I did it! I finally pushed to the elusive 10 miler in my training (this week I was only supposed to do 9, but I was feeling ambitious.) it took me just under two hours to complete.
I take a long time to warm up- lots of stretching my legs and core, rolling my ankles and shins over and over again, and then walking for at least a quarter-mile before I even attempt to start running. Knock on wood, it has kept me largely injury-free. Even then, I can predict that my first mile will inevitably be my slowest. And it’s come to be expected, and I have largely embraced it.
I ran from my house down through Pitt to the Birmingham Bridge and then back up on Fifth Avenue for several miles, then headed back home. When I was probably at about 6 miles, I hit a happy stage where it felt like the sidewalk was a stage and my legs were performing a fancy and complicated dance. Granted, if you think about the biomechanics of running, it’s partially true, but mostly looking back I think I was drunk on endorphins.
Interestingly enough, my fastest mile of the set was mile 9: normally I run about an 11:30 mile, but I ended up running that mile in 9:57. Somehow my fastest mile came when I was the most tired. Now, part of me thinks that I got into go mode and wanted to end this crap…but I also attribute it to my slow warmup and stretching regimen. Only when my muscles were the most limber and warm was I able to run quickly and efficiently.
Our spiritual lives are largely the same. We persevere through trials so we can come out stronger on the other side. We tend to rely on Scripture during the arduous, tumultuous periods of our lives when we cry out to Him. And we memorize our favorite passages and embody their ideas and beliefs every day. Without the strength and fortitude afforded us from determination and endurance, we don’t accomplish much. So as much as it hurts to warm up and start running that first unpleasant mile, the fruits of the labor are certainly worth it.