Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Training for MCM: 5 Weeks to Go!

Only 35 days until our big day! Five weeks before the start of the Marine Corps Marathon! Now that the weather has cooled off, fall has arrived, and I've started completing my long runs without feeling like I'm going to die, I'm starting to feel like I really am ready for this.

"but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." -- Isaiah 40:31

I couldn't have survived those grueling runs in the heat of the summer without the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. I know, without a doubt, that He has been with me every step of the way. There are others who've helped me reach this point too. Several great members of the Cabot Country Cruisers, a local running club, have coached me, coaxed me and maybe even cajoled me through those aforementioned long runs in the hottest heat of the summer. If they hadn't pushed me and pulled me through those tough runs, I'd likely not be meeting with much success now.

Saturday's 20 mile run capped a week in which I logged 44 total miles, making up for the shortfall of the past two weeks and putting me back over my goal to average 40 miles per week until the MCM. Here's my training log for this week.

Training Week: Sept 19 - Sept 25

Monday6 miles
Tuesday6 miles
Wednesday0 miles
Thursday6 miles
Friday6 miles
Saturday20 miles
Total44 miles

This was the 2nd 20 mile run for me, but it was a little tougher than the first. I pushed myself harder in the early going, especially during miles 5-10, and paid for it on the back end. I am starting to believe I can finish the 26.2 with something in the neighborhood of a 10:30 per mile pace. The best news is that I'm now convinced I can make it through the entire course.

"5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." -- Proverbs 3:5-6

When my friend, Jesse Hardy, first challenged me to register, I wasn't sure if I would. He issued that challenge only days after Amanda was killed. Over the next few weeks I prayed about it. I needed something to make good come from Amanda's death, and God provided that something through my friend who I had not seen in 16 years.

Now I'm ready, and I'm almost there. Saturday's 20 miler will likely be my last before the MCM. Next weekend, Janice and I are going to run another 5K. Then I plan to start tapering my long runs. For now, my plan is to continue to average 40 miles per week until the week of the MCM. That week I plan to run a total of 14 miles before Sunday, 30 October.

My thought is that if my body is accustomed to averaging 40 miles per week, and I suddenly cut that down to 14, it will crave those missing miles by race day. I didn't hear that from an expert, and I'm certainly no expert. But that's my strategy and I'm sticking to it.

I guess by the first of November we'll all know how it worked. Until then, I'll keep trusting in the Lord to get me through the tough miles on the road and the rough spots in life. If you're struggling with something and haven't yet found peace, if you haven't tried Jesus, this is a great time to do so. Only He could have given me the peace and strength to keep going after Amanda died.

Without Jesus, I wouldn't be running this marathon and likely wouldn't even be able to face the sunrise every day. Keep reading and follow the link below to learn how you, too, can have that same peace in your own life!

If you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, if you're missing the faith, hope, and love written about here, if you want the peace that we as Christians have in our lives, please visit our Got Jesus? page for step-by-step instructions on how to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

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