Last night the training schedule called for 4 easy miles at a 12:49 pace, in case you were wondering this is super slow comparatively, but I don’t care. Poor injured Michelle even came out and ran last night and it was so good to all be able to run together again! We planned to meet around 8 and hope and pray that at that time it wouldn’t be as hot as say running at 7 would be…who knows! Anyways, we took off around 8:20 and kept it really, really slow. We just wanted to be able to breath and not die <- number one goal right there!! Our pace wound up being a lot slower than anticipated, but again, that’s ok. It’s the quality of the miles that I’m focusing on and had I gone for the suggested pace, I would not have made it. So we are trudging along and I’m hot, I’m sweaty, I’m cursing the Texas heat and breathing like Darth Vader the whole way and consequently I’m pretty certain swallowed a few bugs.
Mile 1: 13:21
Mile 2: 15:15 (we walked half a mile)
Mile 3: 13:28
Mile 4: 12:15
We got about half way done with our 4 miles when all of a sudden it hit me, LIKE A TON OF BRICKS: I am here
torturing my body running in this heat for the mere purpose that I CAN! No other reason at all! No one is forcing me, no one is making me, and no one is chasing me or paying me money to do this. I am doing it because I have the God-given ability to do it. End of Story! Whoa, I was so blown away. But it’s true. Here I am complaining that I’m hot and tired and stinky and smelly and you know what, I don’t have to be doing this, but I am by my own choice. How unbelievably blessed am I to be able to go out on a Wednesday night with two friends and run?
I’m very slow: yes! I’m not perfect: yes! I can do better at times: yes! I can relax
more a lot sometimes: yes! But when it’s all said and done I am just overwhelmingly grateful that I have the ability to go and run. There are people in this world who barely have the ability to walk, let alone run. And there are people in this world who were blessed specifically with the gift of running and run for a living. There are people in this world who have the ability to run and don’t (those people make me sad). And then there’s me- someone who has to work really hard every day just to call herself a runner, but does, just because she can!
Who cares if I ever run Boston? Who cares if I can ever run faster than a 12 minute mile? Who cares if all I ever run again is 3 miles every other day? The point is I have accomplished much more in my life by running than I ever dreamed I was capable of, and that to me is amazing! It’s amazing because nine months ago I told myself “I can’t”. It’s amazing to me because nine months ago I didn’t have my running friends. And it’s amazing to me because nine months ago I would have never dreamed I’d have the ability to travel places just to run in a race, and a half marathon nonetheless!
Bottom line, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for my good health and abilities. I am so grateful I was able to lace up my tennis shoes last night and sweat like I was running on the sun. I am grateful I have friends that will torture themselves with me. I am grateful that I have the finances to run and travel and race. I am grateful to my family for providing support and encouragement and recourses. And mostly I am grateful to God for allowing me to be overwhelmed by this ability that He has so richly blessed me with. When braced with this attitude, there is absolutely nothing that I cannot do. All that is required of me is to give God the glory.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
God gave me the ability to run. He gave me the ability to sometimes struggle through those runs. He gave me the ability to also have awesome runs and races. And He made me specifically to be able to run exactly the way He wanted me to, and if that means 12 minute miles so be it, I will praise Him when I run because I can run.
I hope that you are all as grateful as I am to be able to run, because you just never know when you might not be able to. Our health is the best gift we give ourselves and others- so celebrate it!