Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Monday, April 26, 2010

Done for the Week: My Race is Run (Literally)

Time for taking stock again.  

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project blog, and the bestselling book by the same name, works from her insight that "The days are long, but the years are short."  As the weeks whiz by, I know what she means.

I continue to struggle with my nervous nature, and my crowded life.  I continue to try to grow, and to learn, and to figure out what matters in the short and long runs.  Here's what I got done last week.

Done List--Week of Apr. 19-25
  1. Completed 4.6K
  2. Finished Opal on Dry Ground:  A Novel, by Sandra Scofield; Awakening from Grief:  Finding the Way Back to Joy, by John E. Welshons; Sarah Conley:  A Novel, by Ellen Gilchrist; Mortal Acts Mortal Words, by Galway Kinnell 
  3. Took my blood pressure daily
  4. Attended one meeting
  5. Published 5 blog posts
  6. Meditated 5 times
  7. Succeeded in napping resistant 2 year-old twice
  8. Helped say goodbye to failing grand-dog
  9. Helped celebrate son-in-law's beleaguered birthday
  10. Posted essay contest entry, 1 day before deadline
  11. Rooted for my two winning teams in the NBA playoffs
  12. Walked my dog daily
  13. Mothered daughter through child's concerning illness, and putting dog down
  14. Mothered one teenager through job crisis, another through illness and major decision process
  15. Spent two afternoons relaxing and reading in the (chilly) sun
Last week's focus goal, for the third straight week, was to meditate five times.  Number six above, highlighted in green, is the goal met, once again.  Time to move on, I think, to a new emphasis.  But not to move on from meditating.  I am committed to making this practice routine, like showering for my mind.  

In red, at the top of the list, is what I consider my most important accomplishment of the week--completing my first ever race outside of gym class.  Not because running, or entering events that reward me with cool shirts and bags and after-race refreshments, is the highest value of all those that moved my actions this past week.  Several of the things I spent my time and energy on were more meaningful to me overall.  But accomplishing the run brought the satisfaction of having met a goal I had set months ago and worked toward faithfully, resurrecting my training after a several-week illness.  It was something my daughter inspired and encouraged and supported, to the extent that she ran with me yesterday at a pace far slower than she would have run alone.  We crossed the finish line together, with smiles on our faces.  

The late April weather added a challenge, with threatened rain becoming a sprinkle before the finish line, and the temperature just under 50 degrees.  The course was beautiful, even under a gray sky, but wet, and muddy, and fraught with uphill segments and tree roots I had not encountered on my gym's manufactured oval.  We began with a long uphill stint which leveled briefly and then was followed by a steeper climb.  My chest was bursting at the start and I huffed and sweated through the conversation my daughter kept going with no observable strain.  But what I thought was the halfway mark turned out to be closer to two-thirds.  When we were close enough to hear the yelling as runners came in, I knew I would make my goal of running the whole way.  

I had jokingly said that my race day aim was to finish before dark, and without paramedics.  I was thrilled with my 13 minute mile pace, and not at all embarrassed to finish 103rd out of 130 in the "fun run"--even though most of those who finished after us--many minutes later--were walkers.  The event, which included a 20K race, was a memorial fundraiser in honor of an accomplished endurance athlete, a 48-year-old woman who was killed three years ago by a drunk driver while biking.  Proceeds fund bicycle safety and anti-drunk driving efforts.  

My focus goal for the coming week is to do more writing.  Longer blogs don't count. 

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