Week 3::: 6 Miles In The Forest

{Back tracking just a bit to my first super long run (six miles) from one week ago today -- July 5th. I started this post the day after I ran it but never finished it. 
I still wanted to post it so that I can document this journey as this was, 
by far, the most moving running experience I've had. Pictures taken the following day on the way back to Chicago. They don't do the beauty or the experience justice. At all. But they stand to remind me of this special run.} 

Dear Alysa, 

I know this week, leading up to your first EVER 6 mile run, you were very nervous and anxious and your head knew you could probably run it but your heart was doubtful. 

You wasted a fair bit of time on Wednesday and Thursday trying to figure out what route to take and what to eat and what not to eat and if you could do it or if you would have to walk part of the time. You worried. Off and on.

I could tell by your nervousness that you laid everything out two days beforehand and made your post-it note so you wouldn't forget your water in the fridge. You get that way when something is scary. You work like a crazy woman to control the things you can control because somehow that makes you feel like everything will be alright. 

I wish you wouldn't have worried so much the day before your 6 mile run. I know you tried to not think about it. And I know you prayed a lot, on and off, asking God to help you not worry. And you'd give it to God for a bit, and before long your thoughts would wander back and meet up with worry. 

Here's another thing you worried about. It was the 4th of July on Thursday, which meant a late night out on the boat watching fireworks {which were awesome by the way}
You were concerned that with 6 hours of sleep you wouldn't be able to run 6 miles. 
And yet it didn't affect your run at all. 

Say goodbye to worrying, please. It never does you any good. 
When will you learn that?

I don't EVER want you to forget this special July 5th, 2013 run.
 It was a MOVING experience. 
 A highly spiritual experience. 

You ran through the forest and you LOVE the forest. 
The fog was lifting and took your breath away as you rounded the curves in the road.

The cool breeze felt great on your skin. 

It was Michigan flat. 
Which is not the same as Illinois flat, 
but you pushed through that third of a mile 
long steady uphill climb at the very end of your run. 
You did it.  
You didn't give up. 
You pushed through. 

You looked to the left and saw the stand of tall trees 
and it was like they were cheering you on!

You got to mile 4.5 and you crossed over that little brook. 

Remember that?

It was bubbling as if to say, 
"You can do it, Alysa! Don't stop now!" 

 And you saw the flowers in the field that were back lit by the early morning sun.

Flowers always shout God's majesty to you! 
And they did so this bright early morning.
And about that time your favorite song, 
the one that has carried you through this journey, came on.  

 {This song plays 3 times on my training playlist.
I'd love for you to take a listen!}

And you sang out loud 
(you never sing out loud when you run 
because, well, you can barely breathe when you run) ... 

And you raised your hands to Heaven. 
And it was you and God. 
All alone. 
In His breathtaking creation. 
You felt so loved by God. 
You felt like you were enough. 
Just as you are.

 And for the first time ever, you understood this quote by Eric Liddell from Chariots of Fire. Everything, that is, except for the 'fast' bit: 

“I believe God made me for a purpose, 
but he also made me fast. 
And when I run I feel His pleasure.” 

You did. 
You felt God's pleasure when you ran. 
Don't ever forget that feeling, Alysa. 

 Oh, and by the way, 
I'm SUPER proud of you for running 
6.33 miles today without stopping. 

 With God, ALL things are possible. 
Even the seemingly impossible; like running a 1/2. 

 Alysa, you ran hard. 
You gave it your all. 
You did it! 

Your slowly being transformed self


Anonymous said…
Way to go sister! I love that you not only completed the run but felt God's pleasure doing it! May you experience a lot more of that. Eric
Alysa said…
Thanks, Eric! And of course, I was introduced to that quote by you! Your prayers and encouragement mean a tonne to me!

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