Twenty-six point two.
It feels good to set a goal and accomplish it.
Last year I set a goal to run at least a 5k every day in the month of May. Got it.
Then I extended the challenge to run at least a 5k every day for a year. Nailed it.
In the midst of the year I decided to do at least a 10k every day in October. Crushed it.
Then I decided to extend the 5k every day challenge through another May… and to finish off the challenge on May 31 with a full marathon.
Today that goal was accomplished. With the help of my brother and a couple of good buddies who were crazy enough to join in on the fun, we ran the Akron marathon course this morning. My final distance was 26.3 miles at an average pace of 7:51 per mile. The total run time was 3 hours, 26 minutes, and 57 seconds.
It was a really great run. The weather was nice (a little humid, but I’m not whining). My brother put out some water bottles and gels at a couple of points on the course so that we could fill our water bottles mid-run (since there were no water stations like there would be in an official race.) The roads were definitely NOT closed, either, so some of our time was spent just trying to cross the road.
At one point we had to run through a construction zone. I’m not talking about a construction zone where there are orange cones on the road (we ran through those, too.) I’m talking about a construction zone where THERE IS NO ROAD! Not yet, anyway. There was plenty of heavy equipment, and there was plenty of dirt and gravel where the road will be, but it was not there, yet. The plan is for an actual road to be there by the time the Akron Marathon officially takes place (September 23.)
I was so excited to get to the end of the run and take the path down to the Akron Rubber Ducks ballpark.
Sweet, sweet victory.
I felt really good after the run. I know that I could do better. I ran pretty conservatively for parts of the run, but I wanted to make sure that I didn’t get close to the end and fall apart. That didn’t happen, so I feel much more confident in my ability to accomplish my next goal.
I’ll get to that in a moment…
After the run, Pope, Sully and I went to 5 Guys Burgers & Fries for a celebratory meal. It was glorious! My brother missed out because he had to work…bummer for him.
Looking back on this month, I am so thankful for the ability to run and move and enjoy God’s creation through the gift of running. I am also thankful for the many people who joined in on the challenge. Great job, everyone! We all accomplished our goals, together.
This month I ran a total of 235.91 miles in four different states. It was a great month!
Over the past year, I ran a total of 1,957.26 miles in 15 different states.
Including May 2016, I have run at least a 5k every day for 396 days in a row, for a total of 2,085.05.
I have to admit, I feel pretty victorious.
But it has all been God. He has given me the strength, ability, and endurance every step of the way. It is a miracle that I have not been stopped for health reasons. Praise God!
I do have some bad news, though. For the past several weeks I have been saying that I would ABSOLUTELY stop the streak after day 396. Well, that’s not going to happen.
My new goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon! Accomplishing this goal is going to require a very different type of training than I have been doing over the past 396 days. In order to help me accomplish this goal, I have submitted myself to a trainer (who happens to be my brother) and told him that I would follow his workout plan starting June 1.
Tomorrow is June 1, and he has me running a 5k.
Oh, the irony.
Actually, it is probably a GREAT thing, because after running the marathon today it will be good to have a recovery run tomorrow.
He actually has me running for the next several days, and stopping on…day 399. How funny is that?! It looks like I won’t quite make it to day 400, but it’s no problem! That’s not my goal. My goal is to be running in Boston in 2018, and it is going to be a long, hard, crazy fun road to get there.
Today in the daily Bible reading, we read Acts 2-4. I love these chapters. I love this picture of the church. It doesn’t last long, but it sure is beautiful while it lasts.
Today during the run I was talking with Sully about church. I am a firm believer that followers of Christ should desire to be a part of a thriving, local church. I do NOT believe that you need to be a part of a church in order to be a Christian, but I believe that a Christian should genuinely desire to be and take steps towards being a part of the local church.
I explained that, for me, it’s kind of like being a part of a running group. You can run solo, if you want, without anyone else, and you will still be a “runner”, but if you join a group, it is a whole different experience. You can work together and grow together. You can challenge one another and celebrate with one another. When one person is not running well, another person can come alongside and help. In turn, when the helper is not running well, the person who was previously being helped can now become the helper. Running groups work together so that everyone can get better.
That is how the church is supposed to operate. That is what Jesus set up, and that is what the church in the beginning of the book of Acts looks like.
Admittedly, not every church has this same vision, so it is important that you find a group that you can really grow with, but being a part of a church is an important part of growing in Christ. When we choose not to be a part of a church, we are only hurting ourselves (and failing to help others.)
I believe that by hanging out with Jesus we will catch this vision for the church because, I believe, this is Jesus’s vision for the church.
By hanging out with Jesus, spending time in his word, and allowing the Holy Spirit to really speak to us and guide us in the way that we live our lives, we will find ourselves caring about the things that Jesus cares about.
Today we read my one of my absolute favorite verses in the Bible.
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. – Acts 4:13
This, more than anything else, is what I want people to recognize when they see me.
At the end of the day, I really don’t care about schooling, gifting, looks, accomplishments, whatever…
I hope that I live boldly enough that when people see me they perceive that I am an uneducated, common man…and yet they are astonished because they recognize that I have been with Jesus.