would surely carry me 26.2 miles.
I appreciated all of the support but still felt extremely uneasy. I even considered bailing on the race, but nonrefundable airline tickets had already been purchased, hotel reservations made, and a car reserved, so I resigned myself to running. Resignation is not the emotion I am used to before a marathon. Excitement or at least nervous anticipation is more typical.
Other than my very first marathon, years ago, I never had second thoughts about simply finishing the race. This time, I had to ask myself “Can I do it? Can I haul this aging body 26.2 miles one more time?” Then I realized – I am asking the question.
In yoga class, I remembered the instructor telling us “If you don’t ask the question, the answer will always be no.” She was saying “How can you know what you are capable of if you don’t attempt difficult things?” Ask yourself the question: What are the possibilities? Then, go find out the answer.
How often do we not achieve a desired outcome because we were afraid to ask the question? Children are not afraid to ask. I can attest to the fact that a 4-year-old can be the most persistent asker in the world. One day, when my grandchildren were staying with me, my 4-year-old grandson Henry must have asked me at least 10 times if we could go to the pool, before I finally, laughingly acquiesced. Why did it take me so long? We had a great time splashing and playing, and he got what he wanted because he was tenacious and he asked (and asked)!
Asking implies that we are responsible for creating our own opportunities in life. We are each in charge of our own happiness and equanimity. Random chance or others’ vagaries do not have to hold us at their mercy. We have a hand in making our desires reality.
Asking takes us out of our comfort zone. It implies a lack of control, which is scary. We don’t want to find out that the answer is no. But…what if the answer is yes? We have to be brave enough to ask the question.
Matthew 7:7 tells us “Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you.” This verse illustrates the need for perseverance, just like Henry showed me. It also demonstrates the need for humble supplication. Arrogance does not ask, but humble self-confidence does.
I used to begin many marathons with a time goal in mind, but that sort of objective isn’t appropriate for this race. Humble self-confidence is my new goal. I just checked the time limit of the race – it’s 7.5 hours. Barring injury, I believe I can do it. I am asking the question. I am running the race.
If asked the question that Paul asks in Galatians, “You were running well. Who hindered you?” I do not want to have to answer “I did. It was me.”
What are the questions you are asking yourself?
I am linking up with Clean East Fast Feets for her Week in Review, Shank You Very Much for Global Blogging, Random-osity for The Good, The Random, The Fun, blovedboston for Weekending, Patty, Erika and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, Char at Trekking Thru, Abounding Grace for Gracefull Tuesday, Running on Happy, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs for the Coaches’ Corner, and Shelbee on the Edge for Spread the Kindness.