Here Without You

Part of marathon training is getting my weekly distance run up to 20 miles.  Some distance days when I knew I had to run 15 or more miles (according to my running plan) I’d just go out and run till I either ran out of time or ran out of gas.  Then I’d come home, map it, and see how far I went.  I was really enjoying that process and thought of it as an “organic” approach to running, as the sport is lending itself to more and more gadgetry (GPS shoe chips, ipods, etc) — until I noticed that I kept finishing at 18.5 miles.  Realizing that I was falling just short of my 20 mile goal, which is kind of the pre-marathon max distance one conquers to prepare for 26.2, was starting to play mental games with me.  In an effort to stay as low-tech and high-fun as possible I found myself 1.5 miles too short 3 times in a row… and I began to doubt myself.   I firmly believe distance running is 90% mental and if I didn’t hit the 20-mile mark I was beginning to fear I wouldn’t be mentally prepared to go the distance in May.

So last week I broke down and bought a Garmin GPS watch.

And let me tell you… it ROCKS!!!  I took it for 2 runs last week, a 9-mile loop and a 20-mile out & back, and it’s really hard to not be obsessed with your pace!  I found it actually pushed me to run the 9-miler really strong and was almost like the running coach or partner I’ve never had and I loved it.  I thought it was a bit of a distraction for the longer run but it helped me get the job done, which was really all that mattered.

As I often find in life I think my distance running escapade made for a good metaphor when it comes to our relationship with Christ.  We go to church (our *distance* (or commitment) run of the week) and we hope that’s enough to help us stay in the race and cross the finish line – with the result a “gold medal” into Heaven.  But just going to church isn’t enough.  Look at my situation:  I was doing my weekly distance run.   Keeping things basic and uncomplicated.  And my running fell flat and I began to doubt myself.  I hadn’t done the homework to pre-plan my runs to make sure I was hitting 20 miles.  And I should have.  Also I’ve had a TON going on in my personal life and it’s cut into my cross-training time, which has hurt my running quite a bit.  Just going to church isn’t going to keep you on track and with God Monday through Saturday.  You’ve got to do your prep-work and spiritual cross-training.  Start with studying the Bible.  It’ll help you make better decisions when faced with things of this world.  And it’ll remind you that wordly things, such as lust, money & greed, aren’t important and help you appreciate your life exactly as it is and the many gifts God has already given you.

1 Tim 4:7-10 says, “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.”

Put God in your daily GPS. His is a race we should all strive to win.

Run by faith,
Lindsay

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