Two days remain until I take on my biggest challenge yet, the 50K. The ultramarathon has been a goal of mine for a while now and i'm ecstatic to finally have the opportunity to conquer it. With that being said, I know it will not be easy.
Fifty kilometers is just over 31 miles, or five miles longer than a full marathon. Now, five miles may not seem like much, but ask any distance runner and they will tell you that the farther you run, the longer the miles seem. Given the added mileage and the extreme elevation change (13,000 ft of change), I am aware of the intense pain i'll have to endure for seven or eight hours.
I don't want to be misunderstood, I am not throwing these stats out there seeking any praise. Believe me, if it was praise or attention I was seeking I would find a much less painful way to get it. I simply share these things with you all so you will have a better understanding of my stories.
A change of pace...
In all my previous races, the question wasn't if I would finish, but when. A slave to the clock, I would stress over my pace and where I placed among finishers (even though it was normally in the middle of the pack). This is the first race i've wondered "if" I will finish. The pending rain and therefore muddy trails can be my worst enemy, but it's going to take a natural disaster to keep me from finishing this race. Six, seven, eight, nine or even 10 hours...I will cross that finish line.
Often on my morning runs I will take about five or 10 minutes to talk with God. I'll turn off the ipod and just pray as I run, most of the time I get distracted by something on the road and forget about it altogether. I think I can say the same for my prayer life in general. More often that not, when I remember, I will pray for a few minutes and then go off and continue with my day. I have God available to me at all times and I fail to realize that he is with me and wants to hear from me.
Prayer is a HUGE part of having a personal relationship with Jesus and it is something I have failed at over and over again. Several days ago, I was on a run thinking about my prayer life and realized that just like running, prayer takes work. Just as I carve out time to run in the mornings, I need to make time for prayer. I may not always be in the mood to run, but I do it anyways because I know it strengthens me. The same goes for my conversations with God.
As I run this Saturday, I will forego the iPod and instead spend a day talking with my Savior. I've made a list of 31 people/groups/families/topics to use as a guideline and have sought out prayer requests from others. I know that following Jesus takes work. It is imperative to be intentional, to seek out the challenges and to conquer them in His name.
When I set out to conquer the trails this Saturday, I know I won't be doing it alone.