Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It sucked!

When I started this blog in 2010, it was a way for me to do something I love (write), as well as a fun way to show the progression of one's mind and body in the process of going after a goal such as qualifying for the Boston marathon.  While writing for some is a painful and mundane act, for others it is an outlet… a source of therapy, if you will, much like running.  I guess I am crazy enough to need both types of therapy.  I can honestly say I didn't expect to still be blogging about this 4 1/2 years later, that's for sure.  If you would have asked me back then, I would have guessed a year, tops.  I figured I'd have a couple of Boston Marathons under my belt by now.  Heck, it would be an annual event like it is for so many of Boston's participants!

I sit here dumbfounded that it has not happened.  I sit here, still in shock over the horrible race that came from the Athen's Marathon.

I don't want to recap Sunday.    I did in an email to my running group, who tracked our progress throughout the race, but that is as far as I want to go with it.  From start to finish it was an exhausting battle of mind and body and to that, all I can say is, based on my training and my experience, it should not have been.  Yes, it was warm, but the temps were not the only thing affecting the race.

But I do want to touch on something that may be a pressing question to many.  Since Saturday's post was about my reliance on God during that race, I fear that many will think that the prayers for a successful race were pointless.  Did God answer "yes" to my ever so specific prayers and to the ever so specific prayers of all our wonderful families and friends also praying for us?  No, He did not. Could He have made everything perfect?  Tweaked my mind?  Given strength to my legs?  Cooled it down a bit?  Of course He could have.  He is God.  Am a just a wee bit perplexed as to why He didn't?  Of course I am.  I am human.

But there is a difference between being perplexed and losing faith in God.  I always try to remember that we are like children in every sense of the word.  We are like the two year old asking for the cookie before dinner.  Or the teenager asking to go to an unsupervised party.  We say please, use our manners and do everything we are "supposed" to do in hopes of being granted a certain privilege.  Because of doing those things, we feel entitled to the reward, i.e.., cookie and party.  But our parents know that neither of those things are a good idea, though as a two year old or a teenager (who in my opinion have about the same amount of egocentrism), it seems like the meanest and most unfair thing on earth.  After all, what can be so wrong with something that tastes so good or is so fun?  Now I am certainly not saying that running a good race since I put in the training and have the physical ability is asking for too much.  I am simply trying to drive home the point that my small human mind is not always privy to understanding the incredible and almighty God.  Much like a child cannot understand a parent's reasoning.

There are stories, countless stories, of people who have seen God's purpose in life's trials only after something happens.  A few people last year said that perhaps there was purpose in me NOT being in Boston in 2013.  Who knows where my family would have been waiting for me?  Who knows where I would have been?  I just don't believe that random things that happen in life are just random.  There is a method to God's music.  Most of the time we can't handle the fact that we don't know the method.

There is another element to the race that has come into light after some reflection.  I wanted to go into the race and make sure I offered up my miles for others.  It was the beginning of Holy Week and the beginning of Christ's passion, a time of unimaginable suffering both physically and mentally, though his mental suffering started long before his betrayal and crucifixion.  And heck, it worked like a charm at Burning River, where I had a lot of physical suffering but not mental or psychological.  And I could handle the physical suffering.  Certainly I could get the same results!  But as I ran, I struggled… terribly.  And I won't lie, much of it was anger and trying to calm that anger.  I fought and I fought and I fought for 26.51 miles (because that is how long that f%*k%ng marathon was) with waves of different emotions.  From start to finish, it was the greatest challenge, mind and body, I have ever encountered.  And though I do not DARE compare that type of suffering to the type that Jesus suffered, I can certainly draw some correlation to what it meant.

What I wanted with that race was to glorify God and run with a thankful heart.  I wanted to offer all that I had to give for all of which I have been blessed.

I ran with all that I had, in a vicious battle, mostly mental, for over 4 hours and was left with a race time that was 30 minutes off my goal.

And though I won't know until I die and I hand God a lengthy list of "WTF?" questions for Him to answer, perhaps this race was more glorious than I know.

Have a blessed and safe Easter!

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