I know I’ve talked about running before, but tomorrow I run in the Hartford, Connecticut Marathon, so I’ve had running on my mind . . . a lot. For 16 weeks now a couple of friends and I have been training. Running four times a week, building up our mileage, training to increase our speed, doing yoga and pilates on our days off, and basically working our bu**hmmm-emm . . .tails off. A lot of people have run marathons, or done other hard things like giving birth naturally or putting shoes on a two-year old when he didn’t want you to, so some of my epiphanies today may not be anything new, but I want to record them anyway, for posterity.
Lesson #1: You can’t do hard things without preparation.
Tomorrow I will attempt to run 26.2 miles and according to the exercise physiologists and the running experts I should be able to, because I followed a training program that conditioned my body to do that. I started out low miles, slow pace and gradually increased both, allowing my body to become stronger without injury. A few weeks ago we ran 22 miles . . .it took us over four hours, things hurt, but we did it. And we could because the week before that we ran 20, and before that 18, and before that 16, you get the idea. Other hard things in life can be accomplished with preparation too. Share some of your success stories in the comments below!
Lesson #2: Setting and reaching goals makes you feel good!
Something I absolutely love about running is how objective it is. I woke up at 5:30 for Saturday after Saturday and ran for hours and hours. I did it, no one can tell me I didn’t or argue with me. It’s done. I decided to do it and I did. By contrast I have also committed to become a Saint and always remember the Savior, that one is a little harder to assess. So yeah, I like that something in my life is getting checked off the to-do list, something I’m working hard at. I feel powerful and happy, even with runner’s rash and blisters. Applied to everything else I realize I can set and reach small goals that will take me in the right direction and I’ll feel just as good. Success begets success, something in motion stays in motion, and all those little truths apply here.
Lesson #3: Output requires input.
The day we did our 18 miler a tropical storm was brewing. Remember Gustave? I’m in New York, so the winds weren’t blowing down trees or anything, but the temperature hovered in the 80’s with humidity that soaked you after only seconds. I carry a water belt that has four 10 oz. bottles on it and I had to refill three times before the end of that run. After we came home it started raining and rivers of water rushed down the streets. I felt horrible. The weather had something to do with it, but I also hadn’t been sleeping much or eating enough for the few days before, so when I asked my body to run and run and run, especially in those conditions it just couldn’t. I hadn’t prepared well enough. The next week for our 20 miler I ate carbs for days, slept as much as possible (even taking naps instead of getting online and reading blogs-a sacrifice you know), and I felt good at the end of 20 miles. If I want my body to put out energy I have to fuel it, rest it, prep it. I have to input all the right things to get the end result I hope for. And what about the help we need to serve, learn, teach . . .isn’t it also true that when we input personal scripture study, prayer, time spent at church and the temple renewing our covenants then we have something to give?
I will update you on how it goes. But here’s my last pontification for the day. Barring some major catastrophe I know I will finish the race tomorrow. I have faith in my body, in my preparation, in my will to achieve this hard thing. When we do what is required that is the result-faith that gets us through! Now apply away . . .so many connections.