Sunday, August 19, 2007

Marathon Training Update

I ran my fifteen miles this morning before church. It took me three hours. I listened to half of the book of Jeremiah on my ipod and then to a Catalyst podcast featuring a very interesting interview with Malcolm Gladwell. He had some things to say about the relatively new surge of attention from church leaders on issues of poverty. In his book The Tipping Point he calls such movements "social epidemics" and looks at what causes them. I noticed a huge increase in the emphasis on poverty alleviation at the Willow Leadership Summit this year. Maybe the epidemic is catching on thanks to leaders like Rick Warren and Bill Hybels. Gladwell seems to think so.

Anyway, I have really been struggling to get out there and run, especially those weekend long runs. My bed feels so comfortable! If I hadn't made this public commitment to run the marathon I think I would have given up by now. I know if I don't stick to my training I will have a very difficult time completing the actual marathon on October 7th.

I look for inspiration wherever I can find it. The video below kept me at it this week along with cheers from the guys on the park benches and seeing Keyonda McQuarters out there on Monday. It was Keyonda who actually inspired me to run the marathon for World Vision. She announced to our BUILD group that she was running and I felt the call!

This is a huge challenge for me. This morning it was raining and cooler which actually made it much easier than last Saturday's twelve miles in the blazing noonday sun. What was I thinking!

Mostly it is hard, but this morning, in about my tenth mile, a flock of geese came soaring down skidding to a stop right beside me as if to say, "We're with you! Don't give up!" and I felt the endorphins kick in for a few minutes so I could experience the runner's high that makes it worthwhile.

I like this quote from the book, Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi:
Contrary to what we usually believe... the best moments in our lives, are not the passive receptive, relaxing times-- although such experiences can also be enjoyable, if we have worked hard to attain them. The best moments usually occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.
This training is definitely one of those body and mind stretching experiences for me. I also still have a long way to go to meet my fundraising goal, so please stretch with me to help the kids in Africa!

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