Run well. Dig well.

After 11 glorious weeks the children back to school, Jess has started a new school and I ran a half marathon.

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And we all know running a marathon is fuel for a blog post…

The build up to a half marathon was quite something, I trained well (as you know) The big social media ‘show off’ under the guise of accountability hovered as I began to back down – back out even. Pre race nerves absorbing themselves into an already present virus. I’ve come to realize it’s never a good time is it?

I was picked up on Saturday morning 5.45am, after creeping around my sleeping house and finding my carefully laid out my running gear, Goji berry shot, ginseng energy ball, gummies and waterproof mascara.

We headed to the Vibrant Vine winery to meet our fellow runners. The inky morning sky brightened by the glow of Lulu lemon. An energetic emcee encouraging us with statistics and facts. Did you know? It’s 72% women are running this race. Nooooo. Did you know every province is represented? Nooooo.

Then the big debate. Ah…yes. Do I need the bathroom? The blue portaloos in situ and a line up suggesting every runner needs to go.  It’s a common problem in runners. Us ‘pooplexed’ ones wondering… will I be that 1 in 100?

I’m a lone runner. Yes, I enter these events with friends and I’d like to think if one of them were unable to continue mid run for some really terrible reason, I’d stop and help.

IMG_2607Ready to run…!

But when it comes to the run. I’m on my own. Focused. Breathing (attempting to) and trying to find the zone that ‘real’ runners talk about.

This is my second half marathon. The first I ran for my 30th birthday a couple of years ago, oh wait, I mean my 40th.

I did run that one alongside my husband and friend, Jason, who turned out to be my imaginary coaches on Saturday. At mile 11, when I had the very same feelings of ‘Ok, I’m quitting this nonsense’ Phil and Jay each side of me said exactly what they said last time –  ‘No’.

We need those straight talking coaches…imaginary or otherwise.

I wrote a blog at the end of my first half. I focused on the stories of those around me, all running for someone, a cause, their story, I also focused on the cheers of the thousands of spectators lining the Birmingham streets.

Spectators were few and far between on this run, but those that were there cheered us as though they had given birth to us. One lovely couple in particular, someones grandparents – they were having great fun. They’d cheer us on, then a few minutes later they’d pop up again…’go, go, go – you’re doing awesome’… I  looked up as I ran under the bridge on Mission Creek and there they were again! They were my cheering grandparents for the morning and I was grateful.

My running highlights:

*Trying to drink water, while running, from a paper cup.

*The fun of the most diverse playlist on shuffle.

*Refreshing rain.

*A surprise cheer from my friend Lianna at Rotary beach.

*Disco inferno playing as I crossed the finish.

*Beating my Birmingham half marathon time by 10 whole seconds.

*Realizing that while I run alone at times, I’m happy with those around me, chatting away. I do like to engage more often than I realize. I LOVE to shout out a well done to fellow runners, and I do appreciate those cheers from adopted grandparents and anyone else for that matter.

…amazing what you realize on a run.

I love that I ran this marathon at the beginning of a new season.

IMG_2596Post marathon apple – nicest apple ever.

This weekend Phil spoke on the story from Mark 2:1-12 of the paralyzed man being brought Jesus. This whole scene takes place because a few creative folks “dug” a big hole in somebody’s roof. Because of this, a paralyzed man was made whole, and the Scribes had their theological feathers ruffled. Sometimes it takes a little digging to make space for something new.

We were challenged:

Are we willing to make our lives and homes available to people.

We need that effort and determinations to rip off the roof and get people to meet the authentic Christ.

Forgiveness is amazing and a powerful gift we have to the world in the gospel.

We must all avoid becoming the grumbling scribes.

We must avoid placing barriers in the way, stopping people from getting to Jesus.

How are you this September? Focused and ready for the task in hand? Ready to dig through? On the outside believing there’s no way in?

Jesus offered the man forgiveness first and healing came.

He walked out. We tell this familiar story so easily. But hear the words…the paralyzed man walked out!

The power of forgiveness – really does give us freedom in our walk.

…in our run.

Let’s start digging,

Love, Michelle xo

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! Hebrews 12:1-2 The Message. 

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4 thoughts on “Run well. Dig well.

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