- - - - - - - - - -
Now, I realize the Apostle Paul has the corner on the market when it comes to the faith = running a race analogy, but I had to jump in with what I've learned over the past six months.
Setting a [Crazy] Goal
I have fought the fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day. 2 Timothy 4:7-8
Let me first start by saying that I am not a true runner. I don't absolutely love it. I don't get a "runners high." I'm not super fast. And I probably don't have very good form. But I do love to be healthy and in shape and last April I needed something to jump-start me again. I asked my friend Liz to run a 5K with me in June. And then after that, I decided to be crazy and train for a 10K in October with my friend Charity. The longest race I've ever attempted.
Consistency in Training
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Training was pretty consistent--3 runs a week, following a plan on the Endomondo app. I slacked a little when we traveled to Montreal and also when I got sick two weeks before the race, but otherwise I stuck with it. Early morning, mid morning, early afternoon....slipped in a run whenever it happened to work with our varying schedule. Long runs on the weekends at the park. Space for me to be alone, in the quiet, getting healthy, releasing stress.
Running Even When it Gets Tough
Consider Him [Jesus] who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:3
Race day wasn't too chilly for the end of October. It was the first year for the race so there were only 62 participants (this included 5K/10K/15K and lots of walkers). Charity and I picked up our packets and warmed up. The course was beautiful but So. Many. Hills. The entire race felt like constant up and down. I trained on hills a little bit but not quite enough. I did okay until around mile 5 (of the 6+ miles) and then I started to lose hope a little bit and my brain wanted to stop.
Importance of Friendship
If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Ecclesiastes 4:10
But Charity was so encouraging and we chatted and she took pictures and she talked some more and we just kept running. Together. I'm not sure that I would have made it through mile 5 and 6 and 0.62 without her. It's so much more fun to run with someone! I think there's no point (or fun) in doing a race on my own--I needed that accountability and encouragement.
Crossing that Finish Line
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. . . . He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son." Revelation 21:3, 7
We sped up a little right at the end and ran over the blue carpet proudly. It wasn't the easiest or prettiest race ever, but we made it. Stats according to Charity's running app: 6.62 miles, 1 hour 2 minutes 33 seconds, and an average 9:27 min/mile. (My longest training run was about 5.5 miles with an average 10:30 min/mile.) I didn't love running the race but I'm so glad and proud that I did it.
The moral of the story?
It will all be worth it in the end.