Psalm 26.2

Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk (run) continually in your truth. – Psalm 26.2-3

psalm 26_2_3

Marathon training is more than a test of physical endurance.  There is definitely a mental, emotional, and spiritual test as well.  Each run is a chance to be alone with one’s thoughts and to take time to consider God’s love.

How will you walk (run) in God’s truth on your next run?

Self-Discipline

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. – 2 Timothy 1: 7

Running gives me POWER! But, it is important to realize that that power comes from the Holy Spirit.  In fact, it is when I run outdoors that I feel closest to God. Looking around at nature and listening to the natural sounds in my environment puts me in awe every time.

I also see running as a way of showing myself LOVE and appreciation for what my body can accomplish.

Las but not least, runners are definitely SELF-DISCIPLINEd.  It definitely takes discipline to commit to running on a regular basis.

holy spirit_cloud

This is the view of the reservoir along one of my favorite long run routes.  While I run, I really do feel like the Holy Spirit is running along with me like a happy little cloud.  I try to tune in to what spirit is trying to guide me towards while I run.

Do you feel the presence of the Holy Spirit when you run? How do you feel POWER, LOVE, or SELF-DISCIPLINE during a run? Do you link faith and fitness in your life?

Feast on God’s Word

feast on Gods word

I read this quote in a devotional earlier this month and it has stuck with me.  A large part of clean eating for me is feasting on God’s word.  I pray that you consider doing the same.

Open Yourself Up to God

Last night on my way home from speed work with BRRC, I was listening to the Catholic Channel on Sirius XM Radio.  One of my favorite shows was on, The Busted Halo Show. They were playing Fr Steven Bell’s homily from Ash Wednesday.  Several points from his homily struck me.  One of them was the statement that we should “open ourselves up to God.” (In fact, I actually called in to the show for the What did I say in the homily contest as I was so touched by it.  I ended up winning tickets to see the movie “Son of God.”)

I found myself thinking how can I open myself up to God as a part of my fitness practice.  What can I do to be more aware of God as I run during this Lenten season?  During Lent, most people think about giving up something but the truth is you get as much as you give up.  You give up something to make room for more of a focus on God’s will.  In thinking about how to open up to God while running, I came up with the following ideas:

  • Give up the headphones.  Run at least one run without music.  Take the time to listen to your surroundings.  Listen to the sounds around you both man-made and natural.  Tune in to God’s world.
  • Forget the GPS and/or a set path. Run one run just for the feel of it. Go as far as you can.  See how far your body can take you without worrying about a specific distance.  Be amazed by what your body is capable of and thank God that you can run every step of the way.
  • Choose a memory verse or prayer to recite as you run.  One of my favorite bloggers Mile Posts has 26.2 Bible Verses for Running and Racing.  You could choose one of these or all to recite while you run.

Do you have any other ideas?  How will you open yourself up to God as you run this week? Have you given something up for Lent?

Faith and Fitness Friday–Valentine Style

love God valentine

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Women Overcome More than Breast Cancer

This post has been a long time coming.  I am a bit tired of the pinking which occurs in response to Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Earlier this month, I saw this tweet which really spoke to me.

 In addition to DVAM it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Watch Pink Ribbons Inc & stop buying pink stuff #rethinkpink pic.twitter.com/vEqXXFCuTm — Lauren Chief Elk (@ChiefElk) October 6, 2013

Not that there aren’t organizations out there which work hard to provide research support for breast cancer as well as those who provide support for women who are undergoing breast cancer treatment and their families.  But, there are so many products out there which appear pink-washed this month that aren’t actually associated with anything except profits.

Because of that, I felt that I should make you aware of some of the reasons why women get hysterectomies and organizations which support them.

endometriosis ribbonteal_ribbon_of_words_zip_hoodie_dark

Endometriosis – this occurs when the endometrium grows outside of the uterus. Consider a donation to the Endometriosis Association which spends 88% of their operating budget in support of research, education, and support for effected women.

Ovarian Cancer – Consider donations to the Teal Ribbon Ovarian Cancer Foundation OR the Henrietta Lacks Foundation.

Uterine Fibroids – This is what I suffered with.  Tumors that ranged in size from apple seeds to grapefruits.  Young African American women suffer the most from this according to a report in the Journal of Women’s Health discussed in today’s Huffington Post.   As an African American woman and a fibroid sufferer, my money goes to the Henrietta Lacks Foundation.

I say all this to say that women are overcomers of so much more than breast cancer.  So on this Faith and Fitness Friday, I leave you with the following song which reminds me of how far I have come because of my faith in my recovery.

The Power to Restore

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! – Ephesians 20-21 (NIV) via Our Daily Bread 10/4/2013

When dealing with injury or medical issues, it is easy to get discouraged. No matter how well you have progressed, there are times when the slightest setback has you doubting your abilities. It is on those days where faith becomes even more important. The healing of our mind, body, and spirit will be done by the one with the power to do “immeasurably more” than we could even imagine. We just need to have faith in He who has the power to restore!

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One Year as a Hysterrunner

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26

On September 20, 2012, one year ago today, I entered the hospital for a total abdominal hysterectomy.  I was nervous and scared to undergo the surgery.  I prayed to God that everything would be ok.  I am thankful that the tumors they found were benign.

After four weeks of primarily bed rest, I was able to start walking.  One of my walks was to cheer people on at the Baltimore Running Festival.  I was so exhausted afterwards that I couldn’t even get out of bed the next day.  On days like that I wondered if I really would be able to come back to running again.

One year later, I can definitely say that “with God all things are possible.”  I have not only come back to running but I am a full fledged hysterrunner.  I have run 11 races, including 3 ten milers and half marathons each.  Each and every day, I thank God for the chance to rebuild my body and treat it as a temple.  In a few weeks, I will be at the Baltimore Running Festival.  This year not with a cane chair to cheer but as a runner in the half marathon. 

Thank you, Father, for having created us and given us to each other in the human family. Thank you for being with us in all our joys and sorrows, for your comfort in our sadness, your companionship in our loneliness. Thank you for yesterday, today, tomorrow and for the whole of our lives. Thank you for friends, for health and for grace. May we live this and every day conscious of all that has been given to us.

From The Catholic Prayer Book, compiled by Msgr. Michael Buckley.

What are you thankful for today?  If you have had a hysterectomy or other injury that has kept you from running, tell me about your progress in the comments.

God is My Strength

my flesh and my heart is God

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Faith & Fitness Friday–Self Control

1 Corinthians 9:25-27 –

Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

 

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Rock N Roll Philly Half Marathon

Race # 10September 15th, 2013
Aiming for a PR!