Pace yourself! A Guide to Finishing Well

While training for my first triathlon, I did something I haven’t done since High School...

In High School, I went out for track and trained to run 800 meters, which is about a half a mile. On the day of the track meet, I was ready to go.

This was a special day because my girlfriend was in the stands. Okay she didn’t know that she was my girlfriend, but I knew, and that was all that counted. I thought that winning this race might ignite romantic sparks! What happened was quite the opposite. 

The starting gun went off and I took off like I was shot out of a cannon. After the first turn, I was ahead of everybody! But at a quarter-mile, I began to hit the wall. My legs felt like fence posts.  My lungs were on fire.  I tried to keep going but it was impossible.

At that moment my stomach sent a text to my brain…

The sandwich you ate at lunch doesn’t want to run with you anymore.”

Suddenly I was kneeling on the infield grass. The sandwich came up first, followed by a pizza I had eaten a week ago. Finally, a jar of strained peas I had eaten when I was a baby made a grand appearance. Only the sandwich had the decency to send a text.

I never saw the finish line that day.  All I saw was a sandwich, a pizza, and some strained peas.  

Recognizing the mistakes I made has been helpful as I have run this race of life.  It might help you as well.

Instead of setting a goal to finish, I had run with the goal to beat all the other runners.

Sound familiar? 

How much time do we waste competing with others or comparing ourselves to others instead of running to finish well?

God has not called you to beat anyone. He has called you to finish.

The path of life is littered with folks kneeling on the infield from burnout and discouragement, men and women who have forgotten a few simple principles. 

Be the best you can be and forget about comparing yourself with others. 

Pace yourself to finish well. 

Don’t eat Pizza before you run.


    1. Thank you for this message of encouragement to finish the race, It’s kind of like the story of the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race. Look towards finishing the race and our reward will be at the finish…it doesn’t matter how long it takes us to get there (because everyone’s journey is different) it matters what we learn along the way (in our race) and that we finish the race, in God’s loving arms at the finish line, where He’s waiting for us and cheering us on to make it there, to be with Him!! 🙂

      1. I gave up comparing myself to others so long ago that I can’t remember it, but, with my memory that could (what was I talking about) have been Monday. God obviously didn’t make me to be like anybody else so why should I compare myself to anybody.

        I’m not sure about pacing myself, I think right now that I’m running full out to the finish line and life without pain.

        1. Loving your Godly encouragement with a bit a sass and so much humor.

          And may He continue to encourage you too and no more strained peas! Lol

          Those guys always show up.

  1. Good advice. Our goal should be to please our Lord and nothing else. Do the discipline.

    1. A smile along with humor keeps us going. Thanks for your outlook on life. It bolsters my outlook and helps thru the bumps in life’s walk.

      1. Ken, your connection to our God and his mission within you is inspiring! Whether here in this blog, your Monday videos, or in St. Cloud, MN – I was there with you two years ago – keep loving, learning, and laughing! Greg Spofford, Little Falls, MN

  2. Thanks!! Those were exactly the words I needed today . Not competing, but trying to do to much.

  3. I am grateful for you! Several friends and I have laughed through Chemo because of your shared humor.
    Laughter through treatment does work. Scripture teaches it doeth good like medicine. Thanks Ken for
    participating in the healing.

  4. Thank you for the thought of starting to finish and not to win. This is true on so many aspects of life. I

  5. Ken in this age it is not difficult to find those who have faltered; thank you for staying the course and for the reminder that the goal to finish well is truly significant.

  6. Thank you for the words of wisdom, but being the odd person I am…..what happened to the “girlfriend”?

  7. Yes! such a great story/lesson. Looking forward to more. Good for people like me who take themselves and others too seriously.

  8. This is the kind of humor I love. Pushing the experience to the limit of gagging on strained peas eaten as a child! So Ken Davis!!

  9. Thank you for always making me smile! I’m bringing my daughter to see you for the first time in person tomorrow night. I know you will be a blessing to her and I’m praying your message will bring her back to the Lord. God bless you and thank you.

  10. Great insights to share from your experience Ken.
    I simply relate with your story about competing.
    I am currently studying for my masters.
    And even though I swore to myself that I wasn’t gonna make the same mistakes I made in undergrad, by seeing everyone one as a competition, I occasionally catch myself doing the exact opposite.
    That is, I forget to enjoy the journey.

    So thanks for the heads up.

    #Lighten and live

  11. Thanks so much for this encouraging message Ken. Funny but oh so true!! god does call us all to finish the race as Paul states!! Hope you and Dianne are well!! Love you all!

  12. Hilarious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I may have said this before on something else and this is something new for me.

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