I went for a shorter run today, with plans to do some strength training afterward. Today's run, a 2-miler, was quick and relatively easy. I breezed through it in 16ish minutes (it was probably a little less than two miles). I did not cramp up and my legs did not get tired. I returned home and went on with some strength exercises and that was it.
In reflecting on it just now, I realized that I prefer the longer runs. I prefer the ones when I get exhausted, cramped up, legs tired, and wanting to quit. I prefer the longer time, as opposed to 'blink' and it is over. Seems crazy, right? It probably is, but let me explain.
Last Sunday I went for a run. It was probably my hardest one yet, physically and mentally. The day was dreary and I was not in the mood. I did not want to go, but I made myself anyway. And to make matters worse (or so it seemed) I left my iPod at home (to help me get used to its absence for the upcoming 5K). So out I went, and I pushed myself, hard. I kept up my pace, not letting myself slow down like last time. I even jogged in place at the stoplights. I did not want to stop to walk unless I absolutely had to.
It all actually turned out quite well, but to one thing I must attribute my improvement and success. The difference in that particular run was that I tried to be very conscious of God and the fact that he was with me. I prayed (when I was not distracted). And when I got distracted by thoughts of slowing down or walking, I just started praising him, literally clapping up praises because whatever insufficiency I was feeling, God was still soooo awesome. So the more tired I got, the more I praised him. Knowing and acknowledging that he was there with me encouraged me. Remembering and praising his goodness encouraged me. It was awesome!
But it took the wasting of me to turn to him. So I conclude: I prefer longer runs, because the struggle points me back to God and the best way to make it through is to praise him. I prefer longer runs because it empties me and fills me with him. :) What a wonderful thought!