For the last three months, I've been training hard for a half marathon. I assumed I would be fit as a fiddle by this point and getting calls from Runner's World for a cover shoot. Well, despite the 25 miles a week and strict no soda diet, my phone is not ringing off the hook. My speeds are improving, my gait is getting more consistent, and my athletic wardrobe is expanding. All of this I was planning on, but there are some things I wasn't planning on that are happening.
First of all, I am being examined. Eery step of every run is being watched, judged, and evaluated. Having a running partner is like running next to a mirror. Its painful to watch sometimes. Slow runs feel slower and hard runs feel harder. Every time I wonder if I can put off that mileage until tomorrow, I have a team of people telling me to just lace up. My little sister looks to me for the way to train. And it's really difficult some days. On the note side of this coin is some really good stuff too. For instance, most runs end with shouts of victory and laughing. Plus, I am more prepared for this race than any other and that could not have happened without accountability.
I'm becoming very disciplined. Completing a hard task that right way takes a lot of time. It means getting up early or staying up late or both. It means drinking and eating right for days before actually having to put feet on the pavement. I have spend hours driving to and from trails, running stores, and treadmills. And I am someone who already struggles with time management, so this has been a hard lesson.
And finally, I have learned what it means to be completely spent. At the end of my runs I generally take the last tenth of a mile and sprint. Now, little miss short legs is not a sprinter by any stretch of the imagination. But I make sure that I leave it all out on the pavement. Well, recently I ran 12 miles...it was a good and hard run. I the day was absolutely beautiful and I was well hydrated. I pride my self in keeping excellent pace. Which is what I did for 12 whole miles. I looked down at my garmin probably twenty different times in the last mile, waiting for the last tenth of a mile so I could sprint. But as I approached 11.89 miles I realized, I didn't have any thing left to sprint with. Every shred of energy and willpower was scattered on the streets of Fort Collins. All I wanted was rest.
And then it hit me. A chilling moment of clarity, where God whispered to me. This is what it should feel when we finish this "race". Completely used up and confident that every bit of our talents have been spent on what God has asked of us. That's how I want to live, well prepared, with intentionality, purposed planning, and ending exhausted. I want to walk into the Father's arms ready to rest and know that my life was used fully.
So I guess this is where the real training starts. Wish me luck.