Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Running has been a hobby of mine for 10+ years now. It's more of a habit to go for a run than it is a discipline. I love to run. So on most days, it doesn't take a swell of effort to lace up my shoes. I run at a decent, but not amazing pace. Real runners would probably refer to me as a jogger. Usually I run for 30-40 minutes a few times a week as my schedule allows. Moderate. Nothing impressive, but better than the couch.
In January, David announced that he planned to train for the Derby Marathon held in Louisville each April. After scoffing at his willingness to train long distance in a KY winter, I eventually decided to train for the half marathon myself. For the past few weeks my training schedule has required more and more of my time, diet and body. At first, I found some resistance to the strain but as I've progressed my enjoyment has increased. I've been building distance which takes time. It's been slow but steady.
One afternoon last week I went to the gym to avoid the deluge outside. There I stepped onto my friend, the treadmill. The wonderful and terrible thing about a treadmill is that your pace, distance, and incline are right there in front of you in digital, inarguable form. I don't usually think much about my pace while I run but when it's glaring back at you, how can you miss it? I decided to push myself. My pace increased significantly. My heart pounded. I focused on running instead of the magazine or book I usually use to cover the dash while I run. It felt great. I hurt in the good way - the way that means you're increasing rather than maintaining.
This week I've been focusing a more during my runs and have been pleased with the results and inspired to work harder.
I remember when I first started to run. Back in my high school years, I somehow ended up on the school soccer team. We started training that summer and pushed our way through the Memphis heat and humidity. We ran the steps. Did sprints. Calf raises until we couldn't walk. I was totally out of shape. It was the first time and perhaps only time I've ever thrown up from physical activity. It was glorious. I had never worked so hard to stretch my body and there was something good about the push.
It's brought an interesting parallel to my heart over the past few days - one that won't let up on me. There are quite a few habits in my life that I've allowed to become comfortable. By a certain standard, I am disciplined. But there's an aspect of the discipline that's lazy. Others might observe and be satisfied with the area. But I know that the mile was meant to have been run a bit faster or the prayer was meant to be prayed with deeper fervor or the Word was meant to be opened with greater hunger.
I'd like to push a little harder in the days to come.