Monday, November 5, 2012

My Farthest Distance Yet!

I ran 4.6 miles of a 6.2-mile (10K) course this morning.  This was in preparation for the 10K I want to do next month.  I’d gone the full 10K distance before but that was running half and walking half.  Today I ran more than half.  And that included going over the Clearwater Causeway bridge out and back! 

I took these as a panoramic shot but I don't know how to get them that way on the page.  You'll just have to imagine them side by side and imagine me running up, across, and down. 

I set a goal of running for 30 minutes, turning around, and running back.  I was only on the second song when I heard myself say, “22?  23?  How about 25?” 
“NO!”  I answered out loud.  “30!  I said 30 minutes!  Run for 30 minutes!”  While Mandisa was singing:

It's a good morning!
Wake up to a brand new day
This morning
I'm stepping, stepping on my way
Good morning
You give me strength
You give me just what I need
And I can feel the hope that's rising up in me.
It's a good morning
I was trying to tell myself to shorten the distance I was going to run.  (Sigh.  Shaking my head.)

I met my competition.  Her name is My Own Thoughts.  My competition is not against any other runner.  It’s not even against the voice in my head telling me to stop because there isn't a voice telling me to stop.  It knows I won’t do that.  It does know that there’s a very real possibility I will shorten the time or distance I’m going to run or that I’ll slow to a walk if it can catch me at the right (wrong) time.  It knows I’ll say that walking is better than doing nothing.  It knows I’ll say that the fact I’m running at all is an accomplishment and I’ve already run some so it’s okay if I walk some. 

This morning was not the right time to catch me in those thoughts!  I not only told myself (more like gasped) out loud that I would run for 30 minutes, I kept telling myself out loud, “Keep running.”  A few yards later, “Keep running.”  (Check my watch.  Only at 15 minutes, halfway to the turnaround point.)  “Keep running.  Look how far you’ve come!  You made it up the HUGE bridge, across the top, and you earned the downhill!  Wasn’t it fun?!  Yeah, the downhill was fun!  Keep running.” 

After 30 minutes I turned around and headed back.  I had maybe ¼ mile to go before I hit the bridge again.  I prayed that God would help me focus on His creation along the way to keep me going and that the sun wouldn’t blind me.  I didn’t want to focus on that!  I hit the bridge and, man, did I feel that incline!  Part way up, though, a cool breeze came from behind to keep me from getting overheated.  It was God pushing me!  No way could I slow to a walk now!  Besides, I knew I had to earn the downhill again.  On the downhill portion I even raised my arms up for a second!  (well, as much as my left arm could go without disconnecting my music) 

At some point on the run I was thanking God for giving me a body that can run.  I thought of the verse that says “You have given me a body to offer.”  Hebrews 10:5.  My running can be an act of worship.  I can offer it to God to be used to give glory and attention to Him.  Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Dear brothers and sisters…give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you.  Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable.  This is truly the way to worship Him.  Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.  Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

By offering my body for God to use as He sees fit, He can change my thinking so that I will know His will.  He can change my thinking from wanting to get by with a shorter distance to running farther than I ever have before!

I finished this run after 1 hour and 2 minutes and then drove it to see the distance I had gone - 2.3 miles in one direction and then back for a total of 4.6, the farthest distance I’ve ever completely run. 

Will I go 35 minutes in one direction the next time I do this course?  What do you think I’ll do?
This evening I got an email from a friend who put the two pictures together so you can get a better idea of the HUGE bridge I ran.  Thanks, Doug!  :-)





  1. That's incredible Michele! 6.2 is nothing to sneeze at but add a bridge and WOW :)