Long Runs

I can’t believe it is Friday already.  Another week of the summer, here and gone!  It will be Halloween before we know it.  I find once school starts back time just disappears.  I am very glad that I was fortunate enough to get out running many times this summer.  I was able to schedule in a run almost daily, and the most important runs which were my long runs.

Long run days are when you plan to run the most amount of kilometers that you run all week and every week you increase your kilometers by one.  You are to take the day following off from running so that your muscles has time to heal from the little micro tears that your muscle experiences when pushed beyond its normal limits.

As I prepare and map out my long runs each week, I try to shy away from as many hills as possible, so my body doesn’t have to receive any more micro tears in my muscle fibers than absolutely necessary.  This one day, I set out to run my long run, and to my surprise I was faced with a very surprising long, and very gradual hill, that I never mentally prepared myself for.

At the spur of the moment, my brain automatically did the, “Uuuugh!!!  Hill!!!!  I don’t want to run this hill!” Quickly, however, I talked my brain down off the ledge and reassured myself, that is why I do my hill day, so that my body is prepared for these little hills that pop up mid run.  As I talked myself through the hill, I realized that I didn’t even notice the hill, it seemed like a bump in the road compared to my actual huge kilometer hill that I train on for my hill workouts.

Once I was finished my run, I had to reflect back to my automatic reaction to my surprise hill.  Sometimes I react to things like that in my life.  Reality is life is going to throw you that surprise hill every once and a while, but that is why we go through hardships.  They are like our hill training days of our lives.  We make a connection, like I did to the days that I concur my huge kilometer hill and realize this little incline, is just that.  A little difficulty thrown my way.

Our lives are all about getting the little micro tears in our muscle fibers of life.  They help build and develop our character.  I know there are many times that I felt like skipping my weekly hill work out, or not wanting to deal with some hardship in my life.  I’d rather just walk away, then face the reality of life.  We all have those situations we’d love to avoid, like talking to  a friend that you’ve had a misunderstanding with, or apologizing to your spouse for the stupid way you might have behaved, or dealing with the crank co-worker, or stop your addictive habit that his holding you back or setting a financial plan and sticking to it.

Whatever your hill work is, it is going to help you in that long run of life.  It will help you overcome an obstacle later on in your life.  I know I’ve been quoting lots from the book of James lately, but that is the book I’ve been studying, and when I read James 1:12 I thought of my long runs.  It said, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”

It’s very rewarding finishing a long run.  If you’ve never run before, it is a  tremendously gratifying feeling.  I’m not comparing it to getting a crown from God, but it is incredibly fulfilling knowing that you just ran further than you did the week before.  And the week before that.

It is unbelievable how you notice your body getting stronger and stronger each week, yet, the run didn’t feel any harder than the week before.  As long as you remain faithful to your program, you will not feel any pain with the increase in kilometers.  Just like staying steadfast in God’s word when you are tested in real life.  God will make sure the ones who have a relationship with him has the fulfilling feeling of being crowned with victory when tested!

We all have our hill workouts that we don’t want to face, but they make the long runs easier, and strengthens us for whatever may be thrown our way unexpectedly.  Stick to the program, and watch your life strengthen daily!  God is waiting to build you up for the next kilometer of your life.