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Monday, April 06, 2009

Painful Training

24 Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win. 25 All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I am not like a boxer who misses his punches. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
1 Cor 9:24-27

I am training for a half marathon. If you read this blog last year when I was training I wrote a lot about it. I haven't written as much this year, but I continue to learn the same things from the Lord through this process.
Let me just tell you, today my knees hurt like they've never hurt before. I ran 11 miles yesterday! 11 miles! Yesterday, before I left, I was so nervous. I thought, 11 miles...that might as well be 30 miles, it sounds so daunting. Even though I did 10 last week. I had been nervous, but I did it! Still, I was terrified.
But God was so good, and taught me as I ran. It was somewhat windy. Thankfully, I had sweet Jeanna to do the last six miles with me. When I'm running uphill, against the wind, and it feels like I'm running in slow motion, I wonder how in the world I will finish. It's too hard. My knees might explode. At about mile 8 yesterday I had to admit to Jeanna, I'm struggling. She encouraged me.
Training is hard. You continually push yourself to do more than you think possible. I've been working out with a group of women at church, and it is so inspiring to watch women do more than they've ever done with their bodies.
And isn't that just like God? He's always doing more than we can imagine when we depend on Him.
We can step back and take a look at ourselves and think...it's too big. Too much needs to change. But He is more than able. And in the face of what seems like 30 miles, He does the work for us.
I love what training shows me. When I start out, I'm thinking, sometimes I struggle to get my three miles in a day. How in the world will I get to 13?
But He takes me one step at a time, and each time I run I have to celebrate the small victories. 4 miles...5 miles... 6...Wow! 8 miles...9...10!? Really God?...11! How did I get from there to here?
But He reminds me of Who He is! And I'm most reminded when I'm running uphill, against the wind, at mile 9.
There's purpose in every step. He's teaching me something with each mile. I don't want to miss it.
It's not easy. My knees want to give way today. The discipline of my body and mind is draining. But 11 miles are behind me. What else could God do through me if I just asked Him?
I'm thankful for training and watching God do BIG things! Why am I surprised when He comes through? Faithfulness is who He is! I obviously forget He's able, He's stinkin' BIG! He's God. When I rely on myself, I quickly remember I am not.


Anonymous said...

Just amazing! I'm so impressed and proud of you!!

(I'm still learning how hard 3 miles is - you are a rock star!)

The Mosiers said...

Amazing! I'm super impressed. I wish I could've been there yesterday after your run to cheer for you. 11 miles!! That's huge!

I hope your knees don't really explode. That would be a mess to clean up :)

Feldman Family said...

Praise the Lord! I am encouraged by what the Lord is teaching you! 11 miles is huge & only in His strength! You go girl - press on! Purpose in every step! Yes!

I love that Jeanna! What an encourager!