Have you ever tried to achieve something that was out of your comfort zone or faced an obstacle that seemed insurmountable? I am not a runner but I signed up for the Disney Princess Half marathon about 6 months ago because my friends and co-workers invited me too. Being a social person and wanting to get out of Virginia’s wintry February and maybe experience some sunshine, I said, “Yes!” without hesitation. Thinking back on that moment, perhaps I said it too quickly…
6 months seemed like plenty of time to train for a 1/2 marathon. Of course life gets in the way and I tend to procrastinate on things I am not good at. This past Saturday, it was time for me to try a 10 mile run/walk which turned into a 10 mile power walk/crawl.
The weather was gorgeous, we had a good breakfast and the first 6 miles flew by. I felt great! By mile 7 I was starting to slow down and wonder whose idea this was. Everything from my back to my feet was sore. I looked at the sidewalk and thought about taking a nap for a few minutes. By mile 8 I was fighting back tears because I was so sore and tired. We decided to finish the last mile and a half on the high school track by our house and then head home. I knew I only had to do 6 laps around the track and I was counting each one. I was also looking longingly at the bleachers, but I knew that if I sat down, I would lose what little momentum I had. I had known that running requires physical stamina but I had no idea the mental stamina it requires.
After the longest 3 hr. 22 min. of my life we made it home where I collapsed into bed and wasn’t able to move without ibuprofen for the rest of the day. But…I made it! I will try again next Saturday and will be ready for mile 8! One thing I plan to do is to have some Bible verses about strength that I can recite in my head to knock out those defeatist thoughts that come crawling in when you are tired. Here are a few I plan to memorize this week:
- Look to the Lord for his strength. Seek his face always. 1 Chronicles 16.11 (NIV)
- It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. Psalm 18:32 (NIV)
- But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me. Psalm 22:19 (NIV)
- He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:29 (NIV)
- but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)
If you are going through a challenging time,…or running 10 miles, here are some tips to help you along the journey:
1. Get wise counsel-My friend Jessica had shared some tips with me to help during the run and I would not have made it 10 miles without her useful information.
2. Find someone to encourage you- My wonderful husband walked with me every step of the way and said positive things throughout our 10 miles but particularly those last couple of miles. Without him, I would have walked straight home at mile 7. If you don’t have a spouse I encourage you to find a friend or family member who will be a cheerleader through a difficult time.
3. Keep going- When things get tough, just take the next step. Eventually you will get to the place that you want to be!
4. Have a goal – Mine was to run 10 miles but yours might be to complete your education, write a book, get out of debt. Know what you are working towards and then you will be able to celebrate once you have achieved your goal!
5. Know your Bible – God has provided us with His word to strengthen us and provide us wisdom and hope. When we memorize verses, we have that Word with us all of the time.