Eat Pray Run

Hal Higdon half marathon training plan pinned on wall

My 2015 goal is to run a sub-2 hour half marathon. I am over halfway through my training, and feel like I have not done enough. I have phantom knee pains, my pace has not improved as much as I would have liked by this point, and I want to eat all things in sight! This always seems to happen to me. Goal is set, heart is all in, but commitment tends to waver with life’s distractions. Why can’t I just be absolved from all of my adult responsibilities and run — Is that too much to ask?

The first culprit: Phantom pain in my right knee. I call it phantom, because the pain is slight, but just enough to annoy me. With only three weeks left until my race, I decided to suck it up and go see the doc. He took a quick look and prescribed physical therapy for strength training. Unfortunately, I knew deep down that this would be the outcome. A few weeks into training, due to time constraints, I started to slack on my strength training only running the minimum to get by. Not a good idea. Cross training and stretching is such an important supplement to running. But, the devil has a sneaky way of twisting things around in our minds forcing us to settle. Even though I followed my training plan, I was getting weaker. I could feel it when I could not run for more than two miles without stopping. This was a shot to my pride and irritating to no end. How did I run a strong 26.2 miles only five months ago, and now I am struggling to get two miles in? 

The second culprit: Diet. During my marathon training, I adhered to my Paleo meal plans and gave up alcohol. This time around…weeell…I give it an E for effort. I have not been making the best food decisions with Sour Patch Kids and ice cream topped with caramel as my nemesis. And let’s not forget the Sunday Fundays in which I partook. As a result, I have been fighting bloating and GI issues. You may be in the best shape of your life, but running with GI issues is for the birds. It will put a halt on your running real quick. 

In addition to my perceived inadequacies, my mind has been cluttered with a whole bunch of junk AKA life: Homework, keeping up with meal plans, work, decisions, things we are praying for, and change. I inherently and unintentionally try so hard to control all aspects of my life, to always have a plan, and it is exhausting. I stress about having enough time to get things done. I worry about the things I cannot see. I am apprehensive about the things I want and pray for. And I am impatient with having patience. 

This morning, I found peace during my run. I was reminded that I serve a loving and faithful God who knows His plans for me, even when I do not. God spoke to me and the tears started flowing. One of my favorite songs was playing, “No Turning Back” by Brandon Heath. I let everything go during that last mile, as He gave me a verse to silence all the noise in my head:

“Be still, and know that I am God.” ~ Psalm 46:10

He reminded me that I do not need to have it all together, because he is always in the background working for my good. He told me that I am enough, because I am His daughter. He asked if there has ever been a time that my prayers were not answered. We laughed about that time I said I could never run a half marathon. We laughed even harder about the time I said I could never run a full marathon. He reminded me of all the people with whom he has blessed my life. We reminisced about the time when I didn’t know Him, but He still knew me and brought me into the light. 

No, my troubles have not disappeared. I am, however, comforted in being reminded and knowing I serve an almighty God who always has my back even when I am a hot mess. Many times, we face challenges, big and small, that seem impossible at the time. Well, that’s because it’s true…”With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” ~ Matthew 19:26. Before today, my sub-2 goal was impossible. But now, my sub-2 goal is inevitable and it’s gonna be PR City, baby! Nobody is invincible from worry, but seeking God in everything you do affords you peace from all that fuss in your head. Sometimes, all we need to do is Be Still

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