8.5

I did my longest run yesterday.  8.5 miles.  1 hour, 35 minutes.  I did it on limited sleep and bad eating.  But I did it.  I feel terrible but awesome at the same time.  Being that we went to Chicago Friday/Saturday and Joel’s [Maust] wedding, I knew that the long run for Saturday would not work.  Joel [Miller] and the fam were coming back from Phoenix Friday, so we decided to wait until Sunday to run.  I figured I’d run in Chicago Saturday morning just because it would be cool to run on the Magnificent Mile.  Unfortunately, we wound up barely sleeping from a bad bed and old hotel with loud plumbing and people.  And for some reason, my ankle was killing me.  So Saturday morning, no running.  We did walk.  A lot.

When we got home after no sleep and bad eating at 1:45 AM to tumble into bed and prep for leaning Nav 2:7 the next morning, I knew the running thing was looking less and less possible.  I knew on the agenda for the day would be:

  • Lead Nav
  • Run
  • Do homework for MA
  • Prep for teaching Monday

What I wound up doing was prep for Nav, lead, and head home.  I took a short nap to try and recharge.  After Giordano’s pizza.  Got up and staggared to the closet to get my running gear.  Which I realized was in a dresser in the hotel we stayed at.  Yeah.  Forgot it in the chaos of packing.  As I was getting ready, I could sense, feel, begin to expect that I was not in good enough shape to do this.  What I am learning is that I was wrong.

We got out and did about a 2-mile warm up talking, catching up, etc.  As we turned the corner on Teft and headed to the Falling Waters Trail, I started to fade.  I immediately went to music to keep my mind focused.  What I’m learning is that worship music really helps me.  I think part of it is the idea that worship music helps my mind get to the place where I can go somewhere else.  Joel said he noticed once I dialed in that my pace even quickened.  It was cool.  I found that as I was running, for the first time ever, I was in a state of worship.  It was a really rich time.  A time for me to give myself to Jesus again and for Him to fill me once again.  A great transaction.  The hardest part was the last 1.5.  But we made it.  And was rewarded with a great cool down and celebration.

What I’m learning is that in every race, there is a threshold.  Actually a few.  Times in the race where you hit a wall and you feel you can’t go any further.  I felt like that months ago at the .5 mile mark aiming for 1 mile.  The threshold kept getting pushed to where now I have one around the 3 mile mark, and about every 2 miles afterward.  Places in the run where I lose momentum and feel like I need to tap out of the run.  But I press into the threshold.  Running with Joel helps me in this.  And when I push through, I find that I had it in me to do it.  It builds confidence.  Here’s a transition:  Early in the race, the thresholds were really hard to press through.  I was wimpy.  I gave in many times to them.  But for some reason, now that I ‘ve identified them and know what things look on the other side, I fight through them.  When I feel them coming on, I make the decision to fight past the pain to the other side.  And yesterday, I’m poised to make a run at a bucket list goal.  Confident that I can do it even today.  Stay on the training.  Don’t get injured.  Eat well.  Take care of your body.  I feel confident in this.  Assured because of my training.

I’m reflecting on this because I’m learning about Jesus in this mess.  I’m learning that there are always thresholds in life that keep us back.  I wonder who the author of those thresholds are?  I’m also learning that by myself, I may still be running 2 miles.  Not expanding my vision.  But with someone who’s been to the finish line, I’m beyond it.  I’m thinking that not just the practice of the disciplines, practice of the presence, desire for Jesus, is enough.  I’m thinking that we need people ahead of us in our journey to challenge us to more.  Not just for “more” sake.  But because we need to push past the threshold and into a new season.  A new place.  Reaching further.

Here’s the other deal:  Now that I’m running like this, I don’t want to go back.  And I will if I don’t train.  Hmmm.  Interesting how that goes in our spiritual journey too.

I’m learning about myself through this journey.  I’m also learning a bit obout Jesus.  It’s a double dip I’m excited to be a part of.

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