Finishing Strong

Do any of you read Kristin Armstrong's column, Mile Markers, on Runner's World. com? I love it. She has such great insights and it feels like the topic she chooses each week is so relevant to my life at that moment. This week is no exception. The column is about Finishing Strong: both in running and in life.

Next week is finals and then I get a whopping weekend off before I start summer classes the next Monday. No rest for the weary. But the summer is my last semester, I'll graduate nursing school in August.

I'm tired, physically and mentally. My head feels full. I'm trying to study for my finals and I'm already getting homework for the next semester. It just feels like too much. I  want to crawl into bed and sleep for a week.

Kristin Armstrong reminded me that I always feel this way at the end of a marathon.

"The final stretch of a marathon can be epic. Sometimes you can see the finish line, sometimes not. Either way, it’s close enough to taste but far enough to keep you hungry. Your calves are cramping, or at least mine always are. I’m usually salt-encrusted and ready to be done.Everything about my body aches. And yet more is demanded. You can’t just stall out at mile 26 and walk it on in. Sometimes that final .2 determines the seconds that represent the difference between a PR or a BQ, or not. But it always means something to finish steady and strong."
definitely salt-encrusted and ready to be done

So, even though I am tempted to throw in the towel and say good enough, I am forcing myself to keep going. I won't stop studying and say that I'll be content with a B. I won't show up for my new classes without having done the preparation. I've come this far and worked so hard. I'm at mile 26 with just that .2 to go. Stopping now would give me momentary relief, but finishing will give me the ultimate satisfaction. 

"We do this, because even though it might feel good to stop, it will feel awesome to finish. We learn how to access our backup tank and remember to keep it full. Once we learn the value of finishing strong, we don’t do things almost. We don’t give up."