So I am now on my 14th week of marathon training. To be honest with you, the first 13 weeks have been a piece of cake. It was so encouraging to be training for a marathon and feeling as great as I did. Hah! Our schedule is manageable to do and we make it up to 13 miles for our long run and I was just floating along.
UNTIL THIS PAST RUN.
Yesterday I had my 15 mile run. I was supposed to do it on Sunday, but I had to change it to yesterday for several reasons. For some reason I just wasn't looking forward to the run. The farthest I have run before this was 14 miles, and 15 miles just seemed like so much longer than 14 to me. I woke up super early yesterday morning so I could drive out to White Rock Lake to do my run. I absolutely love running out there and it's the only place here that I want to do long runs. It's 9 miles around the lake and it really is beautiful - as beautiful as it can get for being in Dallas, where we have no scenery to look at =) I had my gatorade, my water, and my jelly beans that I could munch on to burst my energy.
First 8 miles were great. I was praying, thinking through work, and just relaxing and enjoying hearing the water brush up against the rocks. Then mile 9 came. I hit somewhat of a block. I started to think about the actual marathon and how I wasn't even CLOSE to being finished. That's like the worst thing you can do when you are running.. think about how much farther you have to go. Anway, I knew that once I finished mile 9 I would be back at my car from where I started and I could get some gatorade and stretch and then finish out the last 6 miles. Thank goodness for Gatorade! That's all I have to say. I drank a little bit, stretched my knees, and was off again. I have to admit that I have never actually talked out loud to myself while I'm running in order to encourage myself - but I sure did do it this time. I just kept telling myself I could do it - OUT LOUD - hah! Whatever works, right?
It's amazing how after 13 miles, each mile after that is a huge milestone. At least for me. I'm so proud to have fun 15 miles by myself. I really do enjoy the challenge of going the next mile.. and then the next.
I thought this marathon training was going to be no big deal - but I was wrong.. obviously. Who thinks that anyway? But I know that I can do it. The goal is to just take it one mile at a time. You can't think about all the many miles that are ahead of you. This is so true with life in general. Not worrying about what is ahead, but keeping your eyes fixed on the prize (which for me is the finish line in the race, and eternity in Heaven for this life) and focusing on today and what this day holds.
A verse I seem to repeat over and over when I am running:
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. Acts 20:24
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Corinathians 9:23
And I cannot WAIT to should this verse aloud when I finish the marathon:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7