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, October 9, 2011

Training for MCM: 3 Weeks to Go!

Unbelievable! Only 3 weeks to go! I still remember when my friend Jesse challenged me to run this. It was the week after Amanda was killed, in January. It's been almost nine months since she was killed and about eight months since I decided to register for my first full marathon.

"If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!" -- Ecclesiastes 4:10

If it had not been for Jesse's challenge all those months ago, the idea to run MCM would never have crossed my mind. But I am so grateful now to have this opportunity. I'm running this race for all the reasons listed in our mission statement, but preparing for it has done more for me than I ever could have imagined.

Training to run this marathon, something I swore I'd never do after my first half-marathon, has allowed me to turn all of my energy into something productive after the death of my daughter. I have to say, in the days following her murder, there were no positive thoughts, no productive thoughts. I was wandering around in some sort of trance, filled with ideas of vengeance, despair, rage, and every other emotion usually leading to devastation and destruction.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." -- Romans 8:28

Nothing could convince me that Amanda's death was a good thing, nor that it was God's plan for her to be gunned down, but this is how He has made good things come from our terrible tragedy. Through our running, our website, and our outreach, God has used us to help others and that has helped us keep going as we navigate the dark paths that one must follow after the loss of a child.

I completed 45 miles this week, but a 15-miler on Saturday was my longest. I'm finished with the longer distances now until race day. Finishing two 20 mile runs in the past month convinced me I can go the distance. Next weekend my long will be ten miles, then the following week I'll cut back to six on Saturday.

This week's training log:

Training Week: Oct 3 - Oct 9

Monday6 miles
Tuesday6 miles
Wednesday6 miles
Thursday6 miles
Friday6 miles
Saturday15 miles
Total45 miles

It's funny how just a few short weeks ago, even 15 miles seemed to nearly kill me. But Saturday, afterwards, I felt fine. Even after the two 20-milers I felt fine. I'm ready for 30 October.

God has truly blessed me. By giving me this vision along with the patience, the endurance, and the strength to push through the months of training, He gave me what I needed to keep going when all I wanted to do was quit.

I'm not over Amanda's death, and never will be. I have no doubt her murder will haunt me the rest of my life. But He has given me the will and the way to keep living in spite of such a devastating blow. For as long as I remain here on this Earth, as long as I am physically able, I'll keep running this race He has set before me.

"1 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, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. " -- Hebrews 12:1-3

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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