Thursday, May 13, 2010

Why Running a Half Marathon is Like Being in a Long-Distance Relationship

Recently, I was able to accomplish a goal/dream I've had for several years. On April 11 I ran in the Dallas Half Marathon, then on April 25th I also completed the Oklahoma City Half Marathon. Not only was it an incredible feeling to run across that finish line, but God had a lot to show me along the course. With that said, this is why running a half marathon is like being in a long distance relationship :-)

13 months - the approximate amount of time Rob and I will have to spend being apart.
13.1 miles - the distance to run in a half marathon

Mile 1 to 4 wasn't so bad. It was new, it was exciting, I couldn't hardly believe I was actually in the race, running, and on my way to accomplishing something great. I was fresh on the course, I was strong, and for the most part I was really just excited to be doing it. Months 1-4 of our relationship were about the same. Our relationship was fresh, it was new, it was exciting. It was thrilling to actually be in a relationship, and even though we were far apart, we were still just getting to know each other.

About mile 5 I began to realize that I still had 8 more miles left to go. I wasn't tired yet, but just felt overwhelmed knowing how far I still had left to go. Month 5, December, I had the same overwhelming feeling. Still 8 more months of being apart. But in both situations I never felt hopeless, I was willing to do it.

At 6.55 miles, the halfway point in the race, I was overjoyed! This was totally possible; I was halfway done!! Back in February, halfway point of the long-distance thing, was this incredible, euphoric joy in knowing we'd been through six months already.

Then, just after mile 9, despair. I couldn't hardly make my legs move anymore. I actually started to walk, and did so for a few minutes as I contemplated the impossibility of making it 4 more miles. It was a tough spot, and it wasn't that I ever wanted to give up, but I really didn't know how in the world I would make it to the finish. But, I realized how far I'd already come, how many weeks I had spent training, not to mention the money spent to run the race, and I kept running, not stopping again after that. Month 9, well let's just say our relationship hit a few bumps. Realized we are human, we aren't perfect, we mess up, we do and say stupid things. We definitely weren't in that daydreamy land of lala relationship world anymore. I didn't want to think about 4 more months of a stinkin long distance relationship. It was getting more than a little frustrating! But alas, I realized how far we'd come, all that God had done in us and close we had become. Not that I EVER had the thought of quitting, but I knew I needed the strength and grace of God to make it to August.

When I saw the mileage marker for mile 11, there was absolutely no stopping me! I was almost done, I could just see myself crossing that finish line! Mile 12, I began to soar. It was the Holy Spirit empowered me and helped me to give it every last bit of strength I could muster. And then, I crossed that finish line, victorious! I had done it, I had seriously just run 13.1 miles! Words cannot describe the joy of that moment! June will be month 11 for us - I'll be up there for 8 days with him in the middle of June, and I just know there is absolutely no stopping us! I feel refreshed and strengthened, and can comprehend that August finish line. What victory that graduation day will be! And gosh, don't take this as cliche, but it is truly by the grace and strength of God that our relationship has endured this far, and that we have been able to grow so close despite our distance.

How cool is it that this thing I've dreamed of doing turned out to be so parallel to my relationship with Rob?! God is so faithful and good, full of grace and mercy. He cares about the details of our lives, and He deserves the glory. So for now, I continue to run ~both races~, and live this life to the fullest, looking forward to that finish line on August 7, 2010.

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