Achieving a single digit pace

My last key milestone recorded in my journal was achieving a non-stop-running-for-5k goal. That was huge for me and I said to myself, “well done, but what next? ” I agreed with my legs to work on my running pace (measure of speed), try to pick up legs higher to achieve a longer stride, try to run faster – all avenues to get my pace down to a single digit from the 12-13 min/km I started out with.

 So, with all best intentions I head out for each run with that goal in mind………but week after week, I still find my pace east of 10min/km. My last run was with thighs that felt like lead but I kept pushing with my goal in mind. I made it through the laps and yet again record a 10.21 min/km pace. At this point a 9.99 min/km will be the colour of success. But, there is no giving up, legs of lead or legs of feathers I’ll be out there again as per my running schedule to try and knock off 22 secs off each km.
This determination makes me wonder about my other goals and dreams…how resilient have I been? How resilient have you been? Many times it’s just so much more convenient to throw in the towel and walk away when mountains in our way won’t budge. But my running teaches subtle lessons everyday : I’ll keep pushing till the mountain budges.

2 lessons that dropped in my spirit as I completed my last run;

  1. A goal is usually to set to stretch you, to upgrade you, to improve you. An abandoned goal means you remain on the same level but an accomplished goal means you step up to a higher level. What are those goals that have been placed in the chiller or trashed because there were either too hard or taking too long to achieve. I suggest we dust them up and refresh…..Perhaps the goal was too ambitious in the first instance, can we do an honest refresh and perhaps split them up into bite-size-achievable goals? For example, I know runners that do 6 min/km but my achieving such a goal in the near term is a fiction story.
  2. Life without Goals is boring. Every day we need new challenges to keep us focused on excellence; doing the same thing over and over leads to ‘normal’ and we aren’t created for normal. We are created to excel, to dominate, to win. So, if there are no new goals or challenges in your life, create some, put yourself on the winning edge. I especially love Spiritual goals – setting self targets that help me study the bible more, pray more, meditate more and intercede more, any thing that helps me get closer to the throne room of God. In the past, I’ve given up on a few spiritual goals just because they were too tough or required me to sacrifice sleep. But my single digit run goal has taught me that I have sufficient grace to keep pushing those mountains (whether spiritual or physical). Giving up is not an option for a winner and winner I am.

The bible teaches us in Philippians 3:13-14, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”. 

This summarizes where I am today, all that I have attained by God’s grace is behind and I am facing forward and hoping that someone reading this is at the same place. Today, I encourage myself to reach forward to bigger goals in the physical, higher callings in the spiritual….living on the edge and excelling in ALL that I do, to the glory of God.

So single digit I hear someone say again?  That should be easy right? Wrong! Tough goal for the lead legs, but I’m sure pushing steadily for 10 seconds faster today , 20 seconds faster tomorrow, I can soon shave off the much needed 2 minutes required to meet this target. I pray that the next entry in this journal will be celebrating this achievement plus a new list of spiritual goals I just set for myself :).

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