Unless you're into running, you're probably not interested in this post, but today I got in my first race of 2022. It was a 6.5 mile "half-half-marathon" in Cary. I arrived at the Wake Med Soccer Park at around 10:30 for an 11:00 am race start.
I've run this course maybe 10 times before so I know how hilly it is.
Bundled up for the cold, off we went when the horn sounded.
I had 4 goals going into today's race:
- Not look at my watch.
- Run the entire distance without walking.
- Maintain the same heart rate going uphill and downhill.
- Finish under the 1.5 hour time limit.
By God's grace I managed to achieve each goal.
What I loved about this morning was the sheer pleasure of running, surrounded by people who love this sport as much as I do. What I loved most was being able to do what I love to do. Yesterday I was listening to a podcast and a barber was interviewed about having to close down his barber shop during Covid. To make ends meet, he stocked shelves in a grocery store at night. When asked if he enjoyed that work, he replied, "Yes, it wasn't bad at all, and I loved the people I worked with. But I really missed doing what I love."
Doing what I love.
That is so true. I can't believe that God still allows me to what I love to do, be that teaching or running or lifting or writing or farming. I run at a comfortable pace, which allows me to spend most of my time in deep thought.
Like all runners, I live in the present. I stand at the finish line happy and content and more than a little grateful. With Tennyson's Ulysses, we hear ourselves say, "And though we are not the strength which in olden days moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are -- made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
One mile at a time.