Saturday marks the official start of my racing season. I've decided to join MIT again and am hopeful that this season I will remain injury free and be able to achieve my goals. I've decided to run three half marathons between February and May, I've added one in April that I'm going to run as a training run rather than race. It's only $30 and in my hometown so how can I say no! My goal for the February race is to finish sub 2:10, this would beat my current PR by 6 minutes. My goal for the Pig is to finish in 2:15 or less. With 4 miles uphill I think that's a solid pace for my current times.
I've set some pretty tough goals for myself this year which means I need to stay on track with my training schedule. That can be a challenge, life with 5 kiddos is pretty hectic. Our week consists of Hockey, Basketball, Piano, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and homework to name only a few. In order to fit in quality training I have to plan smart and pray that it all works out, which seldom happens.
I enjoy running but I love our kids so they obviously come first. My running and workout schedule will suffer before our family, but admittedly it takes a great deal of discipline to keep my priorities in check. At the beginning of every race season I get a little panicked and worry that it won't work out and I will not achieve my goals. Honestly i have found myself pretty bummed out when I can't get the mileage I need in a week.
In church we've been studying through the book of John, this week we read through Chapter 4. What really struck a cord for me is in verse 13 "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:13, 14 NIV) As we walked through the chapter I felt the Lord speaking to me specifically about how easily I can be consumed by my training schedule and allow it to interfer with my time with Him.
I really felt quite convicted this week with the realization that I pour alot of energy into running and exercising and my diet. While that may be of great physical benefit, how I'm benefitting spiritually . I have admittedly placed training before so many things and have allowed it to consume every moment of my time and thoughts.
Training for a race requires discipline and determination. When training for a race runners are focused on one goal, PR! Every minute we pour into our training is to reach that goal. Sure we face set backs such as injuries, sickness and uncooperative weather, but our determination to reach that goal drives us to push to achieve that one goal time and time again.
If I truly love the Lord as I profess then how can I not seek him with the same determination I seek my running goals. While I might find some shallow sense of satisfaction from running. I know that it will never bring me the joy I can have in the promise of Christ. My eyes should be fixed on that promise every moment of the day. I should be seeking Him with great determination, discipline and passion. At the of the this race is eternal life, not a shabby piece of metal that I will stuff in the drawer.
The best illustration I can think of is in 1 Corinthians 9:24. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
This week, as I map out my exercise regimen and menu plan, I will be also planning time in the word each day and drink from the well of eternal life.