Donna C. Terrell

I Was Just Thinkin'

Crossing the Finish Line

on November 1, 2013

Never underestimate the power of a short-term goal.

Short-term goals give us something to shoot for in a nice attainable timeframe. I recently just achieved a short-term goal of participating in a 5k race. I’ve been working out for years and became extremely bored with my workout. So the Lord put it on me to do a 5K. Me? A 5K? I don’t even like running to catch my train. But I was intrigued, so I registered for an upcoming race.

That brought all new perspective to my workout. I was no longer bored. Now I was Officially In Training. I bought new running shoes. I never was a big treadmill person; elliptical was my usual cardio machine of choice. But now I was on the treadmill, working my way up to 3.2 miles. I started with 8 weeks to go. Working my way up to the 3.2 miles was uncomfortable. My legs felt heavy and my feet would get numb right about the 2- mile mark. Plus I was really sweating my hair out. It would be totally drenched! I decided I couldn’t worry about hair. Hair in place would not get me through my race.

My original plan was to power walk and finish the race in 45 minutes. But as I trained, I realized that if I want to finish in a “respectable” time frame and not bring up the rear in this thing, I’m gonna have to do some running. And what I discovered is that I actually CAN run! Wow! How cool is that? I started running/jogging and walking, and on the treadmill I clocked 40 minutes at 3.2 miles. I was quite proud of myself. I’ve never done 2 and 3 consecutive miles at any point in my cardio life. It was so gratifying to realize that I am in excellent shape and my years of working out are paying off. Now I know to some folks 3.2 miles is nothing, but for someone who’s never done it before, it’s a big deal.

Then I went to a very large trail not too far from where I live. It’s a 3.6-mile trail. At the 3.2 mark I looked at my stopwatch and got my heart broke. 46 minutes!? What? How could that be? I figured I’d finish faster outside because I wasn’t balancing on the treadmill. That’s when I learned that outside is slower than on the treadmill. Seriously? That’s bogus, as the kids say.

I did the trail once more before the race and did even worse.  I was nervous during the week of the race. The race info read that people are expected to be able to do a 15-minute mile pace, and those who fall way behind would be picked up and driven to where the faster participants were. I did not want to be one of those climbing out of the clown car.

Race Day dawned bright, sunny, and a cool 55 degrees. Perfect! I didn’t want to be hot out on the course. I was told that races are exciting because of the camaraderie with the people, and I would be faster on Race Day because of the adrenaline that comes with it. There was lots of activity going on, including banter from a couple of local TV personalities. There were other races happening that day too—a half marathon, a 15-mile bike race, and a 10k. The 5k was the last to line up. That was cool in and of itself; lining up at the start line with the others, everybody in their race shirts and official bibs that actually kept time.

The race course was through scenic South Holland, where the suburban residents were along the route cheering and offering cups of water and Gatorade. I started off running, then I’d drop down to power walking, then running again. Run, power walk/recover. Run, power walk/recover. By mile 2, I had started hating my life. Why did I get in this? I trudged on, my iPod blasting in my ears to take my mind off it. I can’t stop; I have to keep going. Now in the gym, I could have stopped. But not here, not now. Must complete, will complete.

I noticed that my feet felt fine; they didn’t feel numb! My legs didn’t feel like lead! I guess all my training and conditioning had paid off because now when it counts, I had pushed past all that. The finish line was in sight! I crossed it at 39:56!

How cool! What a triumphant feeling! To do something I’ve never done before! I ran a 5k race! I finished!

I hope this will be an encouragement to you. Maybe you too have become bored with the same ol’ same ol’. Do something different. You never know what you have inside you until you step out. Find a short-term, reachable goal and stick with it. Maybe it’s getting through one afternoon without eating sweets. Maybe it’s adding an extra 10 minutes to your cardio routine. Whatever your goal may be, stick with it and you’ll be crossing that finish line too!



One response to “Crossing the Finish Line

  1. Greg Terrell says:

    “Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail” – coach John Wooden ……………Congratulations preparing in REACHING YOUR GOAL Cuz!!!!

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