My first half marathon is less than a week away! After months of following a training schedule and tracking mileage, I am beyond ready to start the actual race and reach that finish line. However, as I look back over my half-marathon training, I see practical lessons that apply to more than just race day. I hope they’ll encourage you in your personal goals and spiritual walk.
#1: Get rest.
The first time I ran 10 miles, I nearly passed out in the grocery store a few hours later. I was waiting behind another customer in the check-out line when a tidal wave of fatigue swept over me. Of course, the gentleman in front of me was writing a check.
Usually, I’m a fairly patient person, but surely one glance my way would tell this dear, sweet man I’m about to pass out if he doesn’t skip the memo line?
Running demands I rest, and I can’t cut corners if I want to stay upright in shopping lines.
The same is true of our spiritual walk. We need rest and quiet time alone with God to recharge. Jesus Himself modeled the example for us, as we see in Mark 1:35.
Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed (NKJV).
Jesus intentionally set apart time with His Father, despite all the demands He felt. How much more should we?
#2: Stay hydrated.
My close friends know I have a fear of dehydration. Seriously. At any given time, chances are there’s at least one water bottle in my car’s cup-holder.
Drinking enough water each day is important for anyone, but when we’re training for a physical dare, we have to watch our intake even more carefully. Are we drinking enough water? Are we replenishing electrolytes?
Here’s an even deeper question: Are we spiritually thirsty, and how do we seek to satisfy that thirst? Recently, I read the story of the woman at the well. You’ve probably heard it before. Jesus met a Samaritan woman with a scandalous reputation for failed relationships and offered to satisfy her thirst the way no well and no man could.
Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:13-14 NKJV)
Only those who believe in Jesus Christ and accept His salvation can experience living water and true refreshment (John 7:38). Without Jesus in our lives, we’ll remain spiritually dehydrated.
#3: Just do it.
I’ve nearly forgotten what sleeping in on a Saturday feels like. Without fail, I set the alarm just as if it were a work day and am running some trail by 7 or 7:30 am.
Getting out of bed early isn’t fun, but I know that to be ready for race day, I have to make the sacrifice. I have to run when I’d rather hit snooze or when my knee aches or even in the eerie pre-dawn darkness under the glow of my street lights. (My overactive imagination tends to imagine Hound of the Baskervilles scenarios. Maybe that’s why my morning runs are usually faster.)
Seriously, though, what has God called you to do? Are you willing to sacrifice to achieve it, or would you rather stay comfortable and complacent? Comfort zones are dangerous places. They present the aura of safety and security, but they can in fact turn into deep graves of wasted time and life.
We have only one life to live. Steward it well, and whatever you do, don’t waste it.
3 Essentials for Race Day Readiness – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)
We need rest and quiet time alone with God to recharge. – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)