Faith, Running

Putting the Marathon Dream on Hold

I never anticipated my running journey would have been as “successful” as it has been so far.  Running a mile? Impossible at first. Running a 5k at one point seemed like the biggest mountain ever, a 10k the same, and then the idea of a Half Marathon was unachievable.  Until I put the work in.

After running a few half’s, I set my sights on the full 26.2.  It’s only the natural progression runners take, right?

Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size - abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weak

I didn’t see myself getting injured when I signed up for the Rock’n’Roll San Diego Marathon a year out. I didn’t see something as simple as tripping while training for a half last fall as causing a long term problem that would constantly make me take days off and lose fitness.

I had high hopes to crush 26.2. I really did. I pictured the finish line from the minute I signed up until this morning, when 2 miles into my training run my leg gave that pain again. You see, last week I couldn’t finish a training run. I couldn’t even walk it, I was in so much pain. I made the decision to take a week off, and then see how things were.

I prayed constantly for God to give me an answer of what to do: either have this pain go away and let me train pain free, or let me know that I need to drop to the half marathon distance by showing me my leg isn’t in great shape. I also asked Him to give me peace with whichever choice needed to be made. He answered me today, and I haven’t felt more sure.

The world knows that I am not the strongest (fastest) runner.  More than halfway into marathon training, I would have been spending 3-6 hours on Saturday mornings running.  Another 4-6 during the week.  As a stay-at-home/work-from-home mom, there simply isn’t time for that in my life.  If I were stronger, there would be less of a time commitment, but marathon training was about to start to interfere with several things, including my ministry.

Trust in the Lord and do good.
Then you will surely live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord
and He will give you your heart’s desires.
​-Pasalm 37:4

So, for now, I must admit my limitations.  I needed a leg injury to tell me I need to scale it back. There are no declarations from me that I will never conquer the Marathon, but for now, I am going to stick to lesser distances.  The half marathon distance is truly enjoyable for me.  There are other goals I have for running that won’t take the time of a part time job from me.

Frederick Buechner once said “The place God calls you to is the place where our deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”  God has not abandoned me in this.  More than anything I pray, I pray for His will to be done and apparent in my life.  While a dream has been put out of reach for now, He has already shown me doors He wants me to go through.  I am confident that He is with me in this decision and that choosing to step down from this race will not hurt the kingdom.

That is my life’s purpose – furthering His kingdom.  Not running a race to prove something to myself, or to others.  While many people are called to run longer distances than me, and that is just fine, the marathon I was chasing was about to become self-serving.

Do you have a difficult decision to make?  Do you go to God before you go to your family, your friends or social media to get advice about it?  How do you seek His will in your big choices, as well as your little?

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