Ahhhhhh. :) It's FALL!! :) It's probably the most bittersweet season there is for runners. At least it is for me. It's undeniably the BEST running weather. Way better than spring because you don't have as many storms, and temperatures that are just to die for! But...It means that the WORST running season is just ahead. Good ol' winter. Icy, snowy, blustry winter. But, it's winter that makes us tough and gives us the best training both mentally and physically, simply because we have to work a thousand times harder than at any other point. I think that's one of the reasons I was in such great shape for Boston last year. Winter training is H-A-R-D.
But, let's not talk about that today. Let's talk about the most unbelievable and amazing run this morning!! :) Perfect fall training run. Hallelujah! :) Thank You, Lord, for the blessing!! :) The temperature was a delightful 56. There was only a slight wind. And the sun was shining! :) Let the chorus of angels sing!! :)
And, lo and behold, wouldn't you know that my legs responded to the amazingness? :) A whopping 7:36 pace for the 14 miles! :) Yee haw!! :) That hasn't happened since the back injury. The times are dropping! And just in time. Got a half marathon that I'd LOVE to kill in two weeks. I haven't done many halves, so this will hopefully be a great place for a PR.
In all of this, I've been thinking. . . In God's economy, there is no good or bad when it comes to the situations that He orchestrates. There's only good according to Romans 8:28 ("And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose."). So, what does that say about winter training? It's only good! :) All that icy weather. All the treadmill runs due to sub-zero temperatures. All the "Where on earth do I run when the sidewalks are snow-packed?" days. They're all good! But we as humans only see them as bad because they cause us to overcome obstacles.
In these moments, if we're wise, we'll view those obstacles through God's lens and ask how He would have us respond. And, if we trust Him enough, we'll be able to accept His challenge and walk through it knowing that He's got a plan and that He's already made a way.
I think back to the one 20-miler that me and Jackie did during Boston training last year when it seemed like EVERYTHING went wrong. But we wound up being blessed with two stud treadmills and a free session at a 24-Hour Fitness. :) Icy roads, broken windshield wipers, and all!
Here's my own challenge to myself. As fall continues, I am going to prayerfully put aside my dread of winter and ask the Lord to help me see it through His eyes. May each ice-run be a fruitful strengthening experience, and may I use each day to connect with Him in a deep and intimate way. I'm thinking that's HIS plan. So, I might as well jump on board!
In the meantime? I'm going to enjoy these fall runs like there's no tomorrow. :)
Ciao, friends! :)