Saturday, my training plan called for an 8 mile run. I don’t know why, but 8 miles seemed both intimidating and achievable all at the same time. I’d run 7 miles just two weeks before with an average pace of 10:55.
Add one more mile, and 8 miles should be easy breezy, right? Wrong. Those 8 miles were the worst since I started training. It wasn’t even the length of the run. I wasn’t getting progressively slower; I just felt like I was running through a tub full of pudding with flippers on from the moment I stepped out the door. My pace dropped nearly half a minute. What’s worse, I couldn’t get out of my head how bad the run was going and how slow I must be. I would try to push out the thoughts, but they kept creeping in. At several points, I remember thinking to myself “You have your phone strapped to your arm. You could call hubby right now to pick you up on the road and end this.”
Well, I’m here to tell you I survived and I didn’t call hubby, stop, or rest. I ran it out (slowly). My dad’s voice rang in the back of my ears “quitters never win.” I was able to push through thinking about the Dominican. That’s why I’m doing this in the first place. Quitters never win. And some folks…well, some folks don’t have the option of quitting.
I recall a story being told from one of the mission trip organizers, A (as I’ll call her, since I haven’t asked permission to share her name). While riding in the van from passing out food in the barrios and bateyes, she passed a sugar cane cutter. He was standing as straight as he could, but whatever version of upright he mustered looked incredibly painful to me. A shared that she asked the man if he would like to ride with them back to his home after a long day in the field. The man replied, “no, I’ll keep walking because I don’t have much further.” This man hasn’t had the option of quitting his entire life. He’s hunched into something anyone here in American would retire over, and he’s still walking to and from his job in the sugar fields.
How humbled do I feel that I can complain about legs that feel like lead and contemplating using my cell phone to have my husband pick me up in a warm vehicle on a cold day? First World Problems, as some people say.
Monday, I picked myself up, worried about how my five mile run might go. I turned to my bible for a little pick me up about not giving up and not quitting. It turns out, the bible has a lot to say on the matter. I selected just three verses that would fit for my situation to think about if my five miles went horribly wrong.
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
2 Chronicles 15:7 But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded
Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up
I’m sure there’s great context for each of these. But sometimes, it’s just good to know that God didn’t leave anything out. No context required. He knew there were days that all of us would think about giving up that “hard thing” in our lives. Maybe it’s distance running, relationships, caring for someone, a job, eating healthy, being kind to difficult people.
It so happens, Monday I had a great 5 miles. I also found out that half my office came down with some terrible virus over the weekend. I’ll be thankful I wasn’t one of them and take my bad long run instead.
Here’s hoping this coming weekend sees a great 9 miles, and to learning that my problems are insignificant. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.
As always, if you would like to donate to send me on my mission trip to the Dominican, you can donate using the donate link in my profile or follow the below link.