In the spring of 2013, I completed my 5th half-marathon, achieving the best time and pace I’d ever accomplished since beginning my running journey in 2010. The following week, on a quick routine training run before work, a sharp pain shot through my left foot and up my leg, literally stopping me mid-stride. I had never felt anything like it before and knew something was not right. I hobbled my way back home (a little over a mile) and immediately made a doctor’s appointment. Thus began my three-year experience of dealing with a fractured heel and Achilles tendonitis.
Following three (plus) years of an up and down journey in getting back to a place where I felt comfortable enough to run without fear of re-injury, I decided that if possible, I wanted to eventually work my way back to running another half-marathon. (As a distance runner, I find this to be my ideal long-distance race – something that challenges and pushes me, but doesn’t overwhelm me like the thought of a full-marathon does. Just my personal preference.) So over this past spring, summer, and fall, I began getting out on the road more regularly to run and see how I felt. And as I kept at it, the dream of running another half didn’t seem so out-of-reach or impossible. My foot felt good, I was keeping a steady pace (although not running nearly as fast as I did before), and I still had the joy that comes from finishing a nice, hard run (not to mention the healthy high that comes from this type of exercise).
So I decided at the beginning of this year, for the first time in over three years, that one of my goals was going to be running a half-marathon. And for whatever reason – mostly, I think, my desire to get a head start and stay in shape over the long winter – I decided I wanted to do one toward the beginning of the year vs. later in the year. I picked up the training plan I had used previously, counted the number of weeks out, found a nearby race that fit the last weekend of the plan, and signed up!
Therefore, in a little less than a month (Sunday, March 26 to be exact), I will be traveling to Ann Arbor (otherwise known as ‘enemy territory’ to this die-hard Spartan (lol)) and running 13.1 miles. Woah.
I’ve been training since the end of January and have accomplished 106 miles as part of my training thus far, and while I’m super excited to get out there on race-day and do this thing, I’m not going to lie – I am also very nervous. In the past my mindset toward this running thing was to keep pushing to get the PR and accomplish more and more miles each and every year. I believe God used my injury to literally break me of this performance-driven attitude; thankfully, by His grace, I’ve been set free from that, and I really do run now simply because I believe this ability is a gift and I want to honor and glorify Him with it for as long as I possibly can. But I’m still nervous and I think it’s because I wasn’t sure this was ever going to be a reality for me again. And I still have almost four weeks left of training and I don’t want to jinx myself. (I know, that might sound silly, but it’s honest.)
So as I gear up to run this big race, I would so appreciate prayers for the peace that comes from surrendering this goal to Him, and letting Him work through my weakness to bring me to the finish line. I know He will do it because He is faithful and it will be good no matter what because He is good.
Here’s to taking the risk and trusting Him with this personal “God-sized” dream. I can’t wait to tell you all about it next month!
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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 –