I am fast enough. I am strong enough. This weekend I plan to reach my goal.
Ever since trading in my “5k every day” for a more serious running plan at the beginning of June 2017, I have had one goal in mind: qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I have been training hard since then.
I have run hill repeats, long runs, tempo runs, track workouts… and even taken OFF days (those have been the hardest).
This weekend I will be running in the Holland Haven full marathon and my goal finish time is 3h 6m 59s. That equals out to an average pace of around 7:08 per mile, and more importantly, a Boston Qualifying time.
I have had a lot of buddies put in a lot of miles with me over the summer. Since the beginning of June I have run in many cities and towns in Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Texas, Washington D.C., Michigan, and Colorado… all in preparation for this definitive race.
And now that race is 1 day, 7 hours and 53 minutes away.
As I run I will be remembering the goodness of the LORD. I will be mindful of Hebrews 12:1-2
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2, ESV)
In moments of final preparation, I have taken Ephesians 6:15 to heart.
and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. (Ephesians 6:15, ESV)
I am running the Holland Haven marathon in my G.O.S.P.E.L. shoes.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16, ESV)
And what is the gospel? I love this acrostic from Dare 2 Share, which lays out the gospel so clearly:
G – God created us to be with Him
O – Our sins separate us from God
S – Sins cannot be removed by good deeds
P – Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again
E – Everyone who trusts in Him alone has eternal life
L – Life with Jesus starts now and lasts forever!
This is my motivation. I am believing that God is using my running and will continue to use my running as a way of advancing the gospel. In so many ways I have already seen this to be true and I believe He will continue to do so.
As I run, giving every ounce of energy that I have, leaning heavily on my training (and even more heavily on God who gives me strength), I will be mindful of Paul’s words to the Corinthian church:
For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:18-27, ESV)
1 day and 11 hours from now, I plan to be a Boston Qualifier.
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