Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Run The Course

Psalm 119:32(MSG)
I'll run the course You lay out for me if You'll just show me how.
Taking in the beauty of nature on a trail not far from home.
I have a love~hate relationship with running.  Let me explain.  I hate to start the run, but I love it after the first ten minutes or so and I especially love the feeling of accomplishment that comes after I have successfully completed the course.  The mental gymnastics that I go through just to get myself out there on the trail is ridiculous!  Those first few steps and essentially the first mile are usually a bit painful.  The aches and stiffness from generalized wear and tear on my body through the years seem to scream, "What are you doing to to me?!"  Eventually, however, these voices settle down and allow me to get into a rhythm.

Through the years, I have picked up some very helpful tips from runners.  By the way, if you run, then by definition, you are a "runner".  So, you are probably a "runner" too, and just didn't know it!  Anyway, without some of these very helpful procedural notes, I would have had a lot more struggles in the running world.  Here are a few helpful hints in case you want to dust off your running shoes and hit the trail:
  1. Purchase a good pair of running shoes.  Visit your local athletic store and let them watch you run on a treadmill.  They do this for free and can analyze your gait and suggest helpful apparel.
  2. Start your mileage out slowly and work up gradually.  Running five miles your first day out is not a smart idea.
  3. Find a running partner.  This is so helpful!  When you're not motivated, hopefully they are!  
  4. It's okay to walk portions of your run.  You can start out running 1 minute and walking 9 minutes out of ten minute cycles.  The next time out build up to running 2 minutes and walking 8 minutes and so on.  (This advice was presented to me from     a knowledgeable coach and it really does work to build up your endurance.) 
  5. Be consistent.  At least three to four days of running a week is optimal.  Throwing in an additional cross training session or two helps even more.
  6. There are a lot of helpful sites out there on the web. and are two that I have found extremely useful.
  7. One final thing that is very helpful and pertains to tonight's verse.  If you plan on running an official race, be sure to look up the course map and study the path.  If you have the ability to run the route once or twice before your race, do it.  It will help you immensely to know where your biggest challenges lie as it relates to hills and any other obstacles that might be out there.
As I think about running the course that God has set out for me, I get a pretty clear picture that I will need His Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to prepare me for what lies ahead in my path.  As I purpose to listen closely, I trust that He will most certainly show me how to run an effective race for Him!

You are an amazing presence in our lives.  Sometimes I stumble and get tripped up trying to run this race of life.  Please help me to stay on the course that You have laid out for me.  May I sense Your direction and complete the race with a heart of love for You.
In Jesus Name,

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