My wife Jennifer once told me that if there was something that I wanted to do in my life, I should do it (within reason and within the law). We have traveled around the U.S. – New York (including games at old Yankee Stadium), Philadelphia, Washington, the Everglades, and more.
One thing that I thought about doing was a half marathon, specifically the Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini Marathon. I had done 5Ks, I walked and exercised on a regular basis, but there was just that thought of doing a half marathon that kept calling me.
I eventually decided to “just do it” and went online and registered.
I signed up for a training program – because I had no idea really what I was doing. I had some great coaches and did the training. I was psyched for that morning. We were up by 5 a.m., on the road by 6:15, in our spots by 7 for the 7:30 start and then we stood there for 35 minutes before we got to the starting line.
The training helped immensely, but it also took its toll on my body. During training, I would develop blisters on my feet, sore shins, pulled muscles and more. On that first race day, the weather was relatively nice and I finished in 3:07.
I do two half marathons a year and I have experienced all types of weather issues during training and races. In February and March, you freeze on your training runs for the May race. In July and August you sweat to death prepping for your late fall race, which is normally freezing. I’ve run in downpours, sprinkles, nice weather and such high humidity they actually put out warnings during the middle of the race.
I often think of the verses out of 2 Corinthians 4 while on the training runs when my body does not want to go one more step. I think of how God calls us and uses us in a variety of settings. We often think we can’t do it, but with faith and God’s help, we can do it. We might get dinged a little or knocked around a little or asked to step outside our comfort zone, but God is with us.
While we talk about celebrating and gathering around a table, I have several post-race traditions: a small snack, 2 Aleve, a shower, a nap and then a nice dinner with the family. It’s a celebration knowing that God was with me every step of the way for 13.1 miles that day.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed. – 2 Corinthians 4:7-9, NIV