If you’ve been following me for a while (either via the blog or IG), you know I’ve been running often. I’m currently training for the Magnolia Silo Half Marathon in Waco, Texas, which is April! Recently, I ran 10 miles and nearly died. So I have a long way to go to feel some what confident and comfortable. During long runs, I have alot of time to think about what it is about running that truly brings me so much life and joy. There are a million reasons why running is so good for you, physically – for your heart, burning calories, building stamina, etc. Those are all great motivations for running, but something about long distance running also does amazing things for me on a mental and spiritual level even. During long distance runs (which I would consider anything above 6 miles a long run), I’ve always loved listening to worship music or taking that time to pray. It’s a beautiful time where I have at least an hour to be in the presence of the Lord, uninterrupted by anyone or anything.
I’ve never really been a “runner” until about 3 years ago when I was training for my first half. So running has been a “new” thing for me. The process of a long run can be annoying, but wonderful thing. Once I get on the road, I feel so empowered. There’s something about running that I feel so satirized and good about the skin I am in. The first 3 miles of a long run are always tough for me because the whole time I’m kind of thinking “shoot, I could just turn around and not do this today” or “this is good enough, I can stop.” After I pass the 3 mile mark though, I’m kind of in my stride from 3-6. Miles 6-8 I’m usually feeling awesome and strong!
Then, the once mile 8 comes, I’m slowly going down hill. It hits me everytime around mile 8! I don’t know why mile 8 is the magic number for feeling like crap. My legs are starting to get tired, mentally my brain is ready to be done with this run and my stomach starts to cramp. This is the time where the wall goes up and I want to quit. That’s when the “mind over matter” factors have to kick in. I tell myself things like “you are strong, your legs are strong and they are still moving, you can do this, don’t give up, push forward, you’ve done this before, I will get there” etc. (Yes, I talk to myself on these long runs!) Thank goodness no one is around!
After I break through that wall, and know I only have about a mile or two left, insert runner’s high. I feel like I can accomplish anything and I am on top of the world. I truly get so proud of myself. By the end of the run, I just feel so thankful for a healthy body that’s strong, that just carried me through all those miles! There’s something about going for 2 digit long run that I feel amazing! All those positive thoughts are flowing and I feel so accomplished. It truly is a high you get!
So, it occurred to me lately, that I love this aspect of long distance running because I think it so correlates with life. There are going to be days we wake up ready to take on the world and kick butt, and there will be days when we wake up and all we want to do is stay in bed, for whatever reason. Maybe you’re just extra emotional that day, or maybe you’re going through a hard time, or battling anxiety. Regardless though, when we push through those “walls” or road blocks, there is hope and joy on the other side. You just have to remind yourself “I am strong. The Lord has given me for this day, regardless of how I may or may not feel right now”. Keep pushing through; I promise it’s worth it and that there is so much joy to be had on the other side.
Maybe you’re not a long distance runner and the thought of running 10+ miles makes you want to die – which is totally okay! I’ve been there too! I know it’s not for everyone and some think why do that to your body? Why put yourself and your stomach in those kinds of pains. I don’t do it to lose weight, I don’t do it because I need to be fit. I do it because it really is therapeutic. Like I said, it’s time with the Lord, it’s time to myself, and it becomes time for reflection. I believe everyone needs that reflection time in their life. It will look different from person to person. Needless to say, I encourage you today to get outside and be active – push your body physically and mentally, and be thankful that you have a strong and healthy body!
Happy happy day y’all!
Love from Texas,