I can quite easily blame it on work stress, busy-ness with the kids, etc... but the truth is, I'm so close to being finished that its hard to look back. Last week I ran the Shamrock Shuffle downtown, and I stayed at a really consistent pace throughout (Disclaimer: the mile 2 lag was due to the bathroom break. We were in the start corral for 45 minutes before the race!)
But if you look at the last mile split, I shaved about :45 off of my mile time. I knew I was close and I finished that race guns blazing. Here's my question - why, after 4.8 miles of running, would you end the race walking across the finish line? I was so baffled by that. And that's where my brain is now, trying to finish strong, not stumbling.
While we were running the Park 2 Park 5K, Dad talked to me a little bit about his verse that he keeps in mind while running: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13). Guess what I saw scrawled across the back of someone's racing shirt right around mile 4 of the Shuffle, when I needed to see it most? "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
The week before the Shamrock, we were with family for Easter dinner, and talking about running. My cousin Sarah put it so well, that "when you run, you feel powerful. Like you can do anything else that week, because I can run ___ miles."
Even though all of these conversations, observations, races, and realizations happened at different times over the last six months, the fact remains: I can do anything with the confidence that God's hand is guiding me, and I have strength and power in His grace. Right now, the focus of that fact is very much physical for me. Every decision I make about food, exercise, and wellness has its roots in the knowledge that I have the perseverance to keep doing my best to honor God through my words and actions and hopefully prolong the time I'm able to do that by making the right choices. The mile marker here is the realization that the main reason I'm taking this journey isn't vanity, physical appearance, or what others say about my looks. Its about being around for my kids for a long time, setting a good example for them in every aspect of my lifestyle, and taking care of the physical body with which I've been blessed.