Marathon Training, For Real

Aug 23, 2012 | Faith

Sunday I ran 10.5 miles.  
In two weeks, 
a friend and I are tackling 
our bucket lists
by running a half-marathon 
along Lake Shore Drive.
The caveat?

I’m not a runner. 
I’m reminded of this 
every time I endure a long run, 
training for something
 I never thought I’d do.

When running these distances, 
my mind thinks 
My own
those struggling,
 and heartbroken parents.

With each step I take,
 my life flashes before me.

I’m not a runner,
 but I’m a fighter.  
Overcoming addictive behavior
 is hard work.
It’s a long road.  

Often you feel like giving up.
Thinking you won’t make it.  
You search for the easy out.  
You tell yourself 
you’re not cut out for victory.  
You justify stopping 
when the pain gets too much 
and you don’t think 
you can go 
another step. 

 Years ago 
I was faced with a choice. 
I had been taking the easy way out
 through adolescence
 and young adulthood 
with an addiction to food
 that I managed by purging.  
Addiction and shame defined me.  

I decided
 to put my big girl panties on
 and address the hell 
that held me captive.  
I didn’t want to bring 
my addiction
 and disordered eating 
into my marriage.

So I set my eyes towards Jesus, 
the Author and Perfecter
of my faith (Hebrews 12), 
I made a covenant
with Him
that I would try. 
Try to face 
the destructive way
 I handled food,
 my body, 
my soul and spirit.
I promised Him
 I would tackle 
the emotional, mental, 
and spiritual components
 of an eating disorder.   

Just like setting out 
for a 10 mile run,
 this was a long, 
painstaking journey. 
I started out slow,
 one foot in front of the other.
Like running a long distance, 
there were times I felt invincible, 
that the pace I was going 
was great
 and I had overcome
 it all.

But then it’d get hard.  
Mental hills to climb.  
Exhausted emotions.  
Self-talk that said,
“Just quit.  It’s too hard. 
Take the easy way out.”

These are the real battles 
in overcoming addictive behavior.
There’s a point 
where the pain 
of overcoming the addiction
is harder 
than living in the pain
 of self-medication.

When I run, this is the point
where my legs won’t go any farther
but I still have miles to go.  
It’s where my mind 
starts playing games with me
It’s not worth it.  
It’s where
I want
to quit.

By the grace of God,
I’ve learned to push through this.  
For twenty three years, 
living in victory has been 
one long, unending marathon.  
Most days, I run at a good pace, 
with the Son at my back 
and an ease of healthy living, 
spiritually, and physically.

But then I hit a long stretch 
of life’s rain, hail,
 storms, hills and fatigue, 
and I say, 
“This is too hard.”  
I’m tempted to go back
 to what comforts
and seems like
 the easy way out.

But in looking back, 
I realize how far I’ve come,
and it gives me a second wind 
to continue on.  
My slow, tired, pace
picks up, 
and I go forward.

And my pace picks up.
Before I know it,
 I’m running again.

Thirteen miles
 seems daunting to me.

But one step at a time, 
I know I’ll make it.

Because every day, 
in His overwhelming grace
I walk a marathon of victory

One foot in front of another……..

“Let us throw off everything that hinders
 and the sin that so easily entangles.
 And let us run with perseverance 
the race marked out for us, 
fixing our eyes on Jesus, 
the author and perfecter of our faith.” 
Hebrews 12:1-2

“But we also glory in our sufferings, 
because we know that 
suffering produces perseverance, 
perseverance, character, 
and character, hope.  
And hope does not put us to shame,
 because God’s love has been poured out
 into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” 
 Romans 5:3-5

Lord Jesus, for every person who struggles with addiction, co-dependency, or self-harming behaviors, be their grace today to step out from under the pain and onto the road to victory.  Equip them to fix their eyes on you and to throw off the chains that bind and the sin that easily entangles.  Give them perseverance for the road before them, in your grace.  Amen.


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Do you feel trapped in a chaotic, relentless, demanding lifestyle? No matter where you live or what season of life you’re in, you can find inspiration from the simpler life. 


  1. Brenda Lazzaro Yoder,

    "Just do the next thing" is something I heard Elisabeth Elliot say years ago. It is so practical yet true. I would love to hear about your new journey! May God sustain you in what He has planned for you.

  2. Shakin' the Foundation

    What a beautiful and inspirational post!! One foot in front of the other says alot to me as I am beginnning a new journey and there are times I want to run back to the famliar!! Thank you for sharing :)Blessings to you~Stacey

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