Hello strangers (and friends), it’s been a while since we talked and honestly, I have no good reason why.
It has been a wild whirlwind of emotions, time management, procrastination, work, and planning the past few months and I haven’t felt thoughtful enough to post anything on this blog. And that, my friends is silly.
I miss writing and sharing with you, but honestly, what I’m finding as senioritis hits HARD, it is difficult to find motivation in any area of your life when you are deeply unmotivated in one or two areas. So that brings me to today’s post… Procrastination in running and (apparently) the payoff in this.
Yesterday, I ran the Philadelphia LOVE Run, you may remember when I was signed up for this race last year but sadly got injured only weeks before the race so my awesome friend Matt ran it for me. This year however, I ran it!
As my first distance race back from my marathon back in November, I ultimately just thought I’d run it for fun. I had been training with my friend Steph who was training for her first half, the Scranton Half Marathon, on the same day, but not seriously training. Very casually running and training, basically only when I felt like it.
So per my usual race-day craziness, I awoke on Sunday at 4:30am and ate my first breakfast, this time of a breakfast burrito, and stretched. I did my devotional, watched some Gilmore Girls, and ultimately contemplated why I wasn’t still asleep before getting dressed in race day attire and wrapping myself in a blanket to start the walk over to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
On the walk over with socks on my hands as gloves, wrapped in my free Wharton Women Business Conference blanket, I was seriously considering why I raced anyways. I knew I hadn’t really trained and was just running for fun, but it was cold as I wasn’t feeling “race-day” joy.
This feeling of apathy matched a lot of what I had been feeling for the past week, sadness, depression, and apathy. My low place in life made me forget why I loved this sport and even why I bothered.
I, of course, took my usual pre-race selfies, and starting corral photos, but still wasn’t feeling it.
I introduced myself and met a bunch of new-to-the-sport runners, but still, nothing. The gun went off and off we went, mile 1, mile 2, mile 3, still kinda blah about the whole thing. Around mile 5, I decided to text Steph (who was running in Scranton) some encouragement. This run kind of felt like any other run, not really a race. So I decided to call my mother, talking with her was just nice and reminded me of how blessed I was.
Right after that came mile 8-9, in the Love Run, this mile is the hill mile, the one that is definitely the hardest part of the entire race physically.
But it was on this hill where I remembered the joy of racing. It was on this hill where I was able to encourage my fellow runners, push myself through pain, and remember my first half-marathon ever, 3 years ago. This hill reminded me that 3 years ago, I couldn’t run up the hill in the race without walking. It reminded me of my unhealthy eating patterns and bulimia during my first training cycle. It reminded me of my inability to be single and my unhealthy romantic relationship at the time. It reminded me of weakness.
As I was reminded of who I was then, I realized who I am now. I am strong.
Yes, the next stage of life may be unclear and not what I expected. But honestly, did I expect to be where I am right now ever? No. No is the answer. By the grace of God I am where I am today.
I am strong. I am able to do things that should be impossible. I am forgiven and redeemed despite my sins. I am wonderfully and fearfully made.
And I can run a half marathon with little training and little effort, and that my friends is amazing. Right as I was realizing all these things, I looked up and saw the time clock at the Mile 11 marker. It read 1:31:46… I looked down at my watch, it read 1:30:20. Mental math quickly told me if I ran sub 9:40 miles for the last two miles, I could maybe PR this race and break into the 1:40’s…
Then the racing brain kicked in. I pumped up my music and went for it. Mile 11-12 I went all out, running a 7:36 mile split, but then I hit 12 and started feeling rumbling in my stomach. I didn’t know if I could keep up this pace but right as I was beginning to doubt myself, God reminded me of something amazing.
The song “You will Never Run Away” by The Rend Collective came on my phone. And for the last mile.1 of this race, I was reminded why I ran, more importantly, why I race. I race because with every step, doubt, and finish line, I am reminded how amazing the Lord and Savior I serve is. I am reminded how far he has brought me, how far he will take me, and how when I am at my weakest, I must rely on him.
In my life, I often times think I’m strong enough to do it on my own. I am smart enough to graduate college. I am a good person therefore can make friends. I am a good worker, therefore can get a job on my own.
But when all my self-reliance feels as though it has no base and I lose all confidence and joy in myself, I am left weak, depressed, and broken. I am full of nothing but nerves, anxiety, and pass out on the sidewalk. BUT, there is one who can take all of that away. There is one who promises to be strong when I am weak.
In a moment where I felt no way I could be physically strong enough to do it, I didn’t. God stepped in and carried me. In a simple song, he carried me.
I came through the finish line at 1:49:15 singing at the top of my lungs and dancing in the joy of the Lord.
To sum it all up: sometimes, you just need a darn good hill to remind you of why running and racing is amazing. And sometimes, you need to break in order to be reminded in who can truly heal.