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It's Celeste Turn column: Will you give in or give it your all?

The following is an opinion column written by an Echo Press editorial staff member. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press.

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Runners crossing the starting line at the Fargo Marathon's 5K race Friday, Sept. 24, at the FargoDome. Photo courtesy of EnMotive

Last weekend, my husband and I ran in two races that were part of the Fargo Marathon weekend – a 5K on Friday night and a 10K on Saturday morning.

As family and friends read via my Facebook post, I have no idea what happened at the 5K. It was the best race I’ve had in probably two years.

As runners, there are times when you are on your game and there are times – sometimes long stretches – where you are so off your game you want to quit.

That’s where I’ve been lately. Off my game.

Not sure if it's the weight I’ve gained, menopause, feeling down and depressed, lack of motivation or all of the above, but running has been hard lately. And that is what put me in a funk.

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But on Friday night, something came over me and I couldn’t be happier. My official time for that race was 33:49 . I haven’t ran 3.1 miles in under 35 minutes in a long time.

Most of my 5Ks have been around 36 minutes, but some have been closer to 40 minutes. For most of those, I thought I was pushing myself. I thought I was trying my best and running as fast as I could.

But maybe, deep down, I wasn’t. Maybe when those runs were not what I wanted, it was really me and not the million of excuses I had.

Have you ever been in those shoes before? Pretending you were giving it your all, but you really weren’t? In truth, you just gave up because it felt hard.

That’s been me. In fact, I didn’t really feel like running last weekend. My husband asked me what my goal was and I told him, in a very grumpy manner, that I didn’t have one. I didn’t want to set a goal because in my mind, I wouldn’t reach it anyway. I was predestined to fail.

But then something happened. And looking back, I’m still not 100% sure what it was.

As I was waiting for the race to start with all the other runners, a young woman sang the National Anthem. Her voice was pure, strong and perfect. Near her on the stage were four veterans dressed in military garb holding flags.

It was a beautiful moment and it made an impact on me. As I made my way with hundreds of other runners to the front to cross that starting line, I decided to dig in and really give it my all. I mean really, truly, honestly give it my all.

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I thought of the young lady who gave it her all as she sang.

I thought of the military men who I’m sure gave more than their all for not only themselves, but for their country.

Once the race began, it was my time to give it my all. But not for anyone but myself.

When my watch buzzed at the first mile and I saw what my time was, I was shocked. I ran that mile in 10 minutes and 57 seconds. My typical time, as of late, has been around 13 minutes.

I dug in some more and the second mile took me 10 minutes and 41 seconds. I was flabbergasted but I could feel myself slowing down. I didn’t give in though. I did the third mile in 10 minutes and 50 seconds.

I was completely drained when I crossed the finish line, yet it was amazing. It felt incredible to achieve something I hadn’t done in a really long time.

The next day, during the 10K, I tried to do the same thing. And despite being slower than Friday, I still did it. I ran the 6.2-mile race in 1:12:30. Lately, running that distance usually takes me between an hour and 15 minutes and an hour and 20 minutes.

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Column writer, Celeste Edenloff, running toward the finish line of the Fargo Marathon 10K on Saturday, Sept. 25. Photo courtesy of EnMotive

Again, I felt proud, which I haven’t felt in so long.

I haven't been running since then but I am hoping that when I lace up my shoes and head out that door or hop on that treadmill again, that I can think back to those races and once again give it my all. Like my all-all, not just some half-way attempt that I make excuses for after I am done.

What about you? Will you be giving up or will you be giving it your all?

Feel free to share your story of giving it your all with me at cedenloff@echopress.com. Maybe your story will give me the motivation I need the next time.

“It’s Our Turn” is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.

Related Topics: FARGO MARATHON
Celeste Edenloff is the special projects editor and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
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