Tuesday, May 12, 2009


It's weird how one moment I can feel certain, convinced, hopeful and in the next moment I am uncertain, unconvinced, doubtful with a little fear thrown in to top it all off.

Last night I hopped on the treadmill...finally.  Mondays are short easy runs on our training schedule.  Billie and I decided we'd go it alone on Mondays rather than waking at 5 AM.  I, of course, put off the running till around 9 PM last night because I am an exceptional procrastinator.

It felt like a long two miles.  I didn't like it.  And then my thought process went from "I want to run, it makes me feel good, need to stick to the training program, I can do this, God wants me to do this."  to...

"Running is the dumbest thing ever, why do I do this again, this hurts, this is boring, what was the point of a 1/2 mary again?  Why bother?  WHY?!?!"

And then I caught myself...

One of those moments where I have that outer body experience, as if I'm watching myself having the above thought process.   The moment where I realize what my thought process has turned into.  The moment I replace whatever is going through my head with truth.

The truth is:
  • Sometimes it's gonna hurt more than others.  I need to push through it and stop repeating the process of quitting when it just gets too tough.
  • It's not just about running.  It's about discipline.  It's about sacrifice.  It's about commitment.  It's about finishing the goal that He has set before me.  
  • It's about allowing Him to complete a work in me that seems nearly impossible.
  • He has given me a body that is capable of running...it is a gift.  
  • I am not allowed to quit on this one.
  • it doesn't matter if I like it all the time.
I've said it a million times before, but the first 1/2 mile of any run is killer for me.  Hate it.  Actually, the first couple are rather painful.  It took me a long, long time to consistently run past that 2 mile point.  Because no matter what those experienced runners told me about it getting easier, about getting into a rhythm...I didn't believe them.  I believed it was different for me.  I believed that it hurt right now, which meant it was going to hurt EVEN WORSE later.  So I would run to the point of pain and quit.

I could throw in a breast-feeding analogy here, but I'll save that analogy for another time ;)

Back to my previous thought...running to the point of pain and never through it just made me MISERABLE.  And it kept me believing my own lie.  

Sometimes I do the same thing in real life.

Through training, the 1/2 mary will be physically possible...whether I really believe it right now is not the point.  It doesn't change the truth.  I need to follow the plan set before me, even when I don't feel like it...even when it's thoroughly painful and not any fun at all...because the goal...when I finish that impossible race, I will have conquered more than 13.1 miles.

I am learning a painful lesson.  Physically and spiritually it is about sticking to the plan, moving forward, adding more to what seems impossible...because I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13)


  1. Sarah,I enjoyed your post.Hope you are havein a great day! Blessings, Faye

  2. I needed your reminder today! Thanks for sharing your running woes!

  3. This is so true Sarah. From one who tends to quit when it gets hard and take the easy way out - I needed this today!! :)

    Love ya!!

  4. man, this hit home hard! i'm a quitter - i quit when things start to get hard or not going as planned. thanks for writing this. i will remember it for months to come :)

    have a great day - you're awesome!!!

  5. Running is sooo much more mental than physical! There are a few good books on the mental part...can't remember their names right now but they helped me push past certain times and distances. But I've already told myself never any farther than a 10K!

  6. You are a great example! Go girly!!

  7. Ok, so I need some inspiration!! I'm soo proud of you and you're running journey! I really want to start running, but honestly, I don't know where to start. Are you following some sort of plan that you could share? I have three boys (6, 4, and 6 months) too, so trying to squeeze it all in is a challenge! You truly are an inspiration to me!

  8. I am such a quitter. I have no less than 10 craft projects floating around this house that are half done, or less. Heck sometimes I just buy all the supplies, and that's as far as I get. I hope I can start running after this baby is born. I feel guilty that God has given me this awesome, capable body and I take it for granted.

  9. Yes! Yes! You CAN do it! I am so excited to follow your progress/training (I spy on you on Runlogger *wink*) and I am so excited for you that you are doing a half-marathon. I think about the scripture you quoted a lot when I'm running.

    I usually don't feel real good on my two-mile recovery runs either, and I think it's because I don't warm up before that particular run and it takes me a good mile and a half to two miles to really loosen up/warm. You are so right on with running past the discomfort being like breast-feeding. I only made it six weeks, and I KNOW if I just would have kept going a little longer, even just a couple more weeks, I would have made it the whole year. Time and time again running has been like that for me, just get past that first mile and a half, and then I feel much much better.

    Keep going, Sarah! You are awesome!

  10. Oh Sarah, I so needed to hear this today......this morning I felt like quitting what God has called me to. It is hard and it hurts and seems impossible right now. thank you for this post and the reminder that it is about sticking to the plan, moving forward and doing all things through Christ, who strengthens me!

  11. This one hits me squarely between the eyes, spiritually.

    Hard but good stuff Sarah.

  12. Even though you left out the breastfeeding analogy, I'm thinking my old mental toughness from when I was running will come back and I'll be using running analogies during this soon-to-be breastfeeding experience. So, I'm glad you "mentioned" it. ;) I used to tell myself "Kill the Hill" which probably won't help during breastfeeding...and "If it doesn't kill you, it will only make you stronger." That might work. :)I used to also recite, in my head, the verse "But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

  13. You can use anything as an analogy. You go, girl. God speaks to you in everything you do. That is a blessing.

    Does it really get easier? Because it just seems to get harder ... the running. The first mile is a fight for me.

  14. do you chant? when you run I mean? I have started chanting when I get to feeling like I want to stop or slow down.... I am embarrassed to even say what I chant.... I will have to send it in an email! haha! try it! make up your own "cheer" like chant!
    there is also a visualization I have that works too.... too embarrassed to post it here with all your 5,000 fans to read... I will have to email that too! ha ha! love you! thanks for the post, it is true, it is so easy to make excuses. I have made a lot of them lately!!! a lot! it really is about discipline. learning discipline. love you..

  15. Sheesh. Do you live in my head too? Yep, I get this completely. I get overwhelmed quickly (that is my (old) nature) and want to quit immediately, especially if there is ANY sort of a snag or pain involved. But God is teaching me--through weight loss, through exercise (even running, though not as far--yet--as you), through the discipleship & teaching He has me doing--that I must learn to be FAITHFUL, not great. My old nature wants to be GREAT and doesn't want to be there if it's not. My new nature wants GOD to be GREAT, and seeks for me to simply do as required, day in and day out. There's not nearly as much glory for me in that, and I'm pretty sure that's His plan, no? ;-) *sigh* I am so grateful that He is a patient God. It is so very necessary to deal with this wandering child.
    Sarah, we've never met, but I do love you. Keep at it girl. I will too.
    And BETH--You must email me the same info! I'm dying to know and think both would prove beneficial to me! :-)
    Now, back to the daily grind {*wink*},

  16. So very very true. Thanks, needed to 'hear' that today.
    I appreciate your blog and your writing (even the complete randomness of it somedays).

  17. P.S. You just spawned a blog entry from me. Just thought I'd let you know that I linked you. :-)

  18. Just thought you'd like to know that this entry is STILL running through my head: Last night, when I was running and I wanted to QUIT about 10 steps in (Instead, however, I ran the longest distance of my life to date! The will over the mind (the body was fine)--yea God!), this morning as I got ready for the day, at work when I was doing a mundane task. I cannot escape the revelation that I am by nature a quitter, and that God is calling me to more. And for me, like for you, running has become a part of that lesson. I guess, I just wanted to say, "Thanks," again. :-)
    Praying sunshine for your weekend--internally and externally,


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