Saturday, December 1, 2012

Why Am I Running a 10K?

At the end of our run Thursday, I was telling my running partner that my first 10K is in just over two weeks.  She said, “I don’t know why you want to do a 10K.”  That got me trying to remember my reasons for doing this.  I want to increase my distance because endurance is the part of running I do best.  I’m not fast and my form isn’t something people admire.  A famous runner said, “I don’t just go out there and run.  I like to give people watching something exciting.”  That famous runner was not me.  J  But there has to be more to it than that.  I began running to allow God to dream big within me so that He and I could do amazing things, hard things, things that I’d never be able to do on my own.  And boy have we!  I’ve done six official 5Ks and run that distance several times a week for almost 1-1/2 years.  I covered that distance with a combination of walking and running for six months before that.  A few years ago I didn’t even want to walk one mile because it was too hot or I didn’t want to take the time. 
So I want to move on from 5Ks because I endure.  And to show what God can do in a person who lets Him have His way, whatever that way is.  Hence, a 10K (which is 6.2 miles). 

On the course yesterday morning my goal was to run for 65 minutes and then walk the rest of the way.  I realized that the first 3 miles or so are easy.  Well of course they are!  I run that twice a week!  No sweat!  (I mean no problem.  Believe me, there is sweat.  J)    Even running another mile or so isn’t too difficult.  After that I start running out of my own strength and have to rely on God’s.  That’s where it gets interesting.  As I neared the bridge on the return trip, I wondered if my 65 minutes would end while I was on the bridge and I started to think of options.  One was that I could stop then and walk the rest of the way but I wouldn’t get to run downhill.  Another was that I could continue running the uphill to earn the fun downhill, even though that would put me over 65 minutes of running.  I’ve become a person who doesn’t shy away from a hard task, so I decided to keep running until I was done with the downhill.  This thought process took a few minutes and I was at 64:something and part way up before I decided I would keep running.  That trek up the bridge was HARD!  It felt like I was going so slow that I was walking sometimes.  (I wasn’t.)  I even got tears in my eyes.  Were they from the sun I was running directly into, the cold wind I was running directly into, or the figurative brick wall I was running directly into?  Whichever, there they were.  I thought of a verse I wrote on a running shirt, Psalms 34:1 – "My lungs expand with His praise!"  During all this, DC Talk’s ‘Jesus Freak’ kept me going.  So did David Crowder Band’s ‘Foreverandever, etc” because it felt like the uphill climb was taking forever. 
When I meet other runners or bicyclists going in the opposite direction sometimes we smile or say good morning and sometimes we don’t.  About this time a man was coming toward me and I could tell he wanted to say something so I continued to look at him rather than away.  He held up his hand so we could high five!  I’ve never had a stranger do that before!  It gave me the energy to keep running.  I never really noticed the leveling off at the top of the bridge, but I did begin to notice the downhill increase in speed.  I even held my arms out to my sides for a few seconds as if I could fly!  That makes it even more fun!  I ran to the end of the spiral and checked my time. 

71 minutes.  Six minutes longer than I’d planned to run.  I even ran past what was going to be next Monday’s goal – 70 minutes.  (Next Monday’s goal is now 75.) 
So I run to show what God can do when I let Him have His way and to encourage others to let Him have His way in their lives. 


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