Saturday, July 20, 2013

A reprise of the train wreck?

Reality set in this week.  Way back in February, in a moment of weakness, I enlisted for the Chicago marathon this October.  Yea, I know you have heard that one before.  What was I thinking?  As documented in this blog, the last time I ran Chicago was a train wreck (October 2011).  And in March 2012, I ran what I thought was my last marathon -- 47 degrees in pouring rain in rural Virginia.

So what was I thinking to sign up again?  I knew that tackling another marathon could very well be another chorus of my previous train wreck.  And then again... I really don't want to close this ten year chapter of my life in defeat and fear of  what lies beyond my comfort zone.

I realized on this hottest week of the year  that I needed to crank up my training if I was going to do this thing.  And so, I ran through the oppressive heat and humidity, even on days when it would have been a lot easier not to.  And toward the end of one very sweaty run where shade was scarce and I felt like quitting, I saw a woman running toward me.  Sweat poured down her face.  But her expression was a strong mix of agony and determination.  I noticed that she wore a triathlon t-shirt. And then I saw that one of her legs was a prosthesis.  She was an amputee.  She ran past me, and  I could feel a different kind of strength.  She was going to make it.  And I humbly realized, so could I.

May we all live with that kind of perseverance.

This morning, I headed out on my first long training run, beyond what I thought I could do.  Not easy, but I did it. Building up endurance takes one step at a time.   And that is what running a marathon is all about.

Keep me running that way.
Keep me living that way.

...let us run with perseverance
       the race that is set before us...

                       Hebrews 12.1

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