Monday, January 19, 2015

Random racing ruminations: Week 16, Perseverence


Saturday (4.0 mile run)
Temperature 49 degrees
Mile 1 = 9:15
Mile 2 = 9:04
Mile 3 = 9:32
Mile 4 = 9:31

Sunday (3.0 mile run)
Temperature 38 degrees
Mile 1 = 9:42
Mile 2 = 9:49
Mile 3 = 9:15

I've been dwelling on perseverance lately. In watching Lily learn about the world and observing her experience the most casual of ordinary happenings, I see her persist and persevere on a regular basis.

She has extreme determination to figure out the coordination of her hands adjusting them to push, pull, and grasp the moving parts on her toys.

I know she wants to communicate with us using words but, of course is unable to yet. She experiments with all the different sounds her mouth, throat, tongue, and lips can make.

She flings and flips food in every direction possible to find the fastest and most efficient way to get it in her mouth so that she can develop her novice pallet.

And while I think she could crawl if she really wanted to, watching her on the floor is quite inspiring. Her trial and error of coordinating arms, legs, rocking, kicking, and pulling to accomplish systematic momentum is fantastic. I'm constantly rooting for her, hoping she'll figure it out. Charlie seems to be supporting her in these floor-crawling endeavors. He loves to lay next to her on her blanket and give her puppy kisses as forms of love and encouragement.

Charlie, too, perseveres to accomplish what he wants, mainly food. Lily has become his new favorite person, especially when she is eating because he patiently waits under her chair for all the rejected scraps to drop his way. Watching him persist makes me think of an entirely new definition of determination: starving obsession.

For both Lily and Charlie, perseverance and drive appears to arrive naturally. But I know this isn't always the case in life. As my first week of training for the Lincoln Half-Marathon came to a close this weekend, I had two runs scheduled: one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Saturday's run was almost effortless until howling winds seemed more determined than me. Then Sunday seven in the evening came quickly and I first thought about running. I didn't have any desire to make it happen. When I realized that all my running clothes were in the laundry, I quickly convinced myself that I would run Monday instead. I sat down on the couch feeling bad about myself.

Then some serious self-talk took place.

I went upstairs and pulled out old gross running pants that are now yard work and housework clothes, ones that I've painted in many times and there are various colors of paint flecks covering them. It was dark out already, so who cared what my pants looked like?

I put in my ear buds and began my three mile interval training. It didn't feel good. I couldn't get control of my breathing or how tired my body felt. At just the right time into mile 2 came the wise words from Salt-N-Pepa, Ah, push it (yes, this all-time classic is part of my running playlist), egging me on to adjust my stride and persevere. 
Later at the very end of mile 3, on the last stretch of some terrible interval training, came some even wiser words from Bobby McFerrin, 
In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don't worry, be happy 

I smiled, pleased with my decision to keep at it, sprinting home in weird paint-speckled running pants.

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