Monday, March 1, 2010

Run Easy is an Oxymoron

"What is it about running that scares people so much? Why do people feel they have to put friendly modifiers next to running so everyone can feel good about it? Well, here's the ugly truth. Everyone shouldn't feel good about running. It's hard. It hurts. Running requires sacrifice and heart and guts. Any attempt to water it down with feel good adjectives is a slap in the face to those of us who still hold running sacred. In fact, if you're running easy, odds are your not running at all. Your jogging. So do us a favor, don't run easy. Run hard. Run like an animal!"

This is a quote from Pearl Izumi. I LOVE it. It calls it how it is. It doesn't call for you to run a certain pace or a certain distance. It calls for you to run hard. If hard is a 5 minute mile then WOW! If it is a twelve minute mile, then WOW! Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability.
When you want to quit, kick it up a notch.
When you want to throw up, do it, then keep running. Or do it while running. You can wash it off in the shower afterwards.
When you want to lay down in the middle of the street and hope a city bus runs over you so you don't have to finish the run, then suck it up and finish what you started. Even if you have to belly crawl back. (Yes, I have thought of this option.)
Why do I write all this in my "racing blog"?
Running teaches lessons.
I have several people ask me questions about running everyday. So I thought I would share my vast knowledge (note the sarcasm) of running with the masses. =-)

This week is "Run easy is an oxymoron".
What is an "Oxymoron"?
ox·y·mo·ron (ŏk'sē-môr'ŏn', -mōr'-)
n. pl. ox·y·mo·ra (-môr'ə, -mōr'ə) or ox·y·mo·rons
A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined, as in a deafening silence and a mournful optimist.
In other words, it is two words with opposite means that has been put together. Like "IcyHot", "Darklight" get the picture.
But why this theme? I have learned, or should I say relearned this concept this week. Or year.
As promised, I went to the podiatrist after my "Myrtle Beach Marathon" for my toe pain. He gave me some news that will effect my running. I have 2 bone spurs on my big toe joint. This is caused from osteoarthritis. This will not get better. It will get worse as I get older, whether I run or not. So he told me he wanted me to continue to run. He gave me temporary orthotics and has fitted me for custom ones. This will slow down the arthritis and make it less painful to run.
So now I am trying to get used to the temporary orthotics. Running in these is very different. I have had to slow down and shorten my runs. I will have to do this again when my custom ones come in. I have shin splints and I am sore from a 3 mile run. Sore in places I haven't been sore in for a LONG time. To say the least, running is not easy for me right now.

But this week has taught me more than "running is hard". God has used this concept to teach me about life. I think the "Easy Life" is an oxymoron.
Like I said in my last post, pain is relative. What "pain" has come into your life when you least expected it. You were just "running" along, and suddenly, life throws something at you that you were not expecting, and suddenly you are no longer "running" down a green pasture, but you are struggling in the valley of the shadow of death. This is talked about in the 23rd Psalm.
This has brought up memories of my past pain that hit me like the wall hits at mile 20 in a marathon.
I remember hearing my dad call and tell me they unexpectedly found cancer in my mom during a routine procedure. I remember feeling like someone had hit me in the stomach with their fist. I remember how the chemo reeked havoc on her. I remember hearing that God had healed her. Twice!
I remember sitting at my OBGYN, 16 weeks pregnant with my first baby, and hearing the doctor telling me that they could not find the baby's heart beat. Two days later, I miscarried.
I remember, again at the OBGYN, after my 16 week ultrasound with my Abigayle. The doctor came in and explained that it looked like something was wrong and it looked like she may be Down Syndrome.
I remember praying, fasting from TV and sweets, and pounding on the doors of heaven for her to be healed. I remember going back at 21 weeks and the doctor telling me that what they saw was gone. She was healed.
And I could go on.......
The point is this. No matter if you are by the green pastures and calm water or in the valley of the shadow of death, The LORD is still your shepherd. You shall not want. He knows your needs, even before you need them. He will restore you. Listen to His still small voice. Sometimes in the middle of the noise of life, it is hard to hear His still small voice. But listen.........
The LORD is my shepherd,

Psalm 23 (New International Version)
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

1 comment:

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

Christa, This was incredible. Absolutely what I needed to hear this week. Thank you for your wisdom that you poured out from your experiences. I got all teary eyed reading this...

From someone who is just a wannabe runner :), I do know that running is hard but you can't ever give up, quit or just matter what stumbling block gets thrown your way.

Thank you for the inspiration today! You made me want to get my running shoes on and get out there! :)

Much love!
Nicki :)