Making the Cut

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I have the perfect melancholy disposition to be a great author. If I did not have a husband, children, or God, I could perfectly imagine myself drinking too much coffee by day, drinking too much wine by night, and spewing forth a constant stream of cigarette smoke as I created dreary literary masterpieces.

The most I can muster is pummeling myself with introspection.

When my world is sunny, I am the best athlete the world has ever seen. When there are clouds, I am an average nobody, pretending to do something great.

I have been marathon training since March, and now my knee is giving me trouble. With only 4 weeks left before race day, there might be time to heal and still complete the marathon. I can either give in to the overwhelming sense that everything I try will fail, or I can fight my way out and hope for the best.

Fighting, in this case, includes cutting back mileage. I have to add strength training and more stretching. It will be difficult, and time-consuming, but it has to be done if I want to run the marathon.

Normally when I’m in the doldrums, I don’t blog. I don’t like throwing pebbles into the glassy surface people think is my life. I also like to keep the blog solely about running, and leave my moods out of it. But running cannot be compartmentalized. When I am feeling down, my running is affected; and when I fail to meet my running goals, my life is somehow tainted.

No matter how pleasant it may seem at times, life is unrelenting. It is a kitchen, constantly in need of cleaning, lest the mold build up in the dark places. I struggle to keep up with it.

I should be running 18 miles now on my long runs. I’ve barely completed 15, which makes me seriously wonder why I’m doing all this. It would be so very easy to give up.

I’m sure I could psychoanalyze the reasons why I want to train for and complete the marathon, but it is enough to say, this crazy race is a challenge I face, and I desperately want to make the cut.

I am not strong, brave, or faithful. I cannot create these qualities through running, no matter how many miles I log. My wretched shell can only be filled with strength, courage, and faithfulness if God wills it. My prayer is He gives me enough to complete the 26.2 miles in July.

Stats:

Miles: Thursday 0, Friday went to the zoo & stayed up late, Saturday 12, Sunday slept most of the day, Monday…TBA

Miles Projected: I have no idea. I’m balancing on the narrow ridgeline of panic.

Failures: My 12 miles on Saturday was supposed to be 18. But my knee was hurting badly, and it was extremely hot outside (both great excuses to quit). It was a bad idea to run and was probably more mentally damaging than anything.

Successes: I am determined to do an 18-miler this week.

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2 responses »

  1. Good morning my friend…

    I am SO sorry you’re hurting and I’m sending you a huge virtual hug. I can relate to so much of what you write. I love the part about smoking and drinking away the darkness in writers angst. Me too. I could do that, if I weren’t wiping noses and teaching math and cooking three meals a day to fill endlessly open mouths.
    I get not feeling like writing when things are hard. I write REAMS for myself… “therapy writing,” I call it, but I can produce nothing for work or pleasure in those dark moments. I’ve had an extremely hard time writing in the past year.

    I have no answers. No encouragement of value. I too am discouraged and defeated feeling much of the time. The only thing I can tell you is what my Dad drilled into my head as a kid and now runs on a constant loop tape in my head: “You CAN do anything you want, you just have to choose to do it.” and “Time carries you away from all things.” I’ve heard it said that, “time heals all things” but I don’t believe that… maybe it heals knees though!

    I just want you to know that today (and everyday) I am thinking of you! I love you! I am proud of what you are doing, and it is VERY worthwhile, whether you finish it, or not. The REAL marathon you are running is life itself and you run far more than your target 18 miles in THAT marathon every single day. How do I know? I’ve met your kids.

    Hang in there on the hard days. They make the truly joyful days all the more wonderful.

    You are loved.

    j

  2. I keep thinking of you… as my trip comes closer, knowing your race is just days before my arrival. I’ll be faithfully praying for a strong finish these next weeks! I’ve so enjoyed traveling (already!) with you on your journey into the running world. I can hardly wait to travel with you through Europe! 🙂

    Here’s a Casting Crowns song I’ve had on repeat this week might encourage you as it has encouraged me (from their Lifesong album):

    If you ask me to leap
    Out of my boat on the crashing waves
    If You ask me to go
    Preach to the lost world that Jesus saves
    I’ll go, but I cannot go alone
    Cause I know I’m nothing on my own
    But the power of Christ in me makes me strong
    Makes me strong

    Cause when I’m weak, You make me strong
    When I’m blind, You shine Your light on me
    Cause I’ll never get by living on my own ability
    How refreshing to know You don’t need me
    How amazing to find that you want me
    So I’ll stand on Your truth, and I’ll fight with Your strength
    Until You bring the victory, by the power of Christ in me

    If You ask me to run
    And carry Your light into foreign land
    If You ask me to fight
    Deliver Your people from Satan’s hand
    To reach out with Your hands
    To learn through Your eyes
    To love with the love of a savior
    To feel with Your heart
    And to think with Your mind
    I’d give my last breath for Your glory

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