This past week began my two-week taper for the upcoming race. I cut back from 40 miles per week to 35 and this week I'll only run 20 before race day on Sunday. It's kind of hard cutting back on the mileage. Your body gets accustomed to pushing itself and begins to crave it after a while. I almost feel guilty for not keeping up the higher mileage.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."--Matthew 11:28
But the point of the taper is to rest up for the big day, to allow the body to heal itself of the damage done over months of harder training. It's supposed to put me in the best possible position to have a good race next Sunday. We'll soon find out I guess.
Training Week: Feb 20 - Feb 26
As the last days tick off before my second marathon, I'd like to offer up a big thank you to our shoe sponsor, New Balance, Inc. NB began providing us shoes not long after we began this ministry and has been a faithful sponsor since. Their willingness to provide us shoes saves us over $1000 per year and makes it possible for us to enter more races and reach more people with our message. We are so very grateful that New Balance, a large multi-national corporation, is willing to assist a small and young ministry such as ours.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."--Philippians 4:13
I give credit for getting this far to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. When I don't feel like getting out of bed in the morning to train, it's Christ that motivates me. It's Him that reminds me this ministry isn't about me or my comfort. He tasked me with this ministry to help me survive the loss of Amanda.
Now, when I feel like it or when I don't, it's my responsibility to Him and to all those who follow us to get out there and run, to keep going regardless how I feel or what the weather's like or how late I stayed up the night before. He saved me from eternal damnation and from a certain living Hell on earth after Amanda died.
I hope and pray each day that I can stay focused on doing His will, striving to glorify Him, and working to show others there is hope through Christ in even the most hopeless-seeming situations. I can most certainly do all things through Him!
"I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me."--John 11:42
When we first began this ministry, I made a picture of me running the 2010 Soaring Wings Half Marathon embedded in a larger picture of Amanda. The other day, someone pointed out my bib number in that picture was 413. I had never noticed it until they pointed it out, and I couldn't help but wonder if God had arranged it that way, knowing the day would come when I would post that picture as the profile picture for this ministry.
It seemed too difficult to believe it was simply coincidence, that my bib in that picture bore the number of our ministry's signature Bible verse, Philippians 4:13. It made me wonder if there would be any significance to my bib number in the upcoming marathon.
According to my registration confirmation, my bib number at Little Rock will be 1142. Also, at Little Rock your first name is placed on the bib. So my race bib will read John 1142. So I looked up the verse, John 11:42. Lo and behold, the verse above is what awaited me.
Some may call it coincidence, but I believe it's more. I believe Christ has tasked me with spreading the story of the Good News promised us through His grace and mercy. I believe He wants to use me to show others that He offers hope to the hopeless, love to the hated, healing to those who are sick, and rest to the weary.
I hope and pray that God will use me to reach those who are lost and to encourage those who want to quit. All things really are possible through Him. All things.
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.