I still have a love/hate relationship with running. It still takes a lot to get out there and do it, and I still usually hate it while I am running. Especially for the first 2 miles. Yet I still sign up for races knowing full well that I run slower than most and so won’t even place, let alone win. But I like the shirts and cups, and love getting finisher’s medals. And I love the feeling of actually finishing.
I’ve run 2 half marathons so far. 13.1 miles is a long way to run when you want to quit before finishing the first mile. I am planning on running a full marathon in October. By planning, I mean I have registered. I want to put a 26.2 sticker on my car along with the 13.1 sticker. And Karyn says I am a machine for being able to finish runs I haven’t properly trained for. That would really be both halfs. I did better training for the first half, but I went straight from not being able to run past 9 miles to the 12 mile run. That was also the half that I asked Karyn for an epidural about a half mile from the finish. The second half I should not have been able to finish due to lack of training. I have also gotten through 2 10Ks by reminding myself of that 13.1 sticker on my car. “You’ve run 13.1 miles; you can run 6.2!”
So, yeah. I’m ready to make the 26.2 leap. Once anyway. It will be different, for sure. I can run 13.1 without having to refuel, but I know I will need to eat something during a full to replenish. I know I will have to be diligent about training. Not just the runs themselves, but running with “supplies” for refueling. With proper training, there is no reason short of injury or illness that I shouldn’t be able to finish – even if I have to walk (or crawl).
Funny thing is, sometimes I think I have been learning more about my walk with Christ from running than I managed to pick up otherwise. I have not fallen during a run (yet), but I know it is a matter of time. I saw a lady go down right in front of me during the last half, and she got right back up and proceeded to pass me again. This would correspond pretty directly to what Paul says about looking forward and forgetting what is behind. I’m going to trip and fall on my face, repeatedly, but that is not where I am to stay.
13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14, ESV)
Training for a long run involves a lot of running with gradually adding distance to build up the muscle and endurance. Properly hydrating is also necessary as well as eating foods that provide energy and promote healing. Even with all the training, and even training hills, sometimes you find yourself in a race with a hill from hell. This is a hill that may or may not be steep, but it seems to just go on forever and ever as if you are never going to reach the top. Sometimes trials feel like the never-ending hill, and just wear you down no matter how you try to be diligent in prayer and bible study.
Sometimes, rather than a “traditional trial,” it can be a struggle with overcoming a particular sin that can feel like that never-ending hill. I have found myself here lately. I know much of what is going on is spiritual warfare, but I also know I alone am responsible for my actions and/or inaction. I’ve been tripping and falling repeatedly, but kept getting back up and running. But then I hit the wall. And when I hit the wall, I realized that when I thought I should share what was going on with my close friends that I should have actually done it. But then I still waited before I did it. And it’s still a problem like a never ending hill.
Update: I meant to credit the title before publishing. I “stole” the title from the sermon notes I took during a sermon preached at newhope church. And because I didn’t have the notes in front of me when I finally finished this post (after about 4 weeks), I don’t even remember what sermon series it was (pretty sure it was Joyride) or if it was Pastor Benji or Pastor Chad that preached it.