February 22, 2011

Making a Run For It (AKA: Promises, Promises...)

I did it.

Oh, yeah, I did it this time.

I made a promise.  A promise I've got to keep.  Even if it kills me.

It all started 4 years ago, when Isaac saw an ad for the Fargo Marathon Youth Run.  He was determined he was going to do it.  He was only 8 at the time but it was only a half mile and so we figured, "what the heck."

He had a blast!  The food, the crowd, the cool medal at the end of the race...he was hooked.

The next year we brought his whole Cub Scout den with us and they ran it together.  To add to the excitement, big brother, Christopher, ran the half marathon and survived (barely...I guess its actually a good idea to train for these things.  Who woulda thunk?!?)

So then two years ago, Isaac ran the 1 mile youth run and Chris ran the half marathon again (...and trained this time.  He walked out of the Fargo Dome completely upright and in his own strength.)

At the end of the day Isaac announced that next year he and I were running the 5K.  In a moment of weakness and complete inattention, I said "sure."  It was a couple of months before I had my moment of clarity and I found myself gasping "What have I done?!?"

I know some of you are saying "Geesh, its only 5K!"  I know, that only translates to 3.1 miles.  I have several friends and a son that have run the half marathon, the relay and even the whole 26.2 miles...and lived to tell about it.

So why can't I run 3.1 miles?  Let me tell you why...

I am not a runner.  In fact, as of late, I am not even what you would call a "walker."  In all honesty, I have gotten old.  And lazy.  And did I mention "old"?

But I made a promise, and Isaac, who is a stickler for the rules, has not let me forget it.   I've even had an extra year to psych myself up for this:  we had a wedding the same weekend as the race last year,  so we could not participate -  but this year we I have no excuses.

So this last week, I did a couple of very scary things...

First, I printed off our 10 week training schedule.

Second, I actually registered for the race.  

When I got all done registering, I noticed that it said my age on 'race day' will be 42 - I will only be 41!  I am now reconsidering running a race that is telling me it is going to add a whole year to my age in 30 minutes or less.

Is there anyone else out there that would be concerned about this?

At this moment, I am kind of thinking I should just make a run for it - in the other direction.  Not towards the race but away from it.  So I wouldn't have to run it.  But then I would still be running, wouldn't I, and that would be counter-productive.   Bummer.  Moving along...

For all the drama and spouting off I have done about having to run this race, I have a confession:  I am secretly very excited about it.  I have wanted to do some "self-improvement" in this area for several years now but just have not known where to start.  I am not a gym rat.  I am not an athlete.  I am not even particularly coordinated.  

But I do want to be healthy.  And I am well aware that even though I try to eat healthy, I don't drink or smoke, I try to take my vitamins and drink plenty of water...none of that is enough.  Especially if my idea of "getting a workout" is making several trips up and down the steps on the days I do laundry (and the sad thing is, on  some days, this is enough for me to break a sweat.)

As I write this there are several scripture verses that are going through my mind.  Verses about "running the race", proverbs about "laziness" and "foolishness", and exhortations to "walk in spirit and not in flesh."

But the verse that really is encouraging me right now is James 1:4

"Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

It may not seem as directly related to running as some other verses might be but when I came across this verse a while back, I  felt like it was calling out to me.  I could almost see the flags waving and the town crier yelling "Yo, Dawn, pay attention.  Word for you."

In my mind, the word "perseverance" was underlined and highlighted and I felt God speak to me "Hang in there. Don't give up. You can do this."

And by "this", he wasn't just referring to the upcoming race but to life in general.  To busyness and kids and work and activities...and well, just everything.  That if I want things to get better, if I want things to change in my life, I need to push through.  I need to finish what I start and I must let God finish what he has started in my life.  If I want to be stronger - healthier, physically and spiritually, I must give up some things, sacrifice some stuff, work harder, train longer (at least put in some effort...good grief!), so that I may see the pay off at the finish line.

This applies to so many areas of my life...ugh.

So where do I start?  According to my training schedule, I start with a 5 minute jog.  I can do that.  And in May, I will run that 5K.  And I'm going to persevere...and finish.  And it's going to be worth it.  In fact, I have a feeling it's going to feel great.

And who knows, maybe in 4 years (uh, maybe 5), I'll be running all 26.2 miles.  (But no promises, ok? This time I'm paying attention.)


Your Turn!

In what areas of your life do you need to persevere (ie: hang in there, don't give up)?
Start small - start somewhere - you can do it!


  1. Yes! Buy new shoes, for sure! As a fellow 40ish gal, trust me, your body will thank you! Good luck!

  2. Thank you, Kimberly! The shoes are bought - now I just need to get them on my feet and get running :)

  3. Way to go Dawn! You can do it & what a great mother/son activity to do together:-)

    The St Francis 5k run/walk in September is a lot of fun too if you decide you want to do a 2nd race. I've enjoyed that one.

  4. you can do it! start with the 'couch to 5k' program (free downloadable training) and don't feel bad if you have to repeat a week or two along the way. i repeat week one 4 times before i felt confident enough to move on. i also repeated week four 4 times and week six 2 times. i ran my 5k in october 2009 and thought i would never ran again, but i ended up missing running (me, who said just because God made it so that we can run does NOT mean that we should run, lol) and started up again. i am running my first half marathon in june 2011. hang in there!

  5. Dawn - (I feel like I am writing to myself. Tee-hee). The "Couch to 5K" program is the plan we had downloaded and are planning to use. So glad to hear someone else has used it with positive results! We start this weekend - which gives us 3 extra weeks (thank goodness!)

    Thanks for reading my blog!

  6. Good luck! You CAN do it. I used to hate, hate, hate running. I started with a 5K and ran my first half marathon last April.

    The one thing that helped me the most was my iPod. I found podcasts I enjoyed listening and it made my running so much easier.

    You can do it. Just say you can.

  7. @goodenougmommy - thank you for the encouragement and great suggestions. I definitely need to get my iPod updated and ready to run!


Thanks for reading my blog. I would love to hear your comments - they encourage me so much!