So, milestone reached!!!!
Last Friday I completed a 21 mile run! I even actually RAN 99%of it. I only resorted to run/walk intervals for a few miles near the end ( more on that in a bit). I have now managed to complete all but 5.2 miles of the marathon distance. I have reached the ‘Marathon Possible” zone!
Friday’s run started out well enough. I was stocked up with GU and Shot Bloks for nutrition, water belt full, GPS watch fully charged. I set out feeling pretty good. I had mentally broken the run up into four sets of 5 miles each, planning to refill water and take bathroom breaks at designated stops along the way. I kept a nice comfortable pace for the first 13 miles. Around mile 14-15 it started to get tough. It was a really hot humid day ( 82 even in mid morning), and the wind was picking up to an uncomfortable level. I was sweating buckets but hydrating well. At mile 16, I stumbled and stubbed my toe. When you stub your toe in toe shoes, you take notice my friends! I knew it wasn’t broken, but man did it smart. Combined with the heat, the wind, and fatigue and I was a sad little runner-puppy for sure. By mile 18 I resorted to run walk intervals. In spite of the heat, the sweat and wind factor were combining to give me chills. We were approaching 4 hours at this point, and my phone’s battery gave up the ghost. I made it to mile 19, and my GPS watch was threatening to mutiny as well ( so much for the 5 hour GPS mode battery life…thank you Garmin ). At this point I was beyond tired, but so close to home. I mustered the energy to pick it back up and run the 2 miles home in hopes of out lasting my watch battery. I made it with probably 2 seconds to spare, but the bottom line is that I made it!
The next day I had to work, so I limped around and managed. I iced my knees that night, and got up the next morning to actually run- yes run people- a brisk 3 miles before walking around Legoland for the remainder of the day. The following day ( today) I got up and dropped Super Son off for school. I ran a slow 6 miles ( my legs were exhausted), showered, hopped in the car, and drove to Cocoa for chaperone duty for his field trip. I MAY have possibly fallen asleep for a BRIEF moment in the middle of the planetarium show…but it was JUST a moment, and there was no drool ( that I will admit to anyway).
And that my friends, was my Friday through Monday in a nut shell! Whew!
I will admit, Its getting hard. I feel like my life runs around my training schedule now. The hours on my feet are getting to be overwhelming, leaving little time for grocery shopping, much less any semblance of a normal life. On my longest run days, I am on my feet for 4-4.5 hours at a time, followed by a cool down period of about a half hour, then icing down my complaining joints for another half hour, then showering and hydrating ( another half hour), and finally some form of lunch ( I can’t run with food in my stomach, so I am starving soon after a long run). All in all, the entire process from long run-to cool down-to refueling, takes around 6.5-7 hours from start to finish…and THEN I get to start my day! I generally spend the next 2 days exhausted, ravenous, and stiff. My knees have started to swell and complain for any runs over 15 miles, requiring icing at night as well.
I know, I know, it sounds awesome right???:)
And YET, I find myself praising God more and more for every run that I take. There is Joy hidden in there, in the completion of these long days. I am tired, but I am THANKFUL. I really don’t have room to complain, because God has taken me right where I have asked to go.
( warning…it may get a bit preachy from here on out…so hold on to your hats folks).
I am utterly, completely, thoroughly exhausted. My house is a wreck, I am a wreck, I have exhausted my emergency clean clothes stash…and YET…This Marathon is becoming Possible. So many months ago, when God put the idea in my head, it was an absolutely impossible dream, one I couldn’t dare to expect to achieve. At the time, I could barely even drum up a wisp of hope, but I threw myself out on faith. I asked God to run with me, to make it Possible to finish a marathon…run, walk, crawl, whatever it took. Little did I realize when I flung myself out on faith, just what was in store. God laced HIS shoes up and ran right along with me, every single step. As a result, I have had more quiet time with God over the last few months than I have had in the last year. It turns out that running is one of the only times when my brain is tired enough to be still and listen to what He has to say. I’ve been in spiritual training as much as I have been in physical training. I’ve graduated from listening to music when I run, to just Listening period.
It hasn’t been EASY. As a matter of fact, its been downright HARD-physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. And I realized as I was running some of my hardest, grittiest runs over the last few weeks, that it SHOULD be hard. All those months ago, I prayed for this marathon thing to be possible. I knew it was a really tall order, and I was going to be ecstatic if I could even crawl across that finish line. So why in the world should I expect it to be EASY? Easy was never part of my prayer…I simply prayed that the impossible be possible. He’s answered that prayer. How in the world could I possibly gripe about how much time or physical effort it has taken, when He has given me exactly what I asked for?
How many times in our lives do we pray for the seemingly impossible…’if only You could fix my broken heart, broken marriage, broken _____’…and in the midst of that prayer, we simply care about it being possible…you know those ‘please God if only’…moments. Yet, when He comes through with a miracle and actually makes the impossible possible, we gripe because it is hard work getting there. Every once in a while God WILL make it easy as a bonus, but most of the time, He is going to require some physical or spiritual sweat people! I believe he’s a hands on,in-the-trenches-kind-of-God, who is in the middle of all the messy stuff in life, getting his hands dirty to help his children…but he wants us there, beside him, getting messy too.
So yes, My life is whirling chaotic dustball of crazy right now. That’s OK. To be honest, it was pretty crazy and dusty before all of this running nonsense. In the middle of it all though, I have Joy. I am doing the physical work and God is making it possible. He is equipping me as he has promised, and I am grateful for every minute of this crazy exhausting schedule. He is making the impossible possible, and for that I will drag my tired butt out and run!