September 15, 2012 marked the date of my scheduled 22 mile training run for my marathon. Leading up to that week, I had been experiencing some tendonitis in my right knee and I was wearing a brace around my knee. I was concerned about my long run that weekend, but I wasn’t in the kind of pain that would make me sit out, so I proceeded on with my plan. I cross train with swimming three days a week on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. I went to the pool Thursday and about halfway through practice, I was making a turn and slipped and hit my leg on the edge of the pool. My coach and I tried to figure out how it happened, and we still cannot figure it out. It was bizarre. The place on my lower right leg is not even exposed to the wall when I turn. It was the kind of pain that numbs your entire leg. You want to cry and laugh at the same time. So, I enter Friday with a touch of tendonitis in my right knee and a big blue bruise on the lower part of my leg. I had taken off work on Friday, September 14 to rest for my 22 miler. I had decided to proceed with my 22 miles and if I began to hurt worse, I would stop. I have already finished one 20 miler and still have another one on the schedule, so I would be fine to not make this one.
I was making my pre-long run trip to Academy Sports to get my “fuel.” I use Accelerade and add in Clif’s Shot Blocks, as well. Making the story short, as I was turning in to the store parking lot, I was in a car accident, rolled my Jeep, but escaped with just bruises and soreness. Needless to say, my 22 miler was not going to happen the next day.
First, I am blessed beyond measure that I am still here and as “accident survivors” say, everything is a little bit more vivid now. Second, it seems like everything and everybody was striking against me that week and for some reason, I was not meant to run those 22 miles the next day.
But, everything happens for a reason. Who am I to question an omniscient God? Maybe He let it happen because He knew the tendonitis wasn’t going to stop me, so He had to stop me somehow, Himself. Who knows? But, I don’t question things out of my control. I took last week off from training and now I feel rested, energized and ready to finish this training and run that marathon. And, by the way, I’m not feeling that tendonitis in my knee anymore.
You may feel differently about matters such as these, but this is how I feel about them. Right now in my life, I have the opportunity to do all that I do. I get to train as much as I do because I can right now. That could change at any time, but for right now, I do it because I can. So, I train in “beast” mode sometimes, and I think my body needed a break. It doesn’t sound right to take a week off 5 weeks before my first marathon, but it was “in the cards” for me. And because life is so short and precious, I now run every run with thankfulness in my heart that I can.
I read a poem the other day that I could honestly pray myself:
“God, give me the courage to run the race. Help me to persevere as you taught us. Grant me the strength to finish strong. Honor me with your presence on my journey. Allow me to be a GraceRunner this day. Oh, Lord…one more breath, one more step, one more mile, FINISH LINE…this is my prayer. I can do all things through YOU who strengthens me! Amen.”
I hope I can remind you that you can do what you do, whatever it is, because God allows you to. He can snatch away your life at any given second, but He hasn’t yet because he still has plans for you, whatever they may be. So, “…whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.”