Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sometimes, Procrastination Can Be a Good Thing

According to Google, procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing something. It's usually a bad habit, and something I regularly tell my kids not to do. But today I did just that, and it wasn't such a bad thing.

When I woke this morning at 4 AM, the outside temperature was 70 F, even colder than yesterday's 100. And yesterday when I ran, my sweat was freezing on my clothes and my ears felt like they were frozen solid and would fall off any minute. So to say I wasn't looking forward to running this morning would be an understatement.

Yesterday, the wind chill was -20 when I headed out the door at 5 AM. But the forecast called for it to never reach more than 40, even in the warmest part of the afternoon. Today was different. When I looked at the hourly forecast, it promised temps reaching the mid to high 30s by late afternoon. That's when I knew that procrastination was in order for today.

So instead of making myself a running popsicle on the roads before the sun came up, I decided that an afternoon run was called for. That's not something I do under even extraordinary conditions normally, but these conditions were extra-extraordinary!

I made it home around 4:30 this afternoon, spent a little time with my beautiful granddaughter, then changed into my running clothes. By the time I stepped out the door, the temps had started dropping. But they were still way higher than this morning's 70. So off I went.

I was pleasantly surprised to knock out the first mile in 9:11. The second mile went down in 9:08. When I left the house, I was figuring I'd average a 10 minute pace. I'd intentionally chosen a route to avoid traffic as much as possible, and the third mile would end atop the highest hill on that route. Even that couldn't slow things down and mile 3 went down in 9:04. What came up during mile 3 was going down on mile 4, and I came to the 2/3 mark of my 6 mile run still holding that 9:04 pace. Mile 5 slowed a little and came in at 9:07. Normally I'd drop down to a cool down pace here, but the final mile on my 6 mile run was finished at an 8:52 pace. The entire run was completed in 54:27.58, to average a 9:04 pace.

Since that's about a minute per mile faster than I planned at the start of the run, and just less than 2 minutes per mile faster than yesterday's run in temperatures that would make a Husky's teeth chatter, I think it's safe to say my procrastination paid off today.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

Sometimes we get the idea that our schedule is inflexible, it can't be varied. Sometimes, and not just us runners, tend to think any variation in our routine will cause problems. It's almost impossible for us to believe that changing what we do and when we do it could improve our performance, but sometimes that's just what happens.

God has perfect timing. God has created a time for everything. Sometimes, we just have to be a little flexible and admit that maybe the way we planned isn't the best way. Sometimes, doing it God's way means being willing to vary from our way. And one thing's for sure, when we do it God's way, we'll get the best results possible!




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