The Ann Arbor Big House Big Heart 10K, which I am registered for, is less than 3 weeks away. Running a 10K this year was on my intentions list. But really, it’s something I’ve intended to do for longer. I had wanted to run one around December/January of 2010/2011, but a foot injury in November 2010 kept me from running. And then my last semester of law school derailed all further attempts at any kind of regular training. Then the bar exam. Then months of uncertainty. Then finally deciding it was time to take control regardless of circumstances.
Some friends tried to get me to do a “10K”–run six miles near their house with some of their other friends–back in October or November. I told them there was no way that I was ready to run a 10K. “But you can run a 5K–you can totally do a 10K.” I stood firm though, and made pancakes for the crew while they ran.
I finally made my intention in December, and knew I wanted to aim for April. In January or February, I was driving with a friend and asked what I should be doing to get ready for the 10K. “Why are you running a 10K Amy?” he asked, sounding almost disgusted. “You already know you can run a 10K.”
“No I don’t.” “Yes you do.” “No. I’ve never run one before.” “Come on. Running a 10K is like….running a 5K and then going to the mall!”
I still wouldn’t budge. My next race would be a 10K. He acquiesced, asking what my goal was. “To finish,” I replied. That didn’t go over so well either, and he made me set a time goal.
After a really good run towards the end of February, I thought a 10K wouldn’t be a problem and was reluctant to admit this because it would mean my friends were right. Yet, I started becoming something I never have been when it comes to running–confident. They were right, I thought, I can do this.
But some travels took away a few training days, and I moved to a new city on the other side of the state to start a fellowship. I started running in my new environment, and it was rough. My first week I went for one longish run on Monday. On Wednesday I started running, only to give up about 10-15 minutes in. I don’t know when was the last time I gave up so early in a run. I didn’t run for the rest of the week. The next week (last week) I decided I would only do one long run and two short runs. The long run wasn’t too bad, but was very slow. And I hated the short runs. By the end of last week I was began to think, yeah, I’ll finish the 10K, but it’s going to be rough, and it’s going to be slow.
Then I woke up yesterday morning. Sunny. Mild (in comparison to what it had been for the last two weeks–quite warm compared to usual March weather). But I didn’t want to go. But I knew I had to. I laced up my shoes, locked my front door and hit the subdivisions by my apartment complex. I knew I would run for 60 minutes, and had a goal in mind for how much distance I hoped I’d cover. I kept an easy pace the whole time and was pleasantly surprised that I never really felt like I was getting that tired. I was thoroughly enjoying taking the sunshine, watching families walking their dogs, and other runners on the sidewalks. When the timer went off signaling I was finished I was shocked at the distance I had covered. Those terrible runs from the previous week must have paid off. I only added 5 minutes to my long run from last week, but I ran a mile and a quarter farther than I had the week before. I’m less than a mile away from hitting a 10K!
Last week I would have said “I think I can finish the 10K.” Now, even though I haven’t yet gone the full distance, I know I can finish the 10K. And I’m so excited, I can’t wait for April 15! Not only that, but I think I may even hit the goal on race day that my friend made me set–last week I thought there was no way.
I know that I have no “evidence” to base these beliefs on–I’ve never run a 10K before, and I don’t know how long it will take me. But given all the other circumstantial evidence (forgive, I’m a lawyer), it’s enough for me not just to think, but to know, I can finish the race. And that’s exactly what faith is. Knowing for certainty things you haven’t yet seen, but you know are. Hebrews 11:1 KJV “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”