Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Focus: 10K!

I took a strengths finder at work a few weeks back, and the results described me perfectly. One of my top 5 strengths was titled "Focus". It means this:

Where am I headed?” you ask yourself. You ask this question every day. Guided by this theme of Focus, you need a clear destination. Lacking one, your life and your work can quickly become frustrating. And so each year, each month, and even each week you set goals. These goals then serve as your compass, helping you determine priorities and make the necessary corrections to get back on course. Your Focus is powerful because it forces you to filter; you instinctively evaluate whether or not a particular action will help you move toward your goal. Those that don’t are ignored. In the end, then, your Focus forces you to be efficient. Naturally, the flip side of this is that it causes you to become impatient with delays, obstacles, and even tangents, no matter how intriguing they appear to be. This makes you an extremely valuable team member. When others start to wander down other avenues, you bring them back to the main road. Your Focus reminds everyone that if something is not helping you move toward your destination, then it is not important. And if it is not important, then it is not worth your time. You keep everyone on point.
Gallup, 2008

In short, I agree. This strength of mine caused me to take a huge leap last night. Despite fighting a nagging leg and knee pain, I decided the only way I was going to accomplish this goal of doing a 10K was to just sign up for one. I chose one a month from today. I was really excited last night. I am really nervous today.

Because of my leg pain, I went to get new shoes today. Mine were about a year old, and probably have some miles left on them, but if it helps my leg pain I was willing to try it. The woman who fitted me for my new kicks asked me what kind of runner I was. I told her my history (briefly), and that this was the year I wanted to do a 10K, and I had, in fact, decided that I could do that in a month. Her reply made my nerves even worse-she asked me in a weary voice if I knew about "the hill". The race I signed up for is called the Kalamazoo Klassic. The 5K run starts at the top of a VERY large hill, and finishes at the bottom, with the route going all the way around the hill, but with the runners not required to actually run the hill. The 10K is the 5K route twice, meaning we run the hill. This hill is so legendary for this race, the slogan for the event is "The Thrill, the Will, the Hill…". 

I am pretty sure this is going to be very challenging for me. First, I have only run that far once, and my leg has hurt ever since. I am planning to take it slow, and increase my distance gradually until reaching 6 miles right before the race day. To keep me accountable, I will be writing after each run, and as I make progress. After I make it through this 10K, I would love to try a half-marathon. There goes my "focus" strength again!  

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