My running has been lack luster this week, mostly due to getting back in the flow of life and sheer exhaustion from such a great week away. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually I was completely well rested. Physically though I was drained and I felt like I was hanging by a thread so it resulted in short easy runs. If I did manage a decent distance it was feeling very slow and disjointed. It was frustrating, but I took the time while running (I do a lot of thinking, analyzing, pondering, etc. when I run) to think of a positive that can come from this type of running. What I came up with was that having my body run through this helps it deal with the later stages of ultra running. In terms of Howl at the Moon I always hit a point where I really slow down and kind of shuffle along. This often happens in the later stages of the race, after the 50k mark and the temperatures are pretty high. I need to work on keeping my form, stride and pace at a more even consistency. Or at least aim to hit no lower than a certain pace. If I can work on that now, hopefully it will benefit my race performance.
This also brought to mind how this correlates with my Christian life, which is also my everyday life and a vital part of who I am, and how I need to persevere through tough times and hold on to my faith when I'm completely exhausted and/or things are just not flowing like I want them to. I don't want to talk too much about vacation in this post (one is coming just for that), but last week a lot of chapel time was spent on hearing messages being preached on the topic of running. Or running related things. The preaching itself was great, but then to have running tied in to all of it.....it was like a big ole cherry on top!! So I shared some of my own thoughts with the speaker, an old friend of mine, and how I often connect my running to my every day life and faith and walk with God. After all, my running is a direct gift from God and it is woven into every fabric of my being from Him. So it makes sense (at least to me and that's all the matters) that one reflects the other. I've always maintained that my blog is about my running and not a platform for "preaching" about God and Christianity. And I still stand by that, however I was challenged on vacation last week about finding and utilizing opportunities to tell others about God. And when I wasn't even expecting it I was also challenged (indirectly) by another blogger, Adam Condit, to share my faith more and to show exactly how God has woven running in to every fabric of being. After all, God does get all the glory and I know that, but I'm not particularly good at expressing it so I often keep it to myself.
I'm still pressing forward in my training for Howl at the Moon, which is less than a month away (insert freak out here!!). No, it's not going like I would like it to be, but it's going. I did finally get a few days to physically rest up and feel a little more back to "normal". I feel like it takes a more consecrated effort to get rested up. I have to force myself to sleep in and take it easy, which I really hard for me to do. But sometimes in order to move forward I have to take a few steps back.
I'm looking forward to getting you all up to speed on my happenings these last few weeks. Have a great weekend!!