Thursday, December 4, 2008

Running My First 5K!

Thank you to all of you who have stuck with me this semester even though I haven't posted. I just finished my semester (tonight) and promise I will be more regular at posting here. Here is a little update on what I have been up to!
I have long despised running. Primarily because I feel as though my chest is caving-in half way through my first quarter mile. I always admired people who ran long distances, or ran at all for that matter. A little over a year ago I ran my first mile—ever! After that I bought my first pair of running shoes. Then it seemed that I should sort of try running because I was already pretending like I was a runner. Last semester my running was fairly sporadic, but this summer I decided I wanted to master this fear of mine. So a runner I became. On a visit home this summer a friend of mine mentioned a website called From Couch to 5K. It's basically a wimpy person's guide to running, which is me. When I started dating Daniel, in October, he told me that he would help me train for this 5K I had committed to. Suddenly I had not only recruited him, but my dad and brother as well! So when I wanted to give up on my attempt to run this race, I knew that I couldn't because I would be letting down not only my boyfriend, but my dad and brother (and all the other friends who were cheering me on from home) as well.

The race was Thanksgiving Day and it was freezing. Minneapolis is not known for it's balmy November's, and this day was no different. But we were bundled up and ready to run with everyone from Pilgrims to walkers with their baby strollers. Unfortunately, due to my slow pace (which I was not aware of until I saw a video of myself), we ran with the walkers. But, hey, it was my first race ever! Daniel (who is a runner and way faster than me) ran next to me the whole time, and even stopped and walked when I got tired. Zach couldn't finish because he had to go home and get the forgotten turkey and take it to our brother's house. And my dad ran with us (except when he stopped at every mile marker to take my picture). Everyone was so encouraging and it made me excited to do another one. Daniel thinks I should run a marathon (he has ran 3), but I think that is WAY too ambitious for a little rookie like me. We'll see.

I learned a lot by running this race. I took Personal Spiritual Disciplines this semester and I found a lot of parallels as I trained to run this 5K. The biggest one for me was the need for perseverance when I want to give up. It's so easy to say that it's too painful, or too tiring, or too hard and just give up. Often that is how I feel in the Christian life too. What I didn't understand about this race that we are in, I understand dimly now. Endurance comes when we press through the difficulty knowing that the goal (Jesus Christ) far outways the present circumstance. And it's encouraging knowing that we are not alone. We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, who, like us, have faced the same trials and persevered. So, I am looking forward to running again, but I am most excited about running the most important race of all—the one that leads me to Jesus.