Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Runner's High

I have decided to run a marathon. That's right, I am voluntarily going to train to run 26 miles and 375 yards without someone chasing me. Somehow I've also convinced husband to enter the race and train. In fact, he has announced from the pulpit twice that we are going to run a marathon (our lives really are one big sermon illustration). There's no backing out now. We are on Week #1 of the training schedule. So far, so good. My left hip flexor smarts a bit and my calf is sore and I'm reading everything ever published on the subject of running. I used to think Runners were alien. I was convinced they were the spawn of some creature on Star Trek. They were super heroes who were willing to lose toe nails, chafe, forego junk food, pull muscles, sweat profusely and push their bodies to the very limit of what I thought was humanly possible. Voluntarily.

But, I have to say, after spending the last month building up the base miles necessary to begin the training program (yes, you have to train in order to train), I am beginning to get it. I now know what is meant by the phrase, "runner's high." Last Saturday I ran 11 miles. I have to pause and re-read that sentence...yep, it was 11. And, I felt like I was flying (until that night when I ate everything in site and passed out). I felt literally like I was leaving the pressures and anxiety of mothering, the tension at church, and the exhaustion of the daily grind behind me. I was light, I was free. I had Matt Redman playing on the ipod and there were times I raised my hands to the heavens, thanking God for air (at this point, parents on the trail pulled their kids in closer and surveyed me with that look all parents get when a weirdo is at the park). When I pass by other runners on the trail (or rather, when they pass me) quick eye contact is exchanged and a small knowing smile. Runners have a secret that I'm just tapping in to.
When I'm carting my kids to soccer, tae kwon do, piano lessons or school and I see runners striding it out on the road, I feel like honking and shouting, "You, go!"

All that to say, running has become my therapy, the way I pound my troubles into the pavement and the way I shed anxiety. Each step lightens my load (when it's a good running day!) and helps me remember the source of light and life........

I Corinthinthians 9:24-25

24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize

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