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

Friday, January 31, 2014

A Nice Break in the Weather!

It's the last day of January, and that means the last day of Janathon, the challenge to workout every day of the month and blog about it. I wasn't quite as successful meeting the challenge this year. Over the course of the month, I missed working out one day, and missed the daily blog post twice. Still, it's been pretty good for me and I'm glad I signed up.

One of my missed blog posts was yesterday. I didn't miss my run, but never managed to get time to write before I got home, ate, and fell asleep on the couch. Therefore, I'll tell about yesterday's and today's workouts in this final post of January 2014.

Both days, yesterday and today, I was blessed to get in 6 miles. This morning I actually ran in shorts and a long sleeve race shirt. It was 340 outside when I stepped off, but that actually felt warm. Yesterday's temperature was 250 when I started, but the wind made it feel like 160. Even that was pretty mild compared to the conditions for some of my recent runs.

Tomorrow, I'll head to North Little Rock to run the River Trail 15K. Next weekend is the Mississippi River Marathon and I'd planned to get in 10 miles with that in mind. So this 9.3 mile race fits right nicely with my marathon prep. Plus, it's a race in the Arkansas RRCA's Grand Prix Series. I'm not fast enough to score well in the series, but running those races helps support the Cabot Country Cruisers, our local running club, and I'll get to see lots of friends out there too.

Weather conditions are looking pretty nice for tomorrow's race. The event begins at 9 AM and it's forecast to be 540 with a 50% chance of rain at that time. Even if it does rain, those are fantastic conditions for a 15K race!

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. ~ Galatians 6:9

The bitter cold that's been plaguing us of late can easily make a runner weary, especially runners like me who just can't stand the thought of running on a treadmill. I mean, I cannot force myself to run on one of these machines. The cold drives a lot of people off the roads and into the gyms, running miles and miles and miles without ever going anywhere. But some people let the unfavorable conditions stop them from running at all.

I used to be in that latter group, someone who just quit running every winter. The problem with that is it makes it really hard to get going again once the weather turns good. Continuing to run, even though it's not as pleasant an experience as it is when the weather's nice, during the brutal winter months keeps you in shape and avoids the loss of fitness that invariably follows a prolonged layoff. Basically, if we don't give up when things get tough, we'll be stronger and in better shape to maximize the benefits of our training when conditions again become optimal.

Here's another one of those cases where running parallels life, specifically what Paul was telling the Galatians about life in today's verse.

Life is full of brutal circumstances, even prolonged seasons of trouble and strife and struggles. When we get caught in one of these cycles, it's easy to wonder if it's even worth it to keep trying to do what's right, or to do what's good. that's because our human nature seeks and expects immediate rewards. If we do something good, we want something good in return right now. But looking at it through a Biblical lens reveals these immediate rewards are temporary and literally worthless in comparison to the long-term rewards we're promised as Christians.

It's hard and we can easily become weary, but we should never forget what's waiting when we get to Heaven. An eternity with no strife, no struggles, no pain, and no tears, the harvest Paul described to the Galatians above. So when life is throwing everything it has at you, trying to take you down, look to the future and remember that Jesus Christ died on the cross so that we can have that promise of a harvest, a reward that will make whatever we endure down here seem insignificant.

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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