It's a new challenge for me. The longest double long runs I've ever done were back to back 13 mile runs last summer. But months ago when I first saw this race scheduled, I signed up. The races are named to coincide with the end of the Mayan calendar--the day many have decided will be the last day we'll enjoy life on earth--and the day after.
A once in a lifetime opportunity to run these races. I mean, there will never be another end to the Mayan calendar. And with a bit of shame, I must admit that's why I signed up for these races, because it's an opportunity I'll never have again.
I said with shame because I didn't register for this race with God as my primary focus, my number one reason for running it. No. My reasons when I put my name on the roll were vanity, pride, and selfishness. Not exactly qualities that align with our mission here.
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." -- 1 Corinthians 10:31
You see, I had let myself get caught up in running, not for the glory of God, but for the glory of me. I was really liking the idea of doing marathon after marathon, hearing people tell me it was amazing and heaping praise on me. I'd let myself forget that God had told me two marathons per year, for His glory, to accomplish our mission here at Running with Amanda. I'd let it become all about me.
So God sent me a little reminder in the form of a pretty tough injury a few weeks ago. Around the middle of October, my knee began to hurt so bad I couldn't run. I spent two weeks with no running, then ran a previously scheduled half marathon. That left me on crutches for one week, then still no running for two more weeks.
Finally, two weeks before the St. Jude Marathon, the Good Lord figured maybe I'd learned my lesson and let me hit the road again. I wasn't sure I could finish St. Jude, and certainly wasn't sure I'd be able to run this upcoming double.
"in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." -- Proverbs 3:6
But once He got my attention, once I was convinced that my injury was a little discipline from God for leaving His will to pursue my own, once I admitted my mistake and set about getting back on the right path, He made my path straight.
After weeks of shooting, stabbing pain whenever I tried to run even a few steps, I could suddenly (but slowly) run without pain. I had only two weeks to get back in shape for St. Jude, and knew I had to take it easy getting there. I still wasn't sure I'd be able to finish.
It turned out the slowest of the three marathons I've run, slower by 24 minutes than my previous slowest, but Jesus pushed me, pulled me, and carried me through the entire 26.2 miles, without a hint of pain from my injury.
"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
Not long ago, I didn't know if I'd be ready to run a marathon this week, let alone two marathons in two days. But now I'm back on track, doing it for His glory, and trusting in Him to get me through.
It won't be easy, and it likely won't be fast, but this weekend me and Jesus have two marathons to run. Just like the others, He brought me to it and I have faith He'll bring me through it.
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.