Leaning into the process

mileage chartFifteen miles.

A milestone for me. To date, that is the longest distance I’ve ever run.

In full disclosure, I do have to admit it was a very slow 15 miles. But here in Middle Tennessee, pollen is already becoming a problem, and I have allergies and asthma. I’m not making an excuse though. Just an explanation.

I realized that I need to just accept that my pace was slow today, and that my breathing was rough. And be ok with that.I’m a very competitive person, and thankfully no one passed me today because that always irks me. But acceptance is something I’m learning about in my Brave New Year course (affiliate link). I don’t have to like it, but I need to accept where I am and then work to improve.

This journey has already been such a learning experience for me about me. I have more mental and physical toughness than I realized. On those days when my heart is not in a workout, I’m able to continue and be proud of myself when I’m finished. Patience is not something I possess much of, so I struggle with the slow progression of the training plan. Yet I am learning to treasure the gains from it.

Being sore after the weight day alerts me that I’m not using those muscles in running, and I’m becoming stronger each week as I increase weights or repetitions. It’s also becoming a challenge to change-up the workouts each week, so I’m developing new routines and combinations of strength exercises.

The cross training day, which for me has been power walking, is a challenge too, because I am so tempted to just run and be finished more quickly. Yet the benefit is in the use of different muscles, and again, I am sore the next day which is a definite sign those muscles were missed by other exercise.

Part of the training is in my head also. On a long run, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by thoughts like “this is only the first mile, I’ll never make it 14 more,” or “I’ll get bored running for hours.”

Yes, sometimes it is a little boring, depending on what I’m running past. And yes, it is difficult, especially the last few miles of the 15 yesterday. But what I find most of the time, is that I finish a run like yesterday’s, and I couldn’t begin to tell you what I thought about. Often I have a wealth of ideas recorded on the voice recorder I carry, or I’ve spent the time in prayer and contemplation.

Running can be a very peaceful, spiritual process. I am learning to lean into that process and embrace the opportunity for peace and spirituality.

I am running in the Country Music Marathon on April 27 with Team First Pres Franklin and Team World Vision to raise money for clean water in Haiti. Please consider supporting my efforts. Click here to donate. Thank you for your prayers and support.