The Hardest Part…

Finally on the last week of training, and there are only 4 days until the marathon this Sunday.  Unbelievable how fast time went by.  Unbelievable that I somehow managed to push myself this far.  After all the injuries, after countless hours of running,  picking myself up again and again, I am only 4 days away.

I think that’s one of the reasons why running a marathon is so damn crazy.   By going through the training, you’re basically dedicating 5 months of your life towards this one day.  Towards one goal.  You sacrifice things so that you can be ready for that one day, 5 months down the road. Every step you make, every run, short or long, is a step towards this ultimate goal.    I always talk about how life changing a marathon can be, and it really is in the sense that it teaches you to live your life with a purpose.

***I found this on my journal from a couple of months ago when I started training:

“I think the hardest part to all this training is that I can stop whenever I want to.  Nobody is watching.  Nobody will care if I skip some miles, or a day of training.  The world goes on.  My life goes on.  Will missing one 4 mile run in the middle of the week have a negative impact on my actual marathon?  Probably not.

But the key is that all this training builds character. I know it’s hard, but nobody said it will be easy.  In the end I will know that I fought through all the training.  I will know that I fought through the pain, and never gave up.  I will know that every run that I did during training had its own significance because each run was a baby step in the right direction.”

I think it’s the same with Christianity.  The hardest part of our faith is how we act when nobody is watching. Let’s face it, it’s easy to do everything right in the spotlight.  To sugarcoat ourselves and appear like we’re all doing just fine in the face of others.  But to truly seek after God and offer genuine devotion in your alone times is something else.  In this case, it builds not only your character, but your faith.  Without personal devotion, there is no foundation for faith.  There is no inspiration, or reason to worship. to serve. to live out the word.

The longest run I did during training was 20 miles a couple of weeks ago.  Even though I was able to watch 3 hours of college football during my run, it wasn’t easy.  But that 20 miler wasn’t necessarily the hardest run that I ran during training.  The hardest run was the 5 miler that I ran two days after the 20 miler. To get myself back in my running shoes after a moment of success was hard.  It was only 5 miles, and I knew had run it a thousand times before, but it was rather difficult.  Messy.  I was sore, tired, injured, worn out, hungry.  I was sick of watching Jim Rome so angry on ESPN.  I overplayed every song on my iPod.   But I finished it.   I remember walking out of the gym with a huge smile on my face.   I felt like a 5′ 7″ running back who absorbed a hit from Ray Lewis and stumbled into the end zone.

4 more days.

“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength…”