why I got up at 5:15 this morning.
Yes, my friends – you read that right. In my right mind, I purposely set my alarm and get up at 5:15 this morning. Why? To run. It went like this:
5:15 am – barely wake up, shut off alarm, roll back to bed.
5:20 am – text my friend Michelle, to see if she’s still going running.
5:21 am – receive text back, saying yes, she’s still going running. no excuse for me.
5:22 am – clutch phone in hand, sleep for a few more minutes.
5:35 am – finally get up, get dressed, use the bathroom.
5:45 am – leave house to meet up with friends at the park.
5:59 am – start run, so says my Garmin.
In Texas, even in the northern part of the state, you HAVE to get up early if you want to run in the summertime. Because it’s hot. Even at 6 am, it was nearly 80 degrees. Sometimes there’s humidity, sometimes we’re free from it. This morning was great – yes, it was warm but there was a cool breeze blowing. We ran 2.45 miles at a conversational pace, finishing up at about 29 minutes. As we neared the end of the run, I saw the most beautiful sunrise I’d seen in a while. A beautiful example of a gift from God. I truly believe that.
Can I take this moment to get a little “personal” with you here? I know not everyone who reads this is a Christian, but my faith is a huge and important part of my life and I just can’t help but talk about it sometimes. No apologies here.
The other day, I was reading a post by Dorothy at Mile Posts (one of my running heroes!). She asked a simple question – why do you run? I replied that I run for numerous reasons, among them to be healthy, to feel strong, to challenge myself, but more and more, so I can remember how weak I am without the Lord. And . . . with him, I am made strong.
Please understand that I’m not trying to be super-spiritual here. Not at all. But I really do see my running as a spiritual thing. I’m not hashing out prayers to the Lord each time I run; it’s actually difficult for me to THINK when I’m running. I zone out. My mind goes blank. But running IS something I share with the Lord each time I lace up my shoes. My reliance on him to carry me and protect me during my runs. Whether I’m with friends or running by myself, the breath in my lungs, the strength in my bones and joints, the beating of my heart – all made possible by the one who made me. I am thankful for that. I am thankful for each time I can run, fast or slow. The inevitable soreness that creeps into the muscles of my calves? A painful yet necessary reminder for me that life is not easy. Settling into a good stride several miles into a long run? A beautiful reminder of God’s grace. Ending a run without buckling over in agony and being able to breathe deeply, a loving reminder to not take anything for granted and to be grateful for all that I’ve been given.
Sure, I also run because I love the sheer joy of feeling the wind on my face, forcing myself to push farther and harder than before. I don’t always get the runner’s high but I keep going knowing that it is there, not lost, but waiting to come at the most opportune time. I also run because of the community I’ve found, good friends who will encourage me when I’m ready to give up and friends who will understand if I need to rest.
That’s why I run.
Any fellow runners out there? Why do YOU run?