Sunday, September 9, 2012

Running Ramblings

Well folks, I have some news.  Nope, not pregnant.  The 3-4 people in the world who actually read this blog are about to be privy to some inside information.  Ok, don't get too excited.  I'm pretty sure this information is only interesting to me, but I will share with you anyway.  In two weeks, I will be running a half-marathon.  This is big for me.  I've always considered myself to be athletic, but never a runner.  In fact, I've pretty much always viewed running as punishment.  When I played softball in college, we had to run a mile for every minute we were late to practice.  I'm not the most punctual person in the world, but I made sure to never be late - even to the 6 a.m. practices.  So, a couple of months after we got married, I got a crazy idea to try to start training for a half marathon.  Well, I couldn't even get up to a mile as I was dealing with a bum hip (yes, kind of like an 80 year old woman).  So, Chad decided he would do it.  And so he ran the Cleveland half marathon in 2007.  Back in January I started running to train for a 5k in April.  And I kept running.  And one day while running, the thought came to me...why not go for the half now?  Thus began the training.  Now I've asked myself many times, "Why do I want to do this?".  What is my motivation?  For a good portion of my training, I didn't really have an answer to this.  I don't particularly enjoy running.  And as I train, I constantly have self-doubt in the back of my mind wondering, "can I actually do this?".  Now, there's the obvious reason any woman does any kind of activity...get fit, lose a little baby jiggle.  But you don't have to run a half marathon to do that.  So here's the answer: One day during a long run, I was supposed to go 8 miles.  Around mile 6, my body just shut down.  I absolutely could not take one more step, even though the previous weekend, I was able to do 7 miles without such serious struggle.  As I stretched, I thought in frustration, "What is wrong with me? Why can't I do this?!".  And immediately that quiet, calm voice answered me "Because you are trying to do this on your own strength. You need to learn to trust and depend on My strength."  It still gives me chills.  My God wanted me to do this race so I would have to practice trusting Him.  So, although it might sound strange, I now view this as an act of worship.  I talk to God while I run, I listen to worship music while I run, and most importantly, before I start running at all I ask God to help me be able to do it.  I thought that was lesson enough, but then I learned that the race I had registered for (an all women race in another town) had been cancelled!  Now, there is another race right here in my home town the weekened after that one had been scheduled for, but I hadn't wanted to do that race.  God decided to work on my pride as well.  You see, this isn't that big of town.  I didn't want to do my local race, because I didn't want people I know to see me do it.  What if I fail?  What if they note how SLOW I am?  Well, I had to get over my pride and just do it! So there you have it.  And I might add, it's a good thing that there is a bigger meaning and purpose for all this running, because despite my best efforts, I haven't lost a single pound!  If that was my only motivation (as it was at the beginning of my training), I would be pretty discouraged right now.  Good thing I know that "The Lord does not look at the things a man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." - 1 Samuel 16:7  My personal goal from this is to finish the race, with God's help.  I don't care about time, or if I have to stop and walk some.  Finishing is my reward.  Stay tuned...
"You must do the thing you think you cannot do." - Eleanor Roosevelt
"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:13  


Mike Medved said...

Hey Sondra -
Of course I am pumped to hear of a new runner joining the fold! For me, running is a spiritual and physical activity. There are days that running brings me closest to God, just in terms of being in a place where I'm not lost in the frantic pace of day to day life. It's a place for me to remember that God made all things, including my body, and that it is good!

There are all kinds of physical and spiritual analogs - preservance, endurance, training for a long term goal, how to deal with disappoinment (injury, etc).

I'm sure you can do the half! I can tell you that I've seen people running half marathons that absolutely amaze me. Look up team Hoyt some day to score some motivation!

Anyways, just wanted to throw you some love from Cleveland. Jen and I think about you guys often.


amyc said...

Welcome to the running world! So proud of you! Are you by chance doing the Run for the Rocks? I'm one of the coordinators so I hope to see you and cheer you on if you're there! :)
Happy tapering!

Mike Medved said...

Your post was so inspiring! I loved reading it and am so proud of you. Keep up the good work. You're such a strong woman-you inspire us all!

Kelly said...


It's Kelly (mike's little sister, you may remember me from the old Babysitting days at bible study) and being a runner myself with a race quickly approaching Jen told me to check out your blog. So glad I did!

Your words echo how I feel about running, especially the fear and doubt of "can I really do this?" And the pressure to perform well. You're totally inspiring and gave me some new perspective on how to draw more strength from God through running.

Will for sure throw down some prayers for your upcoming race.