Running with a Purpose {In the Gym}

Running {Living Outside the Stacks}Truth: I haven’t been running as much or as consistently as I had planned. In fact, I’ve been a total fail at the whole running thing. And don’t get me started on meeting up with my new running group; I have yet to get the time and place right. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, seriously, but I’m gonna get it right.

Anyway, yesterday, I went on 3.11 mi run and it felt good. I’ve been trying to incorporate some of the lessons that I’ve been learning from The Runner’s Devotional: Inspiration and Motivation for Life’s Journey… On and Off the Road. Right now, I’ve just finished weeks one, two, and half of three of the readings; the themes are running with a purpose in both my spiritual and physical life and having a goal in mind. The readings talked about how running can be used in two ways: running away from something or running towards something. In our spiritual walk, we should be running away from sin and running towards God. Both of these acts {as does the physical act of running} requires faith, strength, and endurance.

So, yesterday, I decided to do three things to change the way I run, just to see if I could make that spiritual connection:

  • Pray before and after I run ~ I asked for endurance and strength; I ran my first mile non~stop in 11 min 40 sec. It was like I was mounted up on the wings of an eagle {Isaiah 40:31}.
  • Listen to gospel music ~ There’s nothing that inspires more than hearing people sing praises to God and, OK, lemme tell ya, when I Can Only Imagine came on I just wanted to run harder and faster into my savior’s arms.
  • Smile ~ I know that sounds weird but it made me feel so much better. My daughters told me that I look mean when I run, so I thought why not try smiling. Not crazy lady smile, but a softening of my facial area. I felt more relaxed and people responded to me differently. And I responded to them differently as well.

Running {Living Outside the Stacks}I’ve also learned a few things about how the things I do or don’t do affect my runs. Some of these are no brainers but I’m going to share them anyway:

  1. Eating breakfast is a must ~ If I don’t eat breakfast, I’m starving by lunch time and this leads me to eat junk. A run fueled by junk is not a good run. At all.
  2. Drink water like my life depends on it ~ No matter how hard I try, I cannot out run dehydration. It’s hot. I’m sweating. Enough said.
  3. Always stretch before and after a run ~ Even seasoned runners have to stretch their muscles, so you know I have to flex. I’m 40 and new to running, things aren’t as bendy and flexible as they used to be.
  4. Sometimes pain is pain ~ One of the first sayings that I pinned on Pinterest about running stated: “Pain is fear leaving the body.” As nice as that sounds, sometimes pain is pain and you just have to stop.

My goal this week is to focus more on God while I run and listen to what He has to say to me.

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