Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Slice of Humble Pie

Have you ever had a moment when you were glad there wasn't an audience around? I had one this week. So, I told you on Monday that I have signed up to run the Chicago Marathon, and Monday was actually the first day of official training. Yay! Team World Vision sends out a training schedule to its team members, and since I am a total newbie in the marathon world, I am trying to follow it as closely as possible. The weekly breakdown looks something like this:

Monday: Easy run (shorter distance at a "conversational" pace)
Tuesday: Easy run (sometimes a little longer than Monday)
Wednesday: Strength and core
Thursday: Hard run (intervals, hills or fast pace)
Friday: Rest (I have always loved Fridays.)
Saturday: Long run (longest run of the week
Sunday: Cross train

So you can see how it keeps me busy.

Well, on Thursday of this week I ate a big slice of humble pie. I decided that for my first hard run I would do hills. The last half marathon I ran (in Nashville) was a pretty hilly course, so I figured this would be a good way to ease in to my new routine. Then I decided to take it up a notch, you know, because I am so experienced and all... Or not.

I decided to try a trail run.

Not my best choice to date.

I had my water, my distance tracker and my dog. Ready to go. And things really started out OK. Daisy loves being out in the woods, so she was having a good time, and the trail was certainly uphill, but I seemed to be managing.

Just under one mile in, my left foot snagged on what I thought was a pile of leaves but turned out to be a root in disguise. Down I went. Somehow my left leg and left shoulder broke my fall. It scared the living daylights out of me. I found myself sitting on the forest floor, covered in dirt, tree bark and with some serious road rash up my left leg.
This is one day and a lot of neosporin later. Not fun. 

So anyway, I am sitting there trying to decide what to do. And I realize that I cannot wimp out on my first hard run during my very first week of training. So I got up, dusted most of myself off and started up again. About three tenths of a mile later, my left ankle rolls out on a rock. Down she goes again. At this point I am somewhere between laughing and screaming my head off. This time I let go of Daisy, so she kept on for a few steps, then realized I was on the ground again and took it upon herself to lay down, too. She's thoughtful that way. 

So here we are, just over a mile uphill and me with a twisted ankle. Problematic. 

I just looked at Daisy and said, "Home?" 

She hopped up and started moving back in the direction from which we had come. I took that as a sign that we could save the trail for another day. Or maybe not. After walking around on my ankle a bit, it felt good enough to walk back to the car. My very own walk of shame. 

Trail running. It's not for everyone. 

Though I did finish my last two miles on the safety of the asphalt hills in my neighborhood, I was certainly not moving full speed ahead. 

Needless to say, training did not start off the way I thought it would, but I was able to get back on track today with my first long run. And no falling!! Hopefully, this will be my only injury between now and October 13. 

I mentioned on Monday that I am looking at this race and its training as a parallel to what is going on in our lives right now with our adoption. So when I found myself sitting on a forest path on Thursday, scratched and bleeding, I immediately started thinking about how that instance relates to other aspects of our current reality. The parallel was not too difficult to draw. 

Anyone in the adoption world will tell you that there a lot of ugly days. Days when we find ourselves on the ground, bleeding, not wanting to get back up. And we might retreat into ourselves for awhile, deciding to continue the fight another day, all the while remaining steadfast in our love and commitment to bring our children home. I think Thursday was one of those days. I had to weigh finishing my run on the trail against breaking an ankle and being out of the race for good. While I am not happy I had to make that decision, I do think it was the right one. And there are days when our adoption kicks my butt. I feel like I keep getting tripped up in timeframes and waiting lists. And sometimes on those days, I have to choose to retreat a little, stop looking at other blogs, stop stalking our agency's websites and Facebook page. The retreating allows me to gain perspective. This waiting and hurting is part of a MUCH bigger picture. God is working together an incredible story in our lives, and if I get too caught up in the day to day, I run the risk of missing it. And that is something I am not willing to do. 

So while I most certainly wish I had not fallen earlier this week (especially since I am now walking around with massive bruises that make me look like I was kicked a few times by a horse), I am grateful for the way the Lord used this stumble. Hopefully, this will stay fresh in my mind and my heart. 

"I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip--He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep." 
Psalm 121:1-4


P.S. Please check out my marathon page for more info on the race, the mission and what you can do to bring clean water to the continent of Africa! 

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