Monday, March 17, 2014

Lent -- Day 10 1/2 of 40 (Glacier, running, and working hard)

Well, I’ve been wanting to write about my running but keep putting it off. And since Saturday got really busy and involved 15,000 fun things to do (a 1 mile hike which turned into 3 miles with kids ranging from 3-9 years…several of them {my two that were with us} might have briefly lost it) when the weather is beautiful and lots of children everywhere, my blog post got pushed back to today (EEK!) so I’m calling this 10 ½ and will try to do another one today for 11. May have to double up another day since I skipped yesterday too. I’m not giving up my promise – 40 in 40 baby…just call me a show on ESPN, except its not about sports (funny thing that today’s post kinda is) and they aren’t as entertaining.

I started running, well, if I’m telling the truth, around 8th grade. I had a very short lived stint on the track team, but I did run several miles without stopping. Fast forward 10 years…

I moved to Montana to work for the summer when I was 20. I worked in Glacier National Park which is one of the most untouched natural landscapes in the United States. It’s a hiking resort with trails everywhere. Anyway, when I was not working in the St. Mary’s gift shop or hiking through the gorgeous backcountry that is Glacier, I was with my posse drinking a Henry Weinhards at Kip’s Beer Garden (don’t judge…I was young, stupid, and had to learn some things the hard way, but had fun along the way).
So so beautiful!

Our first time on Going-to-the-Sun Highway

I digress – Henry Weinhards is a dark beer (i.e. lots of calories) and I drank quite a few. Which quickly turned into 20 pounds gained. EEK! Back to State in a month and it wasn’t pretty. Thankfully my roommate was on the varsity Lacross team at University of Pennsylvania, so she was getting in shape, and I joined her on her training runs (this may be where I get my drill sergeant ways when it comes to training and running). We had beautiful surroundings to run in, zero humidity, and great convos about lots of juicy subjects. And my love for running was born in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.
My trainer and friend -- see those chubby cheeks -- and please notice the beauty of Glacier in the background!)

The real love came back about 4 years ago after two babies and 30 pounds of baby weight. I started just running as far as I could then walking the rest of the way. I will never forget the first time I ran two miles. It was SUCH a HUGE accomplishment. I would rank it right up there with finishing my first race and then my first ½ marathon. It’s therapeutic, really. I get to listen to my favorite tunes or visit with friends, or just zone out and enjoy God’s beautiful world. It’s a great time to pray (that I can finish the run, among other things) too, and lots of good ideas are born out of my runs…there and in the shower!

My first ever race was a 10K on the coast and there was a power walker with a comb over that I had to pass because, well, he was walking (albeit very fast), and most importantly, a man with a comb over was not going to beat me (goals are important to set when running). I think I finished in 1:09 and could not have been happier. There have been so many fun races in between and I hope to document them here and future races too!

Running has brought much fun, joy, and friends into my life. It’s a lot of hard work, blood (sometimes), sweat (lots of that), and tears (some of those too), but simply put, I love it, for the many miles run, moments shared and the memories made.

In my life goals I set for The Circle Maker 40- day prayer challenge, several have to do with my running:

Physical Goals
1.       Run the Heart of Dixie Triathalon
2.      Run 12 ½ marathons in 12 months
3.      Run 1,000 miles in a year
4.      Still be running when I am in my 60s
5.      Run a ½ marathon in all 50 states (or at least the fun ones!)
6.      Run the New York City marathon
7.      Run a ½ marathon in a European country

And I loved the verse that was used in our children’s church yesterday. Mrs. Peggy used her cheerleading trophy from the 1950s – tee hee! But running metals could be used as well. 

Because it’s a lot of hard work being a Christian and we have to keep pushing toward the goal to win the race.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 3:14

And one thing that Mark Batterson says a lot (over and over) in The Circle Maker that has really stuck with me and that I am going to talk about in my next blog post later today (catch-up post), talks about working for Christ. Hard work. He said, “Work like it depends on you, and pray like it depends on God.” Running is like this. It’s a lot of hard work, and lots of prayers to get you through some tough runs. Sometimes the prayers you pray aren’t about running, but I know the focus during that time makes them extra special. 

New Orleans 1/2 was one of the best races -- completely flat and beautiful course! 

Friends and running go hand in hand -- right before Seaside 1/2! Such a fun trip!

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