As many of you know (certainly not because of my incessant whining) I have been training to run my first half marathon in just a few weeks. While my training has not been near the intensity and perfectly planned schedule I would prefer - it has taken up quite a bit of my time. Due to mine and my husband's work schedule I cannot get out of bed early enough to run in the morning so I try to hit the trails as soon as I get off work.
By the time I get home, cook dinner, do some housework, talk to Jody and
drool over Adam Levine watch the Voice, I just don't feel like writing to my imaginary cyber friends about much of anything.
I've been saving up - imagining what it will be like to finally pull off that 13.1 miles then tell you all about it! Through training I've already surpassed distances I never even thought I could reach. I've also had a lot of time to think (which is probably my favorite part of running).
One thing that's been on my mind lately is a question I read in Train Like a Mother that asked "when did you first know you were a runner?"
I've called myself that for a while, but several times a week I now pinch myself and say "I really am a runner!"
I'm not athletic. I never played basketball, softball or soccer. I suck at putt-putt and get winded swimming across a pool. I have trouble opening jars, and seldom get the volleyball over the net on a serve.
But I am a runner.
Not the best, fastest or most graceful by any means, but I lace up those shoes, and go at it as if my life depended on it time after time after time.
I've gotten stronger, I've gotten faster, I've placed and even won my age group in a few small races.
I was leaving a doctor's appointment yesterday when the receptionist told me there had been an explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Obviously, because I'm a 29 year old American, the first thing I think is "terrorists"; (the fact that that was my first thought is an entirely separate post in itself) but I felt my heart start to break a little.
My mom was calling before I could get to my car. We were all in shock, and I couldn't quite wrap my mind around what was going on even after getting back to work and seeing it play out on television.
All I knew was: those were my people.
I don't plan to EVER run a full marathon, but I'll always be a runner.
I know why one endures sore joints, blisters, sweat and blood for a PR or finish line.
I know what it's like to cheer and be cheered on.
I know what it's like to be dog tired and starving, but not sure which need to meet first.
I know what it's like to block out everything - EVERYTHING - and just run.
I know it's a happy place, but yesterday someone, some very evil spirit, attempted to steal that joy.
I am hurt, I am angry, I am sad; but I know there is a God, even in the midst of chaos, who cares, loves, rescues and comforts. I am praying now that His peace encompasses the victims, families, runners and supporters affected by yesterday's madness.
I know there are still good people - a lot of whom run! - and there will always be hope.
And when I run UNAFRAID in two weeks - it will be for Boston.
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7