Tuesday, September 28, 2010

with a little help from my friends

The past couple of weeks, training-wise, have been good...but difficult too. I'm at the stage where I know I'm ready for this half, but sometimes my doubts get the better of me. Just last Saturday I did a 6.6mi training run, a run I have done countless times before, and it felt incredibly tough. I felt like I couldn't finish...and it was only 6mi (remember, distance is relative).

There's a bit more to that run: it was 80deg, it was super humid, and the sun was blazing down. Um, it's September...I'm looking for 60deg, not so humid, and partly cloudy. It felt like a June/July day. Also, I've been trying to drop a few pounds and I hadn't been eating as well (or as much) as I needed to be. All that combined has made for some tough couple of weeks.

Fastforward to the other (Weds) night. I drove into the city (well, I crawled into the city...traffic was beastly), met my friend near Fenway and we headed out for a nice 5-6mi along the Charles River. It was a loop that she and I, along with our friend Jodi, had done when training for our very first half marathon way back in May '07. There were a few things going on in my head: 1. holy smokes, we're truckin'! 2. I really miss Jodi. 3. This is the best I've felt in a long time. 4. I remember this loop being toooough last time, now it's a breeze. 5. dang, are we still plugging along this fast?!

We made it back to the car in 51:13 after doing 5.7mi. Folks, that's 8:59min/mi. Chyeah. The best part, I was able to talk the entire time. Poor Kirsten had to listen to me rambling on about my life and how God's working in it...she loved it. ;) Towards the end she did most of the talking but I was still able to get some words and full sentences in...which let's me know I'm doing this whole training thing/running thing right.

We've been talking a lot at church, in Gravity especially, about community. And it dawned on me recently that I've developed a running community! Mostly, I like to run along...but I've started to run with other people. Some are faster than me and I have to strain to keep up (see above story), some are a bit slower and I need to check my pace. Either way, I've found that it is a joy to run with other people. It's fun to encourage one another. It's fun to share life together while we focus on taking care of the bodies God gave us. A group of friends who hold each other accountable to doing the very best we can, to reaching goals and having fun! In this community we spur one another on to get through just one more mile or to push the pace just that much faster.

I couldn't help seeing the similarities between my running community and my Gravity community; my small group. In our group we have all different personalities, likes, dislikes, and interests. In the same way my running buddies will spur one another on, my small group can do the very same thing in a different way. We can encourage one another as we go into school each day and face pressures and stress. We can encourage one another to love our families better. We can encourage one another when we find hobbies or activities that interest us. And it is a JOY to do so!

The writer of Hebrews puts it this way: "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approching." Heb 10:24-25

Let us not give up meeting together as a small group of girls so that we may continue to spur one another on to love others and do good deeds in Christ's name until He comes again! And let us not give up running together so we may spur one another on to honor God by taking care of the bodies He has given us.

Run on. With a little help from my friends.
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