My first thoughts when I woke up besides "Coffee" was about Aunt Lo.
Today, Aunt Lo would be surrounded with her sister and her husband as she underwent her 3rd round of chemotherapy for Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
I had planned on running 5 miles easy today. 5 miles when training for a marathon is nothing special.
However, to me, these 5 miles were beyond special. I was again dedicating my miles to Aunt Lois.
I decided to kick it up a notch. I have been taking it very easy, to not wake a sleeping demon with my injury.
As I thought about Aunt Lois and this being her 3rd round of Chemo, I thought about REPEATS.
This next round for her is like a REPEAT.
Begrudgingly, she has to get back out there to get better.
I headed to the track at the gym directly after drop off for my boys. My plan scared me. I thought, I want to get as close emotionally as I can to Aunt Lois. I had a lot of fears dancing around my head. I had enough Faith to trump those Fears and keep me moving forward in my plan. But the fear was in the shadow lands.
1 Mile WARM UP: Easy does it. As I gently ran around the track, I began to pray. I needed God to keep me Strong and Focused. During my warm up, I studied my plan and the purpose behind it. I took this mile to mentally prepare myself for what I was going to subject my body through. I prayed more.
I prayed for Aunt Lois. I saw her doing her warm up, as she drove to the clinic. Oh, how her mind must have been really talking to her.
3 Miles of REPEATS apx: (The track at the gym is a little short) Without pacing myself. 1 lap slow, 1 lap fast: repeat for 16 laps.
1 Lap Slow: Easy up. That first lap you feel pretty good. You feel confident in your plan. You actually believe what you have posted in your mind. I could breath, My body felt good. My mind was stable. "I got this!"
2nd Lap Fast: This first lap even felt good. Yes, my heart was pounding out of my chest, I was moving. I felt so good even as I was racing around the track. The words that I spoke to myself were still loud and clear, "You got this"
6 REPEATS went pretty good. My body, my mind and my mantra held fast. .
The 9th repeat, my voices were getting drowned out. The chatter in my head was getting gurgley.
This was a recovery lap. I want to walk. I wanted to quit. I wanted to slow down and crawl. I wanted to everything but get back up again and go fast.
Aunt Lois: Was this how she felt? Did she want to just stay put, not fight, not hurt?
Did she question the purpose of all this?
Was she fearful she was not going to be able to go another round? Even though she knew that in order to get better she had to push through the Good, the Bad and the Ugly?
It was time to grit it out again. The slow repeat was over. I had to pick it up. I had to pick it up for HER. I didn't want to. I was feeling weak. My legs were tired. My mind was confused on my purpose. I was so scared. Was there an easier process to get the same results? I looked forward. "God, I NEED you now." I NEED you to give me everything I do not have." I could feel fear of failure pumping through my veins.
I questioned how weak I was.
I welcomed my breather. My repeat was done. I was so thankful for another round completed. I had less than a mile to go. I could see myself at the end. Catching my breath, I tried to reign in my thoughts. I tried to get control back. 2 more hard laps. I can do 2 more hard laps. RIGHT?
I saw the clock in front of me. My skin was beat red. Sweat was trickling in my temples. I reminded myself to check my posture. Remember to breath. Pick up your legs. Look forward. I was checking through my mind trying to think of all the things that will help me to finish strong. At this point, Just Finish.
That last fast repeat I entered into DREAD. I saw the line across the track. I thought "What if this is all for nothing?" Maybe I should just slow down. "God, give me strength." This foreign sound came out of my mouth. "Get control Anita"
"Aunt Lois, this is for you." I thought. I wanted to feel her pain. I wanted to be next her. What thoughts rented space in her head?
Did she feel Dread? Confusion? Fear? Did the Chatter drown out Gods promises for her? Could she hear God? Could she feel God?
It was EVERYTHING to Finish Now.
I knew That God was waiting for me at the finish.
Even though I finished my repeats I had to run a cool down.
4 1/2 Laps to Cool Down; I took this time as my Quiet Space. This was my time to recover both mentally and physically. This was my time I could reflect and KEEP going. It wasn't time to quit just yet. It was my time to take and Thank God for how far he carried me.
It was at this time that I had the thought "You are always in training" There is The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. But you do not have time to quit.
God gives us the opportunity to catch our breath before he sends us back out in the battlefield.
Right before we want to quit, he does something so miraculous. However, most of us never get that far!
We forget the plan. We loose our focus. We listen to the lies in our heads. We conform to mediocrity.
There is Not Enough time to lolly gag through LIFE.
You Have to GRIT it out. Fight the Fight. Give your All. And TRUST God in the Process. He is the Greatest Coach.
5 Miles Completed:
15 Minutes in the Cold Plunge
Rolled and stretched before and after my run
Ate Well : You are what you eat.
Aunt Lois made it through her treatment today. It lasts all day.
I am so proud of her.
Thank you to Rachel D and Terri W. for the Prayers and the Dedicated Miles.