Yep, it’s that time again. Always mind-blowing. The concept of the human body being able to endure heavy aerobic exercise AND sustain for over four straight hours – total mileage 26.2 – just doesn’t quite compute. This picture was taken three years ago. I had started training a year prior, starting with a 1 mile run. Four months prior to this, my first marathon, God introduced me to a girl who had completed a marathon before, and she so graciously endured my never-ending questions. In fact, we started running together, and 6 days from now, we’ll be heading towards the starting line again, good ol’ Neil Ave. Love ya Amanda!
Looking back, I can tell you that this upcoming race is going to be quite unique. Only in looking back, can I even describe the joy that fills my heart today. Over the past four years, I have come to learn so much about my Christ, and along the way, so much about myself. The training for this race has been different. I don’t wear a watch, I don’t use a Nike+ sensor to record and remind me of my miles, I don’t even listen to music every time. I run, simply to spend time with Him, in obedience of what He asks me to do that particular day. And, oh how He blesses. It’s such a sense of freedom. I now know that the hardest training sessions, are the ones that prepare me most for race days – the days I don’t quit.
I have also used a training schedule this time. Years past, I simply ran three days a week, and a long run on Saturday mornings. This time, I felt led to follow an on-line guide that challenged me to run 5 days a week, closer to 40-some miles weekly. I’m curious to see the results after Sunday. Reagrdless of my time, I’m entering with no pressure on myself, simply to be open to His will. Also, in comparasion, there have been times that God has brought others alongside in encouragement and relationship building. This time, it’s been from “afar”. Time spent running has been Christ and I alone. One final, and huge, difference, is that I have run injury free. This is quite a miracle, let me tell you. Through the years of running, I’ve grown accustomed to some type of ache, nagging pull, or other pain that gets dulled with Advil on the really rough times. I’ve sustained hip injury, knee injury, Achilles tendon strain, shin-splints, blisters, toe nails falling off, cuts & bruises from falls, and even a horrible sinus infection that wouldn’t hold me back from an August half-marathon race. It’s all part of the territory. Thus, the reason why, receiving a protection is such a miracle. Can’t tell you why, just trust in His plan in complete thankfulness.
So, on Sunday morning, while many will have visions of sugar-plums, my husband, my friends Matt, Amanda, Denise, Erin, Dave, Missy,and my new friend Stacy (competing in her 14th in her wheelchair!) will be heading for the start line (see God’s mulitplicative effect) with 10,000 others. We’re simply there to enjoy the abilities God has gifted us with, in this season of life, for such a time as this, to even be able to “run” and complete the task He’s called us to today. Will you be in prayer for us? If there is one thing I’ve learned, surely we will be carried by His strength, always have.
Though your task (His Will) for your life, may look a bit different, what has He equipped you to do today? Who has brought alongside of you in this journey? What has He asked you to endure for the sake of His name? What lessons of grace, mercy, patience, and strength does He have awaiting you? If you never get to “race” with the journey alone be enough? Maybe He’s asking you to read about it today…
2 Timothy 3:16-17
16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.