Thursday, June 13, 2013

Spirit of the Marathon II

Last night I was invited to watch a movie by my good friend Crystal Messenger. It was called Spirit Of The Marathon II and told the story of seven runners from around the world who were running the Rome Marathon. It was an encouraging movie to watch, particularly if you are a runner, or know a runner. Crystal is among the 25+ runners who will be running the Marine Corps Marathon for Team Nuru in October. And surprisingly, so am I.

As an organization, Nuru International applied to be a charity partner of the Marine Corps Marathon. As people were signing up, I started thinking about the audacity of the goal. I haven't run with any consistency for about 13 years. My sister has been absolutely killing it running for the last three years. I thought maybe I should do this and be able to join her for some of her races one day as something more than a spectator. Jamie and I had talked about running a race for Nuru for a while, but the MCM gave me an opportunity to go beyond talk.

Since March 29th, I have been out pounding the pavement. Jamie and I have run in Chicago, Columbus, and even along the C & O Canal and Appalachian Trail near Harpers Ferry, WV. Last week we ran 13.4 miles through Morgantown, WV and for me that marks the longest distance I have ever run at one time in my life. Usually with that kind of distance, it is time to hop on a bike, or hitch a ride. ;)

But training has been going well. We have avoided any injuries thus far by taking it slow and easy. Jamie has been an incredible student of nutrition as well to help us recover well and be prepared for the next run.

And then, last night, watching these runners run and listening to their stories, I was tremendously encouraged. Everybody has a reason for running a marathon. Some run to win the race, others run to win their own race against themselves, represent their country or community, or support a cause.

I feel like running the MCM will be about a lot of things for me. I had always wanted to run the Parkersburg Half-Marathon growing up, but never did. Now I am training to run double the distance. And I'm going to be raising funds and awareness for Nuru in the process. I'm also going to be improving my health. And most importantly, I'll be running the race with my best friend. It has been absolutely amazing running with my wife for these last few weeks. We aren't even half-way to the marathon itself, but it has been such a wonderful time to decompress, pray together, and encourage one another.

As I watched the movie, I couldn't help but think about the people who will be traveling from much farther distances to run the Marine Corps Marathon. I couldn't help but think that I would be in the middle of a mass of roughly 30,000 people who were running through our nation's capital. I think it's going to be a pretty amazing time, and I look forward to enjoying every step of the journey there.

May we each run the race that is set before us to the best of our ability.

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