I’ve a confession to make: yesterday I ditched my kids at church to enable my dash around the shopping mall. OK, that sounds a whole lot worse than it actually is; please allow me to explain myself.
When my coach ordered me to postpone Saturday’s long run for 24 hours and rest my aching glutes (sorry–I know: TMI), he unwittingly put me in a quandry. Sunday is church day–not long run day–around here. Daughter #1 helps in Grace Baptist’s children’s ministry starting at 8:45; Daughter #2 recently made friends in the 9 a.m. Sunday School class and has for the first time been looking forward to church (a welcome break from her usual joined-at-mom’s-hip-but-complaining-through-every-minute-of-adult-service routine). But this run was uber-important too: it would be the final long-ish run before the Boston Marathon; I say long-ish because the planned eight-miler paled in comparison to the 17s, 20s, and 21 milers of February and March. (Diligent readers will notice I didn’t even acknowledge the existence of the Evil Eighteens.)
Faith and fitness collide–what is to be done? My plan: get the girls off to church a little early, accomplish the day’s run, make it back in time for second service.
I admit: it felt odd entering church with a heart-rate monitor strapped around my midriff, and even weirder using the church bathroom to change into my screaming-orange running gear. (Changing once at church seemed somehow more acceptable–or at least less unacceptable–than putting on my gear at home and wearing it into church in the first place.)
The run took me straight down Donald Lynch Boulevard, past and around the Solomon Pond Shopping Mall. On this mall trip I didn’t pick up new shoes or funky new shades; I instead got one final chance to practice fueling and hydrating, one last bonding session for me and Pair C. With the temp reaching towards 70, the run also offered this just-out-of-hibernation New Englander a taste of what it would be like to “go long” in warmer weather. (Bottom line: please join me in praying for temps in the 40s on Marathon Monday.)
I couldn’t help but smile when I merged into second service, a little sweatier than the rest of the congregation. Not only did I manage to get in both faith and fitness, I also nabbed a dozen new “completes” in the northwest corner of our fair city–roads that are usually jam-packed with mall traffic but were barren on this sleepy yet sunny Sunday. 🙂 (I hope the parishoner I sat next to didn’t think it too odd when I pulled out my golf ball to roll out my foot whilst we sang. God would want me to properly care for my plantar fasciitis–that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)
Last week Daughter #1 was asking people their favorite Bible verses, then drawing a picture to go with each in the sketch pad I gave her for her 15th birthday. She never asked me for mine but I’ll tell her anyways:
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24)
I am fully aware that I pose zero risk to Teyba, Florence and the rest of the elite women who will line up in Hopkinton on April 18th; I do, however, have my own race to run, my own prize to win.
To all of my running friends: have faith in your fitness during this final week before the Big Day!
(A PS to my bacon-loving Emma: there’s also a fantastic passage in Daniel about the benefits of vegetarianism, not to mention Ezekiel 4:9–check them out some day! 🙂 )