Sunday, September 26, 2010

Setting Intent

The Portland marathon is two weeks from today and I just got excited about it two days ago. Better late than never, right? I realized as I was slogging away at mile number four-hundred-and-who-knows-how-many that I have spent the last three months chipping away at required training miles with no set intent and a bad attitude. What a waste.

When I force myself to go to yoga class, we "set our intent" at the start of each class. We choose what we want to get from the class and theoretically, train our mind and our body to follow the intent during the class. God talks about setting intent in the Bible too. He tells us that He created us for His pleasure and with a specific purpose for each of our lives (Ephesians 2:10). He expects us to be purposeful in the way we live our lives and in how we use our time, our talents, our resources and our energy.

Today as I was running and talking with God, I decided to set my intent for the marathon. Goal number one is to enjoy the race. Sounds basic but it's hard for me to wrap my mind around the idea that running 26.2 miles could fall into the "fun" category. I've wasted time being grouchy about "having" to run 18 and 20 mile training runs and in the process, forgot about all the gifts God has given me. Restored health to run on a knee that a year ago was still in an immobilizer post-surgery. A running partner for the first time ever. Iron Woman Carissa, who's youngest just turned one today, is a silent-warrior who never complains and blasts away miles like it's nobody's business. She is such an inspiration and I'm so thankful for her determination, positive attitude and her willingness to run with Negative Nellie. Now that I've set my intent to have fun, she may not recognize me on race day which will be a celebration of all God's many gifts to me.

Goal number two is to finish in under four hours. That would cut 55 minutes off my only other marathon time and would be a huge improvement and victory for me.

Goal number three is to qualify for Boston. Goal number three does not make sense and I hesitate to say it out loud because it's ridiculous for many reasons.
One: I do NOT want to run another marathon. Really. I don't.
Two: It would take a perfect race with no potty breaks or body crashes for me to finish in 3 hours and 45 minutes. It's almost in the unrealistic category.
Three: See reason number one. I keep trying to quell the competitive edge in me and the little voice in the deep recesses of my mind whispering softly, "If everything goes exactly perfectly and you run the race of a life time, you COULD qualify for Boston. Since you don't want to ever do this again, why not go out with a bang and see if you can do it?"

So there you have it. I've set my intent for race day and in the process, re-evaluated how intentional my life is. Am I being purposeful in living a life that has eternal significance? I'll be mulling that over while I continue to chip away at the number of miles to run before race day.

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