Archive for May, 2010
So, I ran a half-marathon yesterday.The final time for me was 2:29 (half way was around 1:03. I kind of aimed in my head to just finish. After thinking about it, the last half of the race I kind of ambled a little bit, but honestly I just didn’t know what my body would do once it passed 9 miles (the longest I’d run up until that point). At the very least, it was incredibly fun and I’d like to do one again (I’m not sure if I’d do one this year or not, but for sure would do the Illinois Marathon next year).
I think the experience taught me some lessons too. It was a study in patience and has been for some time. It was far too easy to run the first few miles fast without consideration of mile 8. Mile 8, btw, on this race totally sucked; it was a tedious long run through a park. My temptation to stop up until that point was really burdened by the fact that mile 8 was waiting for me. Mile 8 also brought with it the realization that I had 5 more beyond that.
I spent the majority of the time meditating on Hebrews 12:1. In Hebrews 11, there is a long list of people who were heroes of the faith; people who did some incredible things and 12:1 turns the corner and says ‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles and run with perseverance the race that is set before us.’ Earlier that morning before I ran a few dear friends sent their well wishes for a good race on facebook. I spent alot time thinking about the people who were encouraging to me; friends from the adoption community, people at church who’ve run, heroes of the faith for me, my wife who was waiting at the end of the race and meditating on their influence pushing me forward to the goal.
I also spent a good deal of time thinking about ‘perseverance’ and how that race was such a model of life. I saw a shirt on the way, one of several that struck me, that said ‘begin with the end in mind’. But you know what? There were a few times I thought about the end of the race and the drama of running into Memorial Stadium and what I would do but I spent more time thinking about running and the moment. I’ve found I loved long distance running because of this. Instead of thinking of the experience as ‘a race’, it was a meditation on patience. It was far too easy to succumb to despair at mile 8 in the park if I thought about the next five and how long it would take and how much my legs hurt. So yeah, I guess I ran without the end in mind and more of making sure my legs were moving for the duration. It was more a game of patience and it’s hard to describe just how challenging and fun that was. I gravitated quite a bit to the ‘run with perseverance’ segment of Hebrews 12.
My favorite moments of the half marathon began at the start. At the gun, I started my playlist for the run – ‘The gospel brings tidings’ by Red Mountain Church and ‘I am the Highway’ by Audioslave; both are slower thoughtful songs. The third track was ‘Remember the name’ by Fort Minor. Yes, it’s a ‘Jock Jam’ and kind of cheesy, but as Mike Shinoda belts out ‘You ready??? Let’s go…’ and the beat kicks in I was moving my feet across the starting line. Another favorite music moment was ‘There’s a louder shout to come’ from the Urbana 2000 worship CD finishing off the playlist as I ran past the assembly hall and into memorial stadium. It was a beautiful picture of the heaven and the end of our run because we will have the freedom to stop and to enjoy the rest God gave us. Seeing people running into the stadium was a lesson in that too; some ran hard in, some crawled in with the realization that their race was finished, some looked victorious and some just looked beat up but everybody that crossed the finish line was amazing to watch. I bet I could have watched that all day.
So, Tuesday I’m planning on getting out for a mile or two just to take it easy and then I’ll build back up from there to 4-5 miles again. Definitely going to do another one.