This morning I completed week nine of my training for my first marathon. Half way there.
This morning I ran further than I have ever run before. A little over half the distance of the marathon. This pic? That was my view when my feet took their first steps toward crossing into the furthest this girl has ever run.
It was a beautiful morning. I started well before the sun came up - thankfully, with the Blue Moon, it was almost like running with the sun. :)
|This pic, btw, IS after the sun came up - it wasn't quite that bright. :)|
Running has always offered me a lot of time for reflection and prayer - it's one of the reasons I've grown to enjoy it so much. And training for this marathon has given me LOTS of time to reflect and pray.
Here's one of the things I've learned...
Failure or victory in running for distance is almost entirely fought in my mind. Yes, I have to run. Yes, it is really hard, physically, at times. But that's not where I'm going to find victory in it, I don't believe.
When I'm planning a long run there are a lot of factors I have to consider.
- I try to never run back past my starting/ending point until I am actually finished. When I see my car, or my house, my whole body starts shutting down - it's done. So I plan - I plan to finish.
- I do the best I can to run at least a portion of my longest runs with someone else. It is amazing what one other person can lend to your endurance and your will to fight through. It's better when you're not alone.
- I listen to music. Fast, inspiring, pick-up-your-pace-you-can-do-this-thing kind of stuff. I don't know if that helps everyone, but it makes a huge difference for me. There are times I'm ready to take my last running stride and walk back to the end, and just the right song will get me moving again. Nothing changed physically - everything changed mentally.
- I give myself mini-goals. Shorter loops within the longer run; some part of town where I really enjoy the view; I'll pick a faster pace to keep "until that next light pole" or "until I reach the Pie Kitchen". Something to work for besides the very end.
This has begun to translate into other areas of my life as well. The victories I want to see in other areas are mostly fought for, and won, in my mind - in my heart. I've lost lots of battles because I set myself up for failure by the smaller, everyday, decisions I was making.
Do I put myself in positions where I know I'll be tempted to give up? Do I stay out there and fight alone when I know others would come alongside if I'd just be honest about my needs? Do I surround myself with books, music, media that encourage me to keep going? Are there smaller things I could be doing to help me reach the bigger goal?
I'm looking forward to the practical things God is going to show me in answering those questions.
What about you? Do you set yourself up for failure, or for victory?
BTW, since I am half way through, I'd like to remind y'all of my challenge for you. I would LOVE for you to join me! You don't have to run, but if you could pledge to support my run by giving toward Oklahomans Against Trafficking Humans as I run my training miles and the marathon, we can both find a great victory at the end! Here are a couple of links:
Here you can see the problem that I believe we all have some responsibility to fight against, what they're doing to fight this battle, other ways you can get involved, etc.
Here you can connect with giving toward OATH in connection with my training. You can give as we go - and I update my miles (Ex: $.10 per mile that I run), or you can give at the end when it's all said and done (in November). I'd love for you to let me know if you're going to try and help. It gets me outta bed on the harder mornings just picturing those that have already told me they are giving with each mile I complete. :)