the less glorious parts of being a rock star

Posted: July 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

I am in the final days of training for my second-ever Bix.  I have five more practice/conditioning runs left before race day.  I am doing my best to make these days count!

Up until now, in 2 1/2 years of running, my only real objectives have been, “keep moving” and “run a little further.”  I did add intentional hill running to get me ready for seven miles on the incline.

But this last week I’ve been trying to be more intentional in revving up.  Monday, I ran up the daunting Brady Street hill TWICE, and still sough more incline as well.  Wednesday, I hustled up Augustana hill TWICE, and found some other hill action on the way back to my car.  Saturday, I used the help of technological pace training to run the six fastest miles I have ever run.   Sunday, I deliberately took a bike ride that included some fierce hills.  Tonight, having missed my run this morning due to lightning (and anticipating more of the same tomorrow morning), I ran at bedtime, badly…but running at bedtime is a new frontier for me.

The point of all this drama?  It is partly to maximize my last-minute conditioning.  But in truth, it is mostly a mental game I am playing with myself.  I am mostly operating on the theory that if I repeatedly do things that make me feel like a rock star in these last weeks before the race, on the big day my confidence will be up.  My motivation will be up.

And my ability to push through misery and “I CAN’T DO THIS!” thoughts will be dramatically up.  That’s important, I’m noticing, because pulling off spectacular stunts that leave me bragging afterward…isn’t really fun at all, in the process. 

Running uphill makes me want to throw up, and slows me down to almost a crawl.

Running those fastest-miles-ever felt horrible.  It was hot.  The long, straight, mostly flat bike bath along the river was boring. 

That Sunday bike ride left me pedaling so slowly and painfully, panting and sweating with my heart pounding, that I was actually EMBARRASSED to be seen. 

Running at bedtime felt horrible, and was too dark with way too many tripping hazards.

In the movies, these things always look so dramatic – so cool – so satisfying.  So exciting.  In real life, at least to ME, they mostly feel overwhelming and awkward.  They mostly feel like I am on the brink of quitting any second.  I mean…AFTERWARD they are awesome.  But in the midst?  Not so much. 

I’ve been thinking how often learning to walk with Jesus is like my running training.  How I expect that I will feel all super-spiritual, inspired, highly motivated, and graceful.  But instead, most often the reality is I don’t feel spiritual or inspired – I feel rebellious, reluctant, and filled to the brim with procrastination tendencies.  I don’t feel motivated – I feel irritated at having to push through the resistance.  I don’t feel graceful – I am left relying heavily on HIS grace in all of my awkwardness and with all of my shortcomings.

But you know what?  That’s okay.  After I pull off a running or biking feat, that’s when I feel like a rock star.  And after I walk through the challenges with Him, that’s when I feel the reward, the peace, the joy, the greater perspective.  AFTER. 

That’s a good thing to take with me, to hold on to, for these next five runs, and for race day…and for those passages of walking with Him when I’m not feeling like a rock star – when I’m unmotivated, unlovely, awkward, and not feeling the joy. 

Over and over again, I find out:  it’s worth it.  HE’S worth it!

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