After I rededicated my life to God in December 2012, I decided I would make a pact with Him. If He was real, I would become a runner. (Yes, I realize that is now how things work… but I did it anyway..). Next weekend marks the 1 year anniversary of my first half marathon. In the past year, I have run 4 half marathons, knocked 27 minutes off time original time, ran a plethora of shorter races, and reaped the benefits of getting stronger and fitter. I have also succumbed to injuries. I was able to work through them until this past December when the shooting pains in my hip joint became too much to even walk. I lost control.
I was able to latch onto the reins of running for the past year. I made my training schedules and was able to wake up at 4:45am to complete the task and check it off. I could build my way up to the faster speed and longer distance. I lost the focus on the fact that I needed God’s strength in order to accomplish the goals I put before Him and to be humbled in my achievements. 4 months of shots and physical therapy later, I’m still out of control. The pain is still there, my muscles are weak and I have another half marathon in 6 weeks and a marathon in less than 7 months.
I’ve been redirected. My shortcomings are used to make me stronger in faith and fitness. For me, running has been a pretty much solo sport. I run based on my schedule, on my pace, in my own thoughts. I go to races by myself and then go home by myself. During my last half marathon, I realized how much the community aspect means. As I was running through down the west side of Central Park (my least favorite place!) I could hear my mom rooting for me as she watched my little icon move on her computer screen in Virginia and I teared up. She was motivating me to stick it out. I needed her. I now do Crossfit and Flywheel to build up the my muscle deficiencies, but also to be a part of a community and develop new relationships and spread love and joy. We root for each other through work outs and push one another to the next level.
I realized this on a run I was supposed to have this morning. I had a 7 miler scheduled – a pretty typical run over the Queensboro bridge and back, but my body wasn’t in it. My hamstrings were cramped, despite my stretching, foam rolling, tennis balling and massaging for the past week. I made it 2 miles and walked the rest. I was so frustrated because based on my own schedule, I needed to get the run in. But the runs and races are meaningless unless I remember that I’m only as strong as my faith. Yes, I have learned to love running and experience great satisfaction when I finish, but it doesn’t matter how I finish – walking/running. I’ve been given that opportunity for a reason and today, walking benefitted me.
I should also note, that this weekend has experienced no cooking. Today was a Dominos pizza and Cinna Sticks kind of day. I feel disgusting… back to clean eating tomorrow. Look for a new favorite recipe!