Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Perseverance Pays Off

Boy, am I behind on my blog posts! It's been 1 day short of a month since posted. Oops, sorry! :)

Since my last post, I have run 90.1 miles with 3 long runs of 10.1, 14.1 & 18.4, the last being just 2 days ago.

I am training for my first marathon in Newport on May 30. I've been doing pretty well, with a few speed bumps along the way. When I started running in November of 2006, I was 53 years old and a definite non-athlete! I have always been a staunch supporter of non-exercise, trying not to use the "e" word at all, and definitely not doing it.

A friend of mine, Greg Johnson, inspired me to begin exercising at the beginning of 2005 and I had purchased exercise equipment, plus an elliptical to do just that. I had been very faithful to exercise. Somehow, I got inspired (by Greg) to begin running. I did a lot of the wrong things, ended up with an injury to my knees and had to stop for a while, but picked it back up in the spring of 2007. Then I got a stress fracture in my right tibia in May and had to stop AGAIN! I picked up running again after I healed, but just on a VERY small scale, never running over 2 miles at a time AND I was VERY slow.

Again, thanks to Greg, I entered my first race, the MLK Stride Toward Freedom 5K in Salem, Oregon on Jan 19, 2008. I hadn't run for 2 months because of health issues but still managed to finish with a time of 41:26, pace of 13:21 (VERY slow, but I finished!). That got me encouraged and with the begging of another friend, I decided (not very wisely) to sign up for a marathon in the fall and begin training for it. I had no idea what I was doing, but plodded on. After numerous aches & pains, I was fitted with prescription orthotics in the summer of 2008, but I had already suffered a stress fracture to my right femur, so the marathon was out. :( I had already completed 2 other races - a 5K & a 10K, both ran in the heat of the summer with not so good times.

So, it was back to recovery. This time I did a lot of pool running, joined a gym and began training correctly. Once I healed, I registered for the Newport Marathon and also the Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon in October (the one I had to cancel on last year).

So far I have been doing very well. I lost 27 lbs last fall and my times have improved dramatically! I ran the MLK 5K race again this year with a time of 32:28; pace 10:29! I am wisely using the Jeff Galloway run/walk/run program and have increased my mileage to a long run of 24 miles, with a maximum weekly mileage of 32.46.

Now, I just have to not over-train and get injured before the marathon. Only 5 1/2 more weeks to go! I know that I CAN do this and I am so pleased that I have persevered and come this far. I know I haven't done it on my own, but have had the support of friends and the great help of God.

I remember thinking just 2 years ago that Greg had to be crazy to run 26 miles - that seemed like an impossible task back then, but is now reachable. I want to say thanks to him for his encouragement during all my training. He has been the best!

I also am thankful to all my "twitter" and "facebook" friends who have supported me. Having that outlet has kept me on track. I don't dare goof up and skip a run, they will all know. :)

Thanks to everyone!

James 1:25
But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

Perseverance will be rewarded! God says so in His word. We have to act on what we hear and DO it and then we will be blessed. I could have just listened to Greg explain how running had changed his life, read all the training manuals on running and even bought books and joined a gym, but if I didn't do something about it, I would still be a couch potato, hating the "e" word. :)

It's the same in our walk with Christ. We can ask Him into our lives, but if we just sit around and do nothing else, what good are we? God wants to work in us, but He can't do it alone - we HAVE to do our part. With us partnering with God, great things can be accomplished.

I know God is always there for me and will pick me up when I fall, but for me to expect Him to do all the work is foolish. He may give me a vision or a dream that He wants done, but if I just wait for Him to act, it will never see the light of day. I HAVE to get up off my behind and get to work too.

I am going to continue to persevere in my running, but most importantly am going to persevere in my walk with God. I want to do everything in my power to help him establish His Kingdom on this earth - I want it to begin with me. How about you?

God bless you and be with you today.