20.2. . .
. . .miles down and only 6 more miles to go. (sigh)
A week ago I ran in the Oklahoma City Marathon and if I had to describe my experience in one word, it would be BRUTAL!! I won’t go into details, but you’ll get the picture with these descriptive words: lightning, thunder, rain, hail, wind, cold temps . . .
When training for my first marathon I remember reading that the last 6 miles of a marathon were the toughest. I think I would have to agree. By the 20-MiLe mArK, my muscles were cramping, I was tired, and the thought of another six miles was exhausting. However, I had come too far, I cOuLDn’t qUiT.
This probably sounds really cliché, but life is like that MaRatHoN. You find yourself too far in to turn back, but still with a ways to go and with the FiNiSh LiNe nowhere in sight. If you find yourself at the 20.2 mark in some area of your life here are some tips that might help you finish your “marathon”.
- Get a cHeEriNg section. The first marathon I ran was a small one with a course that wove around the countryside. As a result, there was really no one cheering us on until we got to the outskirts of town which was basically about six miles from the finish line. It was at this point that we began to see spectators and finally had people ChEeRiNg us on. If you don’t have people cheering you on, get some. Find some friends that you can share YoRr rAcE with and enlist as a cheering section. Make sure you are willing to do the same for them. What you sow you reap.
- Keep your FoCuS on the finish line, not the pain.
- FuEL Up! When running longer races, runners take enery with them. A couple of things I have used are Gu’s and Shot Bloks – little PaCkEtS of eNerGy. I pack them in a running pouch and every so often I take them to fuel my body. In your race, you will need to fuel up. This may be different for everyone. Find out what fuels you – spending time with fReNds, a good book, a long wALk, a drive in the countryside. Don’t forget to stay plugged in to PrAyEr and the Bible, the best energy boosts of all!
- Let your CoMmiTMeNt dictate your life, not your feelings. Keep praying even if it FeEls like the prayers don’t make it further than the ceiling. Keep reading the BiBLe even if it feels futile. Refuse to quit, PeRiOd.