Saturday, December 12, 2009
We're running the rock...
That's right. Tomorrow (Sunday) Rusty and I will be running the White Rock half marathon. This is a race I've always wanted to do. I love to run in the cold, so a race in December is perfect for me. I'm running with Rusty, which I'm very much looking forward to. And thought this is our third half marathon, we are nervous!
We have been sick with a nasty cold for the last two weeks (downside to a December race, I've learned.) And if you are a runner, you know it only takes two weeks of not training to trash all of the endurance you have built up.
BUT- God is good about making sure this running thing keeps me dependent on Him. Because once again, even though this is my third half, I'm just as in need of Him as I was in our first race. Last spring, when I did the Nashville music city half marathon, my knees were about to explode and it was painful to even walk. And God was SO AMAZING to me! He gave me a great race I was able to do with my older brother Brian, and it was an unforgettable experience.
Here I am again, as needy as ever, for the Lord to help us do this. We are still coughing, haven't trained enough lately, and the list goes on. But we are going and I fully expect to make it and have a good time.
Let me remind you...I am not some super runner that has been built to run, former track star, natural athlete. Actually, it made me laugh outloud to type that sentence. Anyone who has known me for a long time would laugh too. This girl didn't run. EVER. In fact, exercise was just one of those things I tried to do, but felt like a big fat failure. After we got married, I definitely put on some pounds and was over weight and wanted to get it off, but felt so overwhelmed by it. I didn't know how to make exercise a real part of my life.
I never, ever thought it would be running. I didn't run. So I started with Jazzercise. Laugh if you must (and I understand, YOU MUST) but that's where I started after I had my first baby. And it was so hard, I would turn purple by the end and thought I would die. Every time. But I stuck with it. And something crazy happened. I was consistent for six to eight weeks, going about three times a week, and the pounds started to come off. And they kept coming. I was learning about how to be consistent and work hard for this, but the Lord had even more work to do in my heart.
And then, my husband was jogging, and I just decided I wanted to go with him. I like him. I wanted to share that with him, so I tried. And I started small, but I worked my way up to jogging with him, and I couldn't believe I was doing it. After a few years of Jazzercise, it was just too easy. I kind of graduated to something else. We also were adding children to our home rapidly and didn't have as much time as I used to. I found that running, while it was hard and not as fun as "shaking it" at Jazzercise, it was the most time efficient way to get a cardio work-out in.
God started doing in me what I thought I could never do. I found I could easily make exercise an idol, or make weight loss an idol. He had to show me how to keep my heart in check there. (How quickly I can go from one extreme to another!?) Finding that sweet spot of caring for my body, fighting against diseases like diabetes and other obesity related issues that were for sure looming in my future, needed to be part of it. But I think what I enjoyed most is seeing God do things in me that I never dreamed I would be doing. His dreams are always so much bigger than mine. What He has done in me or given to me by His grace, totally overshoots what I would have imagined.
I keep that in mind when I do any race. God is good. And He shows me spiritual truths everytime I do a long, hard run. I can't run uphill without thinking about perseverance as talked about in the New Testament. I pray as I struggle to breathe and keep my legs moving, 'show me how to persevere, Lord'. Endurance, discipline, these were all things missing from my physical and spiritual life once upon a time. God is such a good and loving Father to make me more like Him in these ways! He's NOT DONE. There is more work to do, I assure you. But it's all Him, and I am grateful.