That's what I keep hearing from all the running experts. And sometimes it is hard to believe them, especially since I've had a remarkable eight months as a beginning runner. I started out pacing myself very slowly, not expecting much in the way of results, and thanks to being willing to make haste slowly, I exceed my own expectations. A lot. I was having a new personal record (PR) at least once a week for most of August through October.
The result of a summer of hard work was a series of really good races, starting with a 2-mile in September and culminating in a 12K last week. With any luck, I have another good race in me (4-mile) for next week to finish out the year. Of all the things I've accomplished with running this year, I am most proud of my second 5K finish: 34:43, or an 11:10 pace. I wouldn't have believed that I could do it-- in fact, I'm still in a bit of shock. And with that shock is the nagging annoyance that if only I hadn't looked at the clock, I would have finished even faster-- the surprise of seeing that it had only been 34 minutes made me forget to sprint to the finish.
But now the results have plateaued, partly because of changes in the weather and my own training schedule, partly because I started resting on my laurels, and partly because you can't expect the kind of results I've been seeing to continue. And now I have to adjust to winter training, which brings a different set of challenges.
And I reflect again at how much running is like life. No wonder Paul (the apostle) used so many running metaphors when writing his letters. Some days are glorious and you feel that you could carry on forever. Some days it takes everything in you just to keep going. Some days you wonder why you bother at all. Is following the Lord all it's cracked up to be? Why does it look so easy for other people? And easier still for those who aren't even bothering?
But the benefits outweigh the hardships (not worth comparing, I think Paul says), and that's what keeps us all getting out of bed, putting on the armour of God, and going after it again. Day after day.
Because the Lord doesn't let us rest on our laurels.
What are we talking about today?
Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.
Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Friday: Green living.