Saturday, August 28, 2010

What a gift!

When it comes to speed, I have three kinds of runs, and I can usually tell by mile 2 which kind I'll be having that day.

The first kind is just the most amazing, awesome, energy-filled run. When speed is just there and you just run fast without even trying. Those days ROCK. :)

The second kind is when your body is a little tired and wants to go slow BUT it's willing to go fast if you push it. You have to fight for the speed on these days. You can get it, but you have to fight for it. No auto-pilot miles or else you'll slow down.

The third kind is when you are just NOT going to be able to run fast. For whatever reason, your legs refuse and you just have to do the best you can. Maybe wave the white flag, slow down and enjoy it for whatever you get out of it.

Today was a 2 for me. Had the speed, but I had to WORK for it. I say I can tell by mile 2 because that's when I pick up the pace after the warm-up mile. Depending on how easy the speed increase is, I can tell how the rest of the run is going to go. Today, when I kicked it in, it took a while for the numbers to drop and it was hard. But it was there, so I pushed it and just had to stay mentally engaged the whole way.

Trust me, there was a lot of Philippians 4:13 quoting going on this morning. And some Romans whatever that says we're more than conquerors! :) haha! God is so good to supply such physical strength when we ask for it, too. :) Thank you, Lord!

Here's the kicker, though. On the last mile, I had a moment of clarity. At the moment, I'm not injured. Which is good. :) But as I was speeding home on the last mile, I suddenly realized that I was running with absolutely NO pain. :) In my running history, that doesn't happen a whole lot. So, I started to think, "Hey, this is pretty stellar!" Mind you, I'd been running a tough run all morning and NOT exactly enjoying every step simply because it was tough. But by the time this struck me, I had to change my tune.

Every time I'm injured, I think, "Man, what I wouldn't give to run without pain!" And then when I get healed and start running pain-free, I totally don't even notice it. I dwell more on the fact that the run is difficult than on the fact that I've been given a gift of a BLESSED and amazing run--that God's given me the ability to run for extended periods of time, and to do it well. MAN, what a GIFT!!! THANK YOU, LORD!

I ended the run in the right frame of mind, thank God. He really opened my eyes to see how amazing today really was--that it was a sweet moment in which He could both bless and challenge me. Blessed by the strength and ability and time and weather. Challenged by the pace and the mental battle. And thankfully, the Holy Spirit won! :)

Have a great weekend, everyone! :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back to the Blog

Man, I haven't blogged in for. ev. er. It's been an interesting summer running and faith-wise. Faith and running-wise. Both, I guess. :)

At the start of the summer I hurt my back and had to take quite a bit of time off the road. It took a long time to get on top of the problem (it's not curable), but we're finally back at it. The trouble is that I lost most of my speed. And with the hot weather, it's been tough to get that back. But it's coming. I just need to be patient with it. I'm not reeeeeally training for anything right now. Going to do a half marathon with a couple of friends in October and then hopefully stay healthy to run Boston again next spring. Now THAT I am looking forward to. :) But it's a long way off. There's a lot of days and miles in between now and then for the Lord to work on me both physically and spiritually.

One thing I've come to love recently is the more frequent "naked runs." haha! :) I think I mentioned them in my blog before, but they're the times when you go out without any gadgets and just run. No iPod, no Garmin. Just you, God and the road. Man, oh man. Those are absolute bliss.

I actually had one of the best naked runs of my life yesterday morning. I am in LOVE with my hometown of Canton, KS. It is one of those quintessential small Kansas farm towns set on one square mile in the middle of a bunch of wheat fields and pastures. It's almost surreal.

Since I live in a city, coming home to Canton, for me, is more powerful than taking the most intense sedative. :) It's laid back, slow-paced and peaceful. There's no traffic noise, no stoplights, no interstates, and almost no internet connection. :) It's Heaven. :) And I fully believe that Canton is one of God's biggest blessings to me. He's given it to me as a retreat whenever I need to detox from the chaos of daily life in the city. (I'm also pretty sure that the family back there has something to do with it, as well. I LOVE you guys.) :)

Yesterday, I was up unexpectedly at 6:00, so I decided to switch my off day from Sunday to Monday and go for a pre-church run. Thank the Lord I did. I got to run along the most serene highway among the pastures and wheat fields and watch the sun come up over the plains. No distractions. No noise. Just me, God and His amazing creation. I did get a few looks from the cows alongside the road, but that was about it. :) And there were about five cars that passed. But they were all kind enough to not hit me, and even wave on occassion.

Man, that's one of the things that God's done in my heart more over the summer. With the rehab of the running, He's given me the peace to let it come back slowly. I've been blessed to push the pace when necessary, but to also enjoy the recovery/naked runs as a way of communicating with and worshipping Him. Running is most certainly a gift He's given me, and I am so blessed by it. We all need outlets, and I know He gives us each different ones. Running is the outlet He's given me. For SO many uses. Thank You, Lord.

Well, friends, I'm back to blogging. I don't know if anyone will read this, but it's nice to start writing it all out again.

Have a great day in the love of our Lord! :)