And I’m running again…

Today I pounded the pavement for a couple of miles, my first time to run since this pretty epic fail last week. I felt some familiar aches but overall I’m happy with how it went. The weather is warm and muggy, but cloud cover kept the sun from blazing down on me. I also liked jogging over fallen fall leaves. I know I’ve got a log way to go to run my fastest 5K time, but I will get there. I must get there!

-Out of the Wilderness

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Jogging in what’s left of Hurricane Irma

I was about to title this The Art of Running in the Rain but I didn’t, for a couple of reasons:

  1. It’s too close to the title of a great book called The Art of Racing in the Rain*
  2. It’s not so much artistic as it is just keeping your head down and finishing

Yesterday, as Hurricane Irma continued to dwindle down to a misty precipitation, I set out to run. The original plan was to drive over to a nearby Greenway but it was 4pm. So while getting there would be a cinch, afternoon traffic in Nashville is anything but. I’d get stuck in Google traffics dreaded red line with all the other people heading home for the day. I kept the car in park and went on foot around the neighborhood.

As I mentioned a few days ago, my goal is to beat my best 5K time. This run, however, I wasn’t going for gold. Just a jog pace. I needed to be in the rain. Let my mind and spirit be refreshed. I used this time to turn a few things over to the Lord. Any frustrations, nerves, fears, I prayed for God to replace them with joy.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

img_20170914_111415.jpgGod wants me to give Him my anxiety, my worries and fears, which is totally awesome because I don’t really want them anyway! As I was running I confessed how I was feeling. I asked God to take on the burden and with the new space in my life, for joy and freedom. Freedom in my heart that will spill over into my daily life, which brings joy.

By the end of the run I definitely felt refreshed. It was good for my soul to be in that vulnerable place of admitting my feelings to the One who already knew them anyway. The frustration and anxiety were gone. All that was left was a happy albeit fast-beating heart…and wet clothes.

I didn’t break any records. No gold medals. I didn’t even run very fast. And yet yesterday did more for me than any 5K will ever do. As my pastor would say, I had a front row seat to see God work. A chance to take God up on one of His promises and know that He didn’t leave me hanging. I’d say that’s worth more than gold!

-Out of the Wilderness

*As an Amazon Affiliate, I will receive a portion of sales associated with this Amazon link

Crawfish to Bridge One, a story about running

Ever since the trip to Missouri where my brother and I ran 5Ks and worked out almost every day, he and I have gotten back into running, me in Nashville and him in Orlando. I can’t really speak for him in regards to how much he’s running but I lace up maybe 3 or 4 times a week now. I have a goal and a secret goal (which means you can’t say a word about it!). The very public goal that you can talk to your co-workers and friends about is defeating my personal 5K record of 19 minutes and 42 seconds, set 11 years ago. The more I run now, it feels like that was way back when dreams were possible. OK, here’s the secret goal that you can only mumble to yourself when you’re alone in the closet… my secret goal is that I want to beat my brother. He’s been more athletic than me forever (again, never ever admit to anyone under any circumstance that I said any of this), so when I can beat him at something, I take the time to relish it like you’d do if you were taking a bath in strawberry jelly. Really enjoy every second of it, and maybe make a sandwich if you have some peanut butter lying around.

Here’s a clip of my bro and I running in Missouri back in July…

I’ve got to train for the day when he runs a 5K under 22, then under 21, then under 20. The only way I know how is to get out there and run!

So I have a few landmarks I’d like to hit. The first, and it’s proving to be difficult, is to break the 22-minute mark on a 3.1-mile run. Just yesterday I had my best time at 22:11. I’m not afraid to admit my disappointment. I was disappointed, there I said it. It felt like biting into a fresh homemade peanut butter and jelly sandwich, like, you used the good peanut butter and everything, only to realize there’s no peanut butter on it at all. Total downer.

But something good came out of the run yesterday. I did well with a silly strategy I’ve used in the past: pick two points along the path and between the two, run faster. After the second point, slow back down to a cruise pace. The plan is to widen the gaps in those points the more I train. Yesterday the two points were a sign about crawfish (I was running alongside a creek) and a bridge, so that’s where the title of this blog came from. I conversed with myself, maybe I can’t keep a 6-minute mile pace the whole time, but I can do it from crawfish to bridge one, right?

Right.

I haven’t broken the 22-minute 5K yet but I’ll be sure to post more as I get closer to that landmark moment, and hopefully eventually accomplishing my goal and my secret goal (shhhhhh!)… so here’s to training and running and reaching goals and brothers and pb&J sandwiches!

-Out of the Wilderness