Saturday, October 2, 2010

Our Time

Tomorrow I will run my first marathon. I hesitate to write about it.

I hesitate for the same reason I hesitate telling about the funniest fight I've ever been in. It took place while hiking in the Swiss Alps with my brother. But I figure that anyone who starts their stories with, "while I was hiking in the Swiss Alps..." is most likely a total tool and a major "me monster" in need of a hard slap on the calf. (Try it; it kills. And watch the Brian Regan clip of the me monster. Hilarious.)

I hesitate because I suppose I should be getting "mentally prepared" and ready for bed rather than eating a churro and updating my blog.

I hesitate because there's a tiny fear in the back of my brain that's been growing for the last 14 weeks: "what if you hit that infamous wall and have to walk? Or worse, what if your foot injury flares up and you can't finish or have to limp your way to the end? Better not tell people you're running this so fewer will know about your shameful defeat." So basically, I hesitate because of fear and pride.

I hesitate for fear of appearing to be or actually being a toolish braggart simply soliciting praise. On that note- don't praise me for this. No false humility here just the truth- the truth that I think just about anyone can run a marathon if they have three things: time, desire, and health. God has blessed me with all three so if you want to say "good job," tell Him- not me- He's the one who has wired me this way.

I hesitate because now people might ask about my time and that is added pressure. Added pressure that I don't need- I already anticipate a mean bout of the "nervous poops" to come tomorrow and I'm not looking forward to adventures in the porta-potties.

But now I'm done hesitating. This blog is supposed to be about what I'm learning and experiencing on my "crusade for Christ" and the last 3 and 1/2 months of pounding my feet on the pavement have certainly been enlightening and transformational.

So why am I running a marathon?

When I started training I didn't realize I'd get asked the "why" question so often. I wish I had a cool reason. And I wish I had thought about my answer before I made one teacher incredibly awkward. My short, filtered, socially-appropriate answer is: "I've always loved to run and I had time to train during the summer." The answer I gave an older male teacher who I don't know that well was: "Well, I got dumped at the beginning of the summer and had a lot of free time on my hands."

Cue the awkwardness.

"Uh...I'm sorry. I didn't mean to ask a personal question."

"You didn't. I just made it personal. And quite awkward. I'm sorry."

That was our actual conversation. And yes, long/annoyingly complicated and boring story but I did have some unexpected free time on my hands this summer and I figured I had two options: dive into a bowl of raw cookie dough and eat my way into oblivion or dive into a bowl of raw cookie dough and then run off the calories. Luckily I went with option two or I'd have to hire someone to roll me around everywhere.

This summer was one of my favorites because of my time spent training for this race. Jesus met me every time I laced up my shoes. I hate those shirts that say, "Jesus is my homeboy"so I risk annoying myself by this next phrase but this summer Jesus was my running partner. My typical running partner was pregnant so I signed up planning on training solo but never once did I feel alone.

Maybe it was running along breath-taking coastlines.

Maybe it was keeping pace with schools of dolphins.

Maybe it was witnessing the power and beauty of crashing waves.

Maybe it was watching the sun sink into the horizon.

Maybe it was seeing the clouds light up in pink, orange and purple hues.

Maybe it was all the endorphins.

Whatever it was, Jesus was there, speaking louder and more clearly than ever before. Speaking words of comfort and healing and hope. He matched me step for step and training became "our time." I didn't say much. I just ran. And listened. And never before felt so loved. The following are lyrics from the song "Our Time" which made it onto all of my "running playlists."

Our time- To get away
Your time- To be alone with me
My time- where I can hear you say
Everything I need to get me through the day
Our time- To bring it back to one
Your time- To show me your love
My time- To learn how to trust
Cause I know that I need it so much
Our time

In the middle of my doubt and fear
In the middle of my pain and tears
I know you want to meet me here
So we can have our time
I can share anything with you
And I’ll always be the same to you
Everyday you want to make me new
We gotta have our time

Indeed, I needed "our time." I longed for "our time." And "our time" is why I am running tomorrow. It may have started because I got dumped but I will forever be grateful for this new habit, for this new venue where I can meet with my Creator and hear from Him and be reminded why I live.


  1. AHHHHHHH I Love your blog posts! They ALWAYS make me laugh outloud and bring a smile to my face. I am so glad we are africa bffs and YOU WILL DO GREAT TOMORROW because it is your time w/ Jesus-and HE will be there with you all the way. That is one thing I loved about running too-was how God would speak to me during those is a form of 'quiet time' (if you allow it to be). And it makes the verses in the bible much more real-

    "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."-Hebrews 12:1-2

    "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7

    "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." 1 Cor. 9:24-27

  2. Resisting the urge to say you will do great...instead thinking about potential bleeding nipples and you possibly accidentally wetting yourself...

    P.S. I like the blog facelift - very blog feng shui of you.

  3. I have the health, and a smidgen of desire, and totally need the time...which I know I can find if my desire grows. :-)

    Did you get the nervous poops? haha Also, I LOVE that you're eating a churro the night b/f; and you kicked butt w/your time the next probably doesn't make a difference, but I still think it's great.

    Love the blog background!