Okay, maybe more that just a bit.
I was thinking about the distance on my training calendar looming above my head in a thought bubble.
Eighteen miles was the distance. That’s a pretty big number. And yet, that was only one more than two weeks ago, only five more than 6 days ago. But it’s still a pretty big number.
I’ve completed this distance before, but that was before. This was today.
And so, I prepared. Bed early (no problems there). Water bottles in frig (check). Course decided (sigh). Time to wake? We’ll see what the Lord brings…
6:20 am reads my night table clock.
Alrighty then, let’s rock and roll!! (well, maybe a little more rock than roll).
I dress in the dark. I stagger down the stairs. I let the dog out.
Whoa. As my friend Meridith would later tweet… Holy Humidity!
Grab my shoes. Pretend to stretch my legs as if it will relieve the stress about to be required. Get the tunes. Snatch the water bottles. Out the door. Here we go.
And we’re off… slow but steady. So far so good. Sweatin already. Many more miles to go. Ahead I see the back of a girl. Is it my friend Amanda? Oh please, oh please, could it be? No. Bummer.
Heading towards the Hilliard path now. Ready to drop this extra weight of a water bottle (all 1 pound of it). I know I’ll need it later. Check. Still hangin in their pain wise. Very thankful. My mind wanders from songs, to random thoughts, and then I stew on a thought for a minute. While lamenting to my hubbie yesterday, he makes a very wise and true statement:
Running is a in mindset.
That it is. Locked and loaded baby. To finish any training run, I’ve learned to lock my mind on both the distance and the course ahead. Funny thing is, each training run is the same. There’s a beginning, middle, and end. It could be a hard run for 3 miles or 26 miles. It’s all a mindset.
And along the way, I will be distracted from my mindset. There are people, traffic, construction, rain, and even bugs that fly in your eye and threaten to take you out of the game. I’ve learned to roll with it. You have to if you want to finish.
So much like my spiritual life.
If I want to “finish” the race of life well, I need to have a mindset, a fix per se. I need to choose that because distractions abound. The bible says to fix my eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2), and to fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Cor. 4:18)
So true. He helped emphasis that for me in Honduras. All this that I see is temporary. It perishes. All of it. It has an end. Including the pain… which is setting in pretty strong at that moment.
I’m heading to 7 now, and pass the girl who wasn’t-my-friend-Amanda, say, “Good morning” like I have several times now on this trail of fellow crazies, and continue on my way. No lie, not a few minutes later, I see another girl heading my way with a cute green tank top on (I notice it because of the vibrant color!) Guess who it is? Yep. My friend Amanda!!! And I just finished saying, (insert sing-songy-voice-that-Austin-uses-to-imiate-girls) “Whatever you have for me Lord.”
What a gift.
We run together for the next 6 miles. At one point, I walk a bit, at another point she pulls off to grab a drink, we met together again, and we simple resume the journey, the one we’ve traveled through together for the past 5 years. Priceless.
I still have a few to go as we part ways. I pass two more friends who are rock stars. I say that because they will undertake an IRONMAN race next week. Such an amazing feat to me. I pass another young man who is running on a prosthetic. I pray for him. I run a little further and get a wild hair to fuel up again at a local joint. I can’t quite believe I took my sweaty self into Abners’ to ask for a glass of water, but I was thirsty. I got “the look”, but it was worth it. I walked here and there when my body was having a hissy-fit. And I finished.
And it was good.
Good because I finished. Good because I’m home. And home means family. And home means time together sharing life. And I was excited to live it with them, whatever the day ahead held. My mind-set on Jesus, brings me to a state of gratitude and thankfulness for each moment He gives, for each gift he bestows. And yes, even the gift of running.