Friday, April 10, 2015

Mama on the Run: Letting Go

At the top at every running plan I do, I put the phrase:

To GOD be the glory!

It centers me back to WHY I run in the first place. To give THANKS to God for giving me the healthy body to do so and to honor Him through it all.

This is a run-down of giving God back the glory. When the running plan doesn't go as planned. When the running plan doesn't - well, doesn't go at all.

As you all know, for the last several weeks I've dedicated my training to Marathon #4 - Oklahoma City. I battled the "runner blues" in January and February, but overcame them to have a wonderful running month in March. The weather changed and so did my attitude. I conquered the toughest part of the training plan with flying colors and plenty of sunshine as I ran an 18-miler and two 20-milers in a matter of four weeks. I wrapped up March feeling strong and ready to conquer the 4:30 (or better!) time goal I had finally wanted to do in OKC.

April hit. And so did the debilitating pain in my lady parts (for lack of a better term).

For only the second time in my years of racing I had to sit out a race due to doctor's orders - my favorite race that I for sure thought I'd run well and actually make the podium this year. But doc and I were hopeful that I could take on the marathon just 20 days later.

On Monday I adjusted my running plan (thanks to the awesome Coach Jenny!) and planned to listen to my body and use these next three weeks of taper time to ease back into running and prep for the 26.2 mile adventure.

Debilitating pain subsided and I was even able to go out for a 2-mile walk on Monday and Tuesday. It gave me hope to start running on Wednesday morning.

But the debilitating pain hit. Again. With a vengeance.

By 8:30 a.m. I was at the doctor's office and by 9:30 a.m. I was checking into same-day surgery at the hospital to remove the 3-inch cyst on my left ovary.

I awoke at 3:30 p.m. in a groggy state to my husband telling me they not only took out the 3-inch cyst, but my left ovary and both fallopian tubes. Turns out my ovary had twisted, cutting off blood flow and in doing so, damaged my tubes.

It was then - even in my groggiest state - that I knew Marathon #4 was a no-go.

And I felt relieved.

This isn't a blog post to tell you that I wasn't giving God the glory in my training and He punished me.

No, I know I wasn't giving Him the glory. I hadn't been giving Him the glory for weeks. I told myself I was giving Him the glory, but down in the depths of my heart, I knew I wasn't. Running this marathon had consumed me. My every thought. My every action. My attitude. My emotions. My reactions. Everything.

No, my mighty God didn't punish me. In our limited human minds, that seems to be the logical answer. Instead, my mighty Father wrapped His loving arms around me and gave me grace. Lots and lots of grace. Grace to let the race go. Grace to find ultimate relief in letting it go.

So here I am. A heart restored. A body healing. And thankful to God for protecting me through this entire ordeal but more importantly, thanking Him for forgiving my sinful heart and how I had turned the beautiful sport of running into an ugly, worthless idol.

OKC Marathon was going to be my last full for a while. It's why I felt it should be so important - last time to prove I could cross the finish line in 4:30 or better, last time to conquer the 18 and 20 mile training runs, last time to emotionally finish the last 6.2 miles of a grueling race and embrace my family after running for hours on end.

My fellow running buddies tell me I'll have other marathons to choose from. I'll bounce back in no time and can get back out there. But I'm just not in it. At least not right now. Emotionally, mentally, physically I need to step away from the full marathon distance for now - I may change my mind, but I'm going to approach it differently if or when I do decide to do a full. For now, I'm excited to ease my way back into running again and enjoy my favorite 10K and half-marathon distances in the weeks and months to come.

Happy Running, friends. I'll be back....running for God's glory!

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