This week I came across two examples of amazing perspective that have remided me to keep my own perspective in check. The first was while reading Ryan Hall’s “Running with Joy.” In his book he shares his journal and training log of the 14 weeks of preparation for the 2010 Boston Marathon. The final few pages of his book are the Boston Marathon race report. His thoughts in the final few miles, “My heart was pounding, and I was fighting the temptation to settle for where I was at. I was in fifth place and on pace to run a solid time. Catching the leaders seemed unlikely, so why push my body through those last few extremely painful miles? Meb’s white jersey wasn’t urging me on. Even if Meb hadn’t been my friend, I wouldn’t have been hugely motivated to beat him. I had teammates in college who were fired up about beating other guys. That’s what drove them. I have never found that kind of competitiveness all that motivating, healthy, or fun. I can push myself further by competing with a heart of love, joy, and praise to God. I have a hard time imagining Jesus being driven to beat someone. Jesus ran His own race and accomplished the unique goal that God set before Him so we should do the same. In those last few miles, I ran with pure joy–not because I was feeling so great or the race was coming easily (on the contrary, my whole body hurt), but because I was running the race set before me. I knew my Father was proud of me, and I reveled in His goodness. Around mile 24 I passed Meb. I wanted to encourage him but wasn’t able to do anything but put my hand on his bald head as a gesture of support and compassion.”
I love Ryan’s attitude about racing to be the best HE can be. For Ryan, its not all about winning every race, its more important to run well, the race God has set before him. He obviously has a gift and is doing all he can to maximize it. In some races, God sees fit to bless him with the win and in others, 4th place is just as triumphant.
The other example of great perspective I came across this week was in the NY Times. My agent called to notify me that a photo of Jen, Serena, and me happened to be on the front page of the NY Times Sports Section on Saturday morning. The article was about Serena Burla and her scary bout with cancer in her right hamstring last year. While struggling with the possibility of never being able to run again and possibly even having her life taken by cancer, Serena was able to keep her head up and have faith. She says, “I had lived my life without regrets. I had loved with my whole heart, lived each day for all it was, done my best while doing the right thing, and I was at peace. I realized that by living without fear, I wasn’t afraid of what the future may or may not hold. If my time was up, then I could leave this earth satisfied. If I was to live another day, then I would continue according to plan.”
What a great way to live!! I hope to be able to adopt that perspective into my daily life and live my life to the fullest as well. Thank you for your example, Serena!
My week of running in review:
Easy 6 miles with Renee 7:06 AP
A.M. 12 miles with Hill Repeats up and down Lehigh Street. Legs felt pretty flat from the race so I took it a little easier than usual. I was averaging around 5:40-5:50 pace for the up/down intervals. 5X4 minutes (2 min. up, 2 min. down) and 5X2 minutes (1 min. up, 1 min. down, last one close to five minutes down.)
P.M. Easy 4 miles and weights
13 miles in 6:49 AP. Legs feeling a little better
A.M. 6 miles in 6:58 AP
P.M. 4 miles in 7:08 AP
A.M. 13 miles with 8 of those miles fast track intervals in 5:12-5:50 pace. 4X(800M, 2400M repeats). Started slower and got faster as I went along.
P.M. Easy 4 miles in 7:22 AP, weights/core.
18 miles in 7:15 pace. My legs were pretty toast.
Day of Rest
Total weekly mileage: 80