When I run I am convinced I will die in the first 5 minutes. I think thoughts like, "how long will it take for someone to find me?" and "How will they find out who I am so they can notify Nate?" You know, all those kinds of uplifting, encouraging thoughts that always are a positive influence to keep me running. What helps is knowing that every time I run I go through these thoughts and I haven't keeled over yet! So, I keep going.
When I run I feel a sense of euphroia (after that first 5 minutes) to which nothing else I've accomplished comes close. I feel strong. I believe there are no boundaries to what I can accomplish.
Today, I ran. This was my first race in over a year. And I can honestly say that I felt like I was in the midst of spiritual warfare just getting to this race. I signed up for the race with some fear and trepidation after not even attempting to run the previous race I registered for. I felt like such a failure in the area of running. That euphoric feeling? Yeah, I didn't feel much of it at any point of any run. I really felt like this race was going to be cathartic for me. And I must say, every road block that could come my way did. I didn't train the way I wanted to....the way I should have. With that knowledge, I said, it doesn't matter. I'm going to run as long as I can and I'll walk the rest....but I WILL finish this race. Friday morning I woke up with congestion, chills, sore throat..definitely the makings of a cold. My first thought was, will I be able to run this race? I continued my mantra. I'll run as long as I can...I'll walk the rest....but I WILL finish this race. Early Saturday afternoon, Lucy went outside and somehow hurt her leg.... 3 hours before I was to run. My first thought as I watched her limp around and finally just lay down and not move for an hour was that we would have to take her to the emergency vet and I would miss the race. After the hour, Nate and I had her walk around and there was some improvement. We decided we'd go ahead and go to the race and let her rest and see how she was when we returned. I felt like every way I turned there was some other issue or problem that could have easily been used as an excuse to not run today. But, I did run the race today.
When I run a race, I run faster than I do on the treadmill or on the road alone. I don't know what it is. I honestly feel like I'm running the same pace as usual, but I run faster. I feel stronger. As I'm surrounded by other runners, I feel a sense of camaraderie and feel a part of a team working toward a common goal. I also see them as competitors that spur me on to run faster. At the gym, I usually run a 12 minute mile. Today, I ran the 5K in 32 minutes. That's a little less than an 11 minute mile. That's with a cold, and a poor training program.
I ran today. And after I was finished, I could see why Satan fought me every inch of the way. The euphoria was back. The determination had returned. The person that I want to be was back on top.
When I run, I win a battle against gluttony, against laziness and I treat my body as the temple it is. When I run, I'm reminded of Who I belong to and my purpose. For a lot of people, it's "just a run." For me, it's life.