This week I did my first 6 mile run! YAY! And each week my distances are increasing. It was only 2 weeks ago that I ran my furthest distance of 4.5 miles. My legs are getting more and more tired but are also, slowly, beginning to feel stronger. This week I ran 3 miles on Tuesday, 6 miles on Thursday and 4.5 on Saturday. There was a time in my life that going for one 20 minute run a week felt impossible and I’ve done a total of 2 hours 45 minutes this week. Even just a year ago I would never have imagined I would want to run a marathon. But yet here I am, running, what feels like all the time. And the most surprising bit, I’m actually enjoying it.
I would, however, just like to clarify what I mean when I say, ‘enjoy’. I don’t mean I wake up at 5.30am to run because I just ‘LOVE IT so much’. I don’t make it home filled with a new abundance of energy that carries me through my day. Far from it, it’s really hard work and it’s taking its toll on my body. My legs are tired, walking up stairs takes a new level of effort, my back ache’s constantly and I ice my ankles after every run. So where is the enjoyment? Because from that description it doesn't sound enjoyable to me. Well, it’s in the overcoming of something that has been debilitating to me for many years, and in its own weird way, overcoming it is enjoyable. It feels good to go out and do a run when everything in me doesn't want to, when I cant be bothered because staying home is easier. But, to go and kick its ass and hear my phone chirp ‘6 miles complete,’ to feel the cold air in my chest and the burning in my legs, those are the things that tell me I am overcoming something, even if it’s not entirely clear what that something is. To run against heavy winds, through rain, through tiredness and fatigue and to KEEP GOING and not give up. That is where the enjoyment is. Because it proves I’m not who I used to be. Before, I would have stopped and given up and said 'I can't do it.' I would have retreated in to myself and in to the belief that I wasn't good enough. Not even good enough to run 20 minutes. But things have changed. Over the last few years God has shown me so much about myself, who I am and who he wants me to be. He has brought me back to life and he is now using running as a way to continue to challenge and grow me, and never ever in my wildest dreams did I think God would use one of the issues I find the most difficult to shape and change me for the better.
I should be finding out in the next week if I got a place on the New York City marathon. I’m not sure what the plan is if I don’t get a place, but one thing I do know, I will keep running. Because for now, God still has much more he wants to teach me.