In just a few hours, I will run my first 5K (3.1 miles) race. I think I was able to get about 6 hours sleep last night. It took some mental effort to calm myself down enough to slip off to sleep. When 4am this morning rolled around, I woke up and began thinking about the race again.
What makes this 5K race so special?
- For starters, I’ve never run a race that long before. Even in high school, when I was as physically fit as I’ve ever been, I never ran a race longer than a mile. So, today as a 41 year old, I’ll run a race longer than I’ve ever run.
- I know that I won’t win. In fact, that thought hasn’t even crossed my mind. I’ve only been running seriously for a few months so there will most certainly be men and women who will do much better than me. But running is a personal sport. When you boil it all down, runners are competing against themselves. It’s just them and the clock. Whether or not they beat others to the finish line, they are really more focused on beating their own previous time. Today, I want to run a sub-8min pace. The best I’ve done in my fitness training is an 8′ 14″ (8 minute 14 second) pace. Today, with the adrenaline and friendly competition, I want to average a mile in less than 8 minutes. That means I will need to run the 5K in 24′ 48″ or less.
- This is just one more step toward my understanding of being a follower of Christ. Jesus doesn’t just want my mind. He wants everything which includes my body. In 1 Corinthians 6:20, it says that followers of Christ must “glorify God in your body.” There are many limitations on our abilities to serve Jesus if our bodies aren’t healthy and fit. In a culture that is fighting the battle of the bulge (I’m not judging; I have been guilty, too), I want to encourage others to take better care of their bodies by my example.
- I’m also looking forward to seeing my wife and sons at the finish line. Ultimately, whether or not anyone else is watching, I want my family to be inspired by my example of self-discipline. I want them to see the joy that comes as a result of hard work and focused discipline. Hearing their cheers will be icing on the cake.