Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Perseverance and Patience

Life is hectic, friends. New job, training for that job, a very heavy semester at grad school - everything else has to be minimized and/or pushed to the side.

Like running. And writing.

I desperately miss both.

Life feels hard right now. Maybe it's grief (my father passed away November 9th), or the move, or the location change, or the classes I chose this semester.

But I'm drained. And tired. That kind of fatigue that creeps into your bones and lingers.

Running is therapeutic for me. Something happens on my long runs of 13+ miles. At a certain point, my mind completely clears. Nothing matters anymore. Nothing seems too difficult. Life becomes manageable.

I have not experienced that feeling since September. That was my last training run of 13+ miles. The farthest I've gone since the marathon is 12 miles.

I've shared before that I've been having some trouble with my legs for some time now. I remember exactly when it started. March 16th, driving home from an early St. Patrick's Day breakfast. It began as excruciating pain in my right hip and inner knee. My husband said he'd never seen me in such pain (which is saying a lot, considering we saw me through an unmedicated homebirth).

Through several rounds of PT, visits to the doctor, and rest days galore, the pain moved from my hip to behind my knees. It's stayed there. Sometimes coming around front, but mostly hanging out in the back of the knee(s).

So, I've been doing cross-training. Spin class, interval training, walking, elliptical, and most recently Piloxing (a combo of Pilates and boxing). One of my strength training teachers told me that due to my legs being different lengths and my severe hip weakness, running is setting me up to need hip replacement.

Not really what a runner wants to hear.

Yet I cannot escape the fact that I am a runner. I will likely never place in a race (unless I'm 80). I'll always be a mid-to-back-of-the-packer.

But I'm still a runner. I've become one. Through and through.

The day after I was told I'll likely eventually need hip replacement, I ran 8 speedy miles with friends. One mile was 8:28. The cross-training is making me stronger; for that, I'm thankful. But it's difficult to avoid discouragement.

I'm going to try some new things. A new strength and stretching routine. A training plan with less running that is more concentrated. Some dietary tweaks. We'll see if anything helps.

Despite the challenges, I have had some beautiful runs. Just a bit shorter :) I'm enjoying running in new territory, making new routes, learning new places.

See the deer?

I'd love prayers as well. I've experienced miraculous healing before. I'm certainly open to God doing that again.

More than anything, as always, I deeply desire that God be glorified.

My psalm this year is Psalm 25. Verses 4 & 5 are literally carrying me these days. I encourage you to read them out loud with me.

Show me your ways, O Lord,
    teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my Savior,
    and my hope is in you all day long.

All day long, Lord. All day long.

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