Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Up Side of Being Down

On Sunday of this week, I headed out for a trail run with John and Will.  Having been in Florida and running on both flat sand and pavement for a week, I was itching to get on the trails ASAP.  My running group was running hills that morning, which I needed badly, but I figured I could obtain the best of both worlds, since I've yet to come across a flat trail.

Nearly 3 miles into the run, John and I were running a bit of a downhill segment.  I'll admit, we were running faster than usual that day.  We were also running the uphills, unlike our usual walking the uphills and running the flat parts and downhill.  Part of this was due to my discouragement over a week of feeling not great while running at relatively slow training paces.  I really wanted, and needed, a good hill run.  Oh hindsight!  Anyhow, as we came to a gradual turn and got ready to cross a bridge (with no sides and a nice ditch below), my foot caught a rock just right and inverted sharply and severely.  I let out a yell but was able to stay upright by catching myself with my other foot.  John says had I fallen, I'd likely have suffered a broken shoulder falling off the bridge into the ditch... so for decent core strength... I am grateful!  At first I didn't realize how bad it was as I walked it out and then went into a slow jog.  The pain seemed to be diminishing and to be smart, I decided to call it a day and not do anymore loops like we had planned.  Fortunately we were only about a half mile from the car (Will was waiting for us as the show-off felt it necessary to run much faster than his "old" mom and dad).  I figured with a little ice and the rest of day taking it easy, I'd be good to run the 10 miles Sarah and I had planned for Monday.  I was looking forward to catching up with her as she had just returned from a cruise, and I, from Florida.  It was also her last long run prior to her running the Boston Marathon this coming Monday.

Twenty minutes later, I knew I would not be running that 10 miler.  As I got out of the car to go into the house, I encountered a lot of pain when putting pressure on my foot.  I still couldn't see too much swelling, but I could tell something had, and was, happening.

By bedtime that night, I knew I had likely sprained it.  Based on descriptions of Grades 1,2 and 3 on the reliable internet, I diagnosed myself with a Grade 2 sprain.  Then foolishly continued to read about the 4-6 week healing process of such a sprain.  Apparently they do not know that is an unacceptable time frame for runners that are training.  Someone needs to change that.

Contrary to what most people have probably guessed or assumed, I am not going crazy.  I am not angry or upset or anxious.  In fact, I have experienced more peace than usual with an injury like this.  Don't get me wrong.  I am really looking forward to being back out there.  I always miss running when I can't and the weather has been soooo wonderful.   I don't know what this means for the 3 events I am scheduled to run Flying Pig weekend.... Will I be able to do any of them?  All of them? One of them?  None of them?  I have no idea at this point.  And so that begs the question... What gives?

I'll say this as I've said it before.  You never really know the changes that take place in your being through diligent prayer and petition... UNTIL you are faced with a challenge.  That is when the changes are so obvious.  How one reacts to any challenge is glaring evidence of whether or not those changes are actually happening.  We can't really see the gradual process.  Some days putting our trust in God for every little thing seems to be fruitless...producing not much at all.  And then something happens.  Something that would normally make us go bat shit crazy (sorry...  it's all I got).  And we do not react that way, but rather with acceptance and grace and patience.  And suddenly we realize what has happened and are overwhelmed by the glorious work of God in our lives and in our very being.  We realize that when God makes a promise, He delivers.  And if He promised to work wonders in our souls if we ask for help and trust Him, then He does it.  End of story.

The Flying Pig is not "THE race" I am training for.  Burning River is.  And me running Burning River is not about me being an amazing person because I can do a 100 mile race.  Only a fool would believe it is his own doing when he accomplishes something amazing.  This race is about glorifying God and using what gifts he has given me to do that, namely, my love of running and training.  It is never something I could accomplish on my own.  No one could.  And far too many people fail to recognize WHY they are able to do what they do.

And so I had a little chat with the good Lord.  And it went (and goes as I say this daily) like this... "This race is not mine.  It is Yours.  Do with it what You will.  If I have misinterpreted Your will for me, let this injury be my sign to stop going after this.  However, if I have indeed interpreted what You want from me correctly, then please heal this speedy quick."  I was listening to the radio the other day in the car and was simultaneously saying this prayer in my head.  I was getting a bit anxious over that thought of how can I do a race like this when I have not yet met my marathon goal.  But this little prayer brought immediate peace.  And then, as if hand picked by sweet Jesus Himself, a song came on the radio as is to extinguish any possible bit of anxiety that may have been lingering.  I've heard it many times before, and love the tune, but never really attributed the words to myself, until....

Take a listen and see what ya think :)

(ps.. if you can't link to it from here, the song is "Voice of Truth" by Casting Crowns... pps... my sister and I were discussing "christian music" when I was visiting her last week.  She doesn't like it.  But someday she will be taking her kids to school and she will be listening to a radio station equivalent to Cincinnati's KISS 107 on the way to school.  And she will see her two older children look at each other and grin as the morning DJ's ever so casually discuss the up side to "friends with benefits".  And something in her will snap and she will only allow christian radio stations in her car.  Then she will start to sing along with the radio.  Then she will start to like it....)

Little ears hear and absorb EVERYTHING


  1. I love this post! It's so true and so applicable in many many ways.

    However - and you knew this was coming- I don't listen to morning radio shows, ever. So, not liking contemporary Christian genre music has little to do with what little ears will hear. Especially because we tend to pray a decade of the rosary on the way to school.

    Prayers for quick healing! (said during the ride to school, of course)

  2. One upper! Well we said the WHOLE THING! No, kidding... we have a 5 minute ride to school.

    I know... we had this discussion. You were the scapegoat for a lot of others who tell me they "can't stand the music", but I get you. I canNOT stand gregorian chant (holy music) and John loves it. To each his own.

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