Outside of the mile run you are forced to do in jr high and high school, running was never on my list of things to do. It wasn’t until winter of 2009 that the thought of running even entered my mind. The huzband had trained all summer to run his very first marathon only to get injured towards the end, not allowing him to run. I had reached a point where I was not happy with my physical self. It wasn’t the typical woman’s “I need to lose 5 pounds”; I weighed as much as I did when I was full term with little V. Not a good thing. Somehow, in my desperation, I was not thinking clearly and agreed to run a 1/2 marathon with the huzband (that’s 13.1 miles in case you weren’t sure). I believe the huzband took advantage of my weakened mental state because who in their right mind would run 13 miles?
Four months later, there I was toeing the line for my first half marathon by. my. self. The huzband had lasic eye surgery a few weeks prior and was not able to run with me (a coincidence, I think not. I know he planned this!) Throughout those months of training my predominate thought was I hate running! I didn’t experience the infamous “runner’s high” until a week before race day on my 10 mile run. (Here is the post I wrote after my 10 mile run.) It was a long training road and once over, the feeling of accomplishment was overwhelming. I survived!
If you haven’t heard of the runner’s high, it’s a time when all your endorphins kick in, you’ve been running through grit and pain and you realize, you have reached a state of enjoyment and peace during your run. As if you could just keep going for a very long time. Note, it is also different for each runner.
Now here I am a few years later, four weeks away from running my first ever marathon (that’s 26.2 miles in case you weren’t sure!) When playing with the idea of running this marathon, my feelings for running had not changed much. I described my relationship as a love/hate relationship: I hate running but I love how I feel afterwards. I knew it would be a hard road ahead of me not only because of the work but because it was work I was not particularly fond of. There were many a days I would awake with begrudging thoughts of “ugh, I have to run again!”
a sort of ‘family pic’ right before I started my 18 miles
But like any relationship, the more time you spend with someone, the more you get to know someone, your heart begins to change. I recall waking up one day over the summer thinking, “When should I run today?” Perhaps you don’t notice anything special about that but it caused me to stop in my tracks. You see, I didn’t grumble ‘do I have to run’ or ‘why am I running’. I didn’t have a grudge in my heart towards this thing I hated doing. I had peace. It had become something I, dare I say it, enjoyed. Somewhere along the way, running had run its way into my heart, my mind and my life.
a before & after of a 9 miler; I actually do smile when I’m done
Running had become a time for me to work things out, think about all that is going on, to brainstorm (I have had many a good ideas come to me while running) but most importantly, it has become a time that I spend uninterrupted with God. It is a time where I pour out my heart to my Savior, a time I seek Him about my family, about being a better mom and wife, a time that I thank Him profusely for all that He has given me, a time I listen to see what He has to say, a time that He teaches me, a time I pray for others, near and far. On my runs I sing, I cry, I share with my God the deepest uttering’s of my heart. I let go of everything and allow God to see what He already sees: my weaknesses, my ugliness, my pride and selfishness. And finally, I pray for our sponsored girls: Diana and Delphine. I pray for them, their families and communities. I watch as God break’s my heart for the poor, unwanted, oppressed and hungry. I remember what motivates me on this running journey.
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke,to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not turn away from your own flesh and blood?” – Isaiah 58:6 – 7
Running has become a time that God is using to change my heart.
And I dare say it, I am a runner!