Sunday, February 21, 2010

Committed, at last!

Well, I did it! I finally committed to my spring race. I signed up for the St. Louis marathon yesterday. Everyone running with me lately knows that I've been struggling to make this decision. For a number of reasons, I just couldn't commit. I even contemplated doing another race - the Kansas marathon in Lawrence on April 18. After much soul searching and having completed my 18 mile run on Saturday injury-free, I decided it was time to go for it.

I have some peace about it now that I also have given myself an alternate backup plan. St. Louis is my Plan A, but if any number of things should happen to change that, I have the Kansas marathon as my Plan B. Since it's just a week later, it won't affect my training. I'm even going so far as to say if I'm just not feeling it while I'm running St. Louis, I'll back it off and just do the half there and do Lawrence the following week. One way or another, I will be doing a spring marathon and will get number 13 off my back! The main thing is that I stay healthy and get my body ready for the intense training this summer, as I will attempt to qualify for Boston in the fall.

I'm looking forward to starting speed work this week and getting ready for my 20 mile run in a couple of weeks. Now I really know I'm training for a marathon when I have 20 mile runs on the schedule. 18 was long and hilly on Saturday, but keeping the pace slower made it manageable and relatively pain-free. Slow and steady, increasing step by step - that's my strategy this spring. So far, it's working pretty well.

2-mile time trial on the schedule for tomorrow. With all this snow and ice, we'll see if we can get it done. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Running with God

God is so Good! If I really stop and look at my life, this seems an obvious fact, but too often I forget to acknowledge all the good things.

I'm dealing with my nagging sore hip again and it's made me change my training strategy already. This past week, I've been doubtful of my ability to even do mediocre marathon training. Even with no specific time goal, I've been frustrated that I even have to deal with this right now, at this early stage of my training. Basically, I've been in a complaining mode and feeling very ungrateful.

I've been doing my shorter, mid-week runs on my own which has allowed me to run at my own pace and really listen to my body. Today, I was also able to use my solo run to help me spend some alone time in prayer with my Lord.

Once I had found my rhythm and had run about a mile, I started praying. At first, I was selfishly making all sorts of requests. Once I couldn't think of any more, I started listening and responding to God's spirit. I felt like I was really talking with God. I felt His Spirit was guiding my prayer and reminding me of all the things that He has already blessed me with in my life. My husband, my kids, my family and friends, and my health. All of my basic needs and then some are taken care of. I should want for nothing really.

For the rest of my run, I felt satisfied with all I have right now, not what I still want or feel I need. It was all Good!! By the grace of God through His Son, I have been forgiven and saved. I never want to forget that and remember this incredible blessing. It's for all of us. We are all God's children.

It was so nice to spend my running time with God this morning. Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still, and know that I am God." I always took that so literally. While I believe it's good to stop what we're doing and have our daily quiet time with God, sometimes running is the only time my mind can be still.

Just wanted to share this experience with you and encourage you to pray (and listen) sometime on your solo runs. God can work in our lives at all times if we simply remember He is there.