I woke up today excited for a lazy morning of coffee, a great quiet time with the Lord and a flip through the newspaper. It was supposed to be my last rest day before my training began for the Boston Marathon. That was to be Monday, Jan. 4th, according to my planning.
Then, I got a text. My running buddy Jackie was asking if I had run for the day already. When I got the text, it was 9:30 and I was packing away a breakfast of cereal and yogurt. I replied that I was currently stuffing my face and asked if she had run already. She replied that she was currently on the treadmill. She's amazing. I can't walk and chew gum at the same time, but Jackie can text and run. haha! I love her!
After a couple of texts, she decided to call. (Smart girl.) She said that she'd actually already started her Boston training and that she would send me her training plan so that we could compare. "Good idea," I thought. "Oh, and I should probably figure out my training plan since that starts on Monday."
That's when it got interesting. Turns out I'd miscalculated my dates. I had anticipated doing a 16-week training program. And I should already be three days into it. OOPS!
The yogurt in my stomach did a little flip-flop as I realized that my off day should actually be an 8-mile middle distance run.
With nowhere to run because of the snow packed streets (If I were to run outside, I'd have to run down the middle of the road. And since it was prime shopping time by that hour, I figured I'd get a few dirty looks and honks from motorists.), I let my tummy settle a little more and then jumped into my running shorts and headed into the apartment complex workout room.
You know, the absolute coolest thing happened when I stared running. I found my mojo! hahaha! For the last few weeks, I feel like I've been coasting a little. Just lethargic and unmotivated. In life, in work, in running. I don't know if it's the nature of being on vacation or what, but it was NOT good. It was quite depressing, actually. I'm not one who can take it easy for very long without getting in a serious funk. But, once I hit that moving belt today and started the official training, it was ON. My arms pumped fluidly, my stride was smooth, my eyes were focused. It felt amazing!
Praise God. I'm so humbled to begin this training. For the first time in my seven-year running career, I'm finally running with a passion to do something more than achieve a medal or personal glory. After missing out on Boston last year due to injury, I was awakened to so many truths about the point of all that we do. If we aren't following Colossians 3:23, then there's no point in doing anything at all. Everything we do can and should be for the glory of the Lord--to reveal Him to a broken, desperate and dying world.
This year, when I thought about running Boston, I had absolutely zero desire to do it unless it mattered for eternity. One night, as I was praying, I asked God what He wanted me to race for. Immediately, I felt a question bounced back to me: If you, Jill, could run to bring Me to anyone, whom would you choose according to your heart's passion?
That was easy: the troops. I love our servicemen and women. I love that they are out there in harm's way to protect the freedoms we enjoy and abuse. And it kills me every time I hear of their hurts--things they suffer on our behalf. Post-Traumatic Stress, marriage destruction, physical wounds...All of it. They are all needs that the Lord wants to meet in them, and He has called a wonderful team at Military Ministry to help do just that.
So, this year, as I train for the next 16 weeks (okay, 15.5), I will run to raise funds and awareness to further the reach of Military Ministry. They're currently creating a web site were you can contribute to the cause and become part of the team. Once that is done, I'll let you know!
In the meantime, I would appreciate your prayers. Holy cow, this is going to be hard! Just looking over the days of 10 and 11-mile tempo runs and long, tiring 22-milers made me a little anxious. But praise God. If our troops can endure months/years overseas to protect us, then I can handle 3 hours on a lonely road. Furthermore, if our amazing and unbelievable Savior can endure a cross and all it's torture for all of us, then none of it is too much.
Praise God. Here we go!