April 4, 2012 § 5 Comments

Over the past few days, I’ve been thinking about my goals at Boston.  I really want to PR, but this training cycle has not been without its difficulties.

I’ve thought I was seriously injured about 4 times and skipped several key workouts.

I’ve been training in a totally flat region of the US for a race that, as I read last night on this description, basically is hills.

There’s a time I’d love to run my first Boston Marathon in.  There’s a time I know I am able to run my first Boston Marathon in.  And ultimately, I have no idea what my time will be.  I don’t know how I’ll feel that day.  I don’t know what the weather will be.

It’s not looking exactly ideal.

But the point is to give it all I’ve got.  That’s all I can do.  I’ve put in a bunch of miles.  I’ve eaten right.  I’ve looked at multiple scenarios of goal times and what my splits should be.  And when I show up on April 16, that’s all I can do: show up.  Trust the rest to God.

Running is an inexhaustible metaphor for life.  This is a perfect example.

For the past week, I’ve been writing down my 1-year goals every morning.

This stems partly from something my pastor in college, Jimmy Seibert, used to recommend (and may still): when facing a decision, journal about it for 30 days. It also stems from a huge (to me) life decision that’s staring me in the face that I really want to get right.

I’ve always been fairly goal-oriented, I guess. The summer after my sophomore year in college, I read Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and immediately wrote a 10-year mission statement.  After writing it, I realized my goals didn’t line up with what I thought my then-boyfriend’s were, so I emailed him and broke up with him.  (Yes. I know.)  That mission statement has informed a lot of my decision-making since then, as have my many New Year’s resolutions and goals.  But the road has not been quite as linear as I once expected it to be.  In college, the future was very clear-cut in my mind:

  1. Get out of college
  2. Get married
  3. Go to Uganda
  4. Have babies & save orphans
  5. Write books
  6. Live happily ever after

Let’s just say life has required more hard work than I thought it would.  I’ve run into some unexpected obstacles.  Some of them I haven’t handled so spectacularly.

Now I’m at another crossroads.  As I look at the future, I know that I want to be a woman of vibrant, abundant life with deep, reciprocal relationships and I don’t want to discount any of the opportunities and gifts God’s given me.

I still have some specific things I want to do.  But the master plan has been squished and stomped on and it’s looking a little wrinkled.

So I’m taking out a fresh sheet of paper.  

I firmly believe that if you don’t know where you want to go, you’ll never get there.  The unexamined life is not worth living is a more powerful statement lived out than stated. So I’m examining.  I’m mapping.  I’m dreaming.

But now, instead of expecting my will to be done, I’m letting it go and waiting.  Instead of writing down a numbered list in black and white, I’m brushing on colors and trusting that as it unfolds the end, it will look like a work of art to the One who matters.  This next step may not be without its hills to climb, but I’m showing up.  Trusting the rest to God.


§ 5 Responses to Goals.

  • Jamie says:

    Great thoughts. In times like the one you’re having, for me, I always turn to Jeremiah 29:11 (for I have plans to prosper you…). Definitely show up and trust God! You’re going to have an awesome Boston experience, hills and all!

    • Rebekah says:

      Thanks, Jamie! That’s so good. I need to paste that on my steering wheel where I can see it all the time.

  • subthree says:

    I always admire honesty in writing, letting it hang out – and that’s never an easy thing to do, but you’ve done it here. My comment? Have trust in yourself and all the work you’ve done toward reaching this goal.

    Boston is not all hills, In fact, what’s tough about the course is you essentially run downhill until after the half, pounding your quads, then you hit the hills and have to recruit a different muscle set. By the time you crest those (and they’re not really all that major) your quads seize up.

    The lesson? Keep your early run under control. Don’t go out faster than your plan even though you’ll be tempted. Keep a bit in the bank for the latter part of the race.

    As for the weather? Pfft. That’s so long range that it’s unreliable.

    I love the section where you write about your younger goals and then how they got beat down, so you adjusted. Sort of like running a marathon, is it not?

    Thanks for the post.

    • Rebekah says:

      Charles, this encourages me so much and affirms what I have already been feeling: make sure to stay conservative on the front end. Thank you so much. Actually, I was reading your post while you were writing this comment, probably, and looking up the Brookvale 50k. Only $35 entry fee! Of course, you have to get to PEI, but that’s a place I’ve always wanted to go anyway. Sounds utterly gorgeous and I’m jealous you used to live there!

      • subthree says:

        To me, PEI is magic spot – not that I loved at first when I moved there. I arrived there from Calgary – a city of nearly one million people – to a thinly populated island with no amenities – or mountains. But it’s stunning and I grew to love how separated it was from the rest of the world.

        That $35 entry fee pretty much gets you into the race. I don’t think there’s much else. But the folks will be friendly and you’ll never forget the experience. I know from mountain biking, it would be a hard run. I hope to do it myself.

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