Yesterday I opened up my fall racing season with a 5k in Long Beach. I was definitely excited about putting my Adidas Legacy Run Racing jersey back on after taking a break from running and racing back in July. Since then I have been back training for about 6 weeks now. I know that I’m definitely not back to where I was before I took a break, but was eager to see where I was at.
This race last year was kind of my breakout race for the year where I totally surprised myself and ran a new 5k PR. I knew going in to this year, that I wasn’t ready for that fast of a race but was still ready to challenge myself and see what happened. My overall take on the race is that it was a good start. I am no where near where I want to be, but I am exactly at where I thought I was. My dad asked me before the race what my goal was and I told him 17:15-20 and I ended up running 17:15. I left the race knowing that I am capable of so much more and excited for the next one, which is always a good sign for a first race. It was fun to be back out there with my teammates again. We don’t really get to train together so it’s always fun to meet up with them at races.
I think I’m finally starting to find my groove training wise. I still train by myself 80% of the time, but have roped a few people into joining me a few times. I want to give a special shout out to Matty Rau, who has become my support crew on my Monday tempos. He rides his bike and blasts country music and pushes me through. Thanks Matty! I’ve even got the swim coach to join me for a few reps of my Wednesday speed sessions. I cannot begin to tell you what a difference it makes having someone out there with you, so thank you to everyone who I drag out on my workouts. You are very much appreciated!!
Switching gears, on Thursday I turned 27. Birthdays are always a time for me to reflect and think. I think back to my 26th birthday and the wild ride the past year has brought. My running career has pretty much made a 180 turn, I got to live out a life long dream of representing Team USA, I moved to a new city, I spent 3 weeks in Belgium, I cried, I laughed, I grieved, I stopped eating gluten (for the most part)…and the list goes on. Most importantly, I feel like the past year was the most spiritually fruitful year I have lived. While it was one of the toughest and most emotional years of my life, but it grew my relationship with God exponentially. I would have to say that ultimately, my theme of last year was “AUDIENCE OF ONE”. God showed me a lot about how He needs to be the focus of everything I do.
This year, I have a new theme: “NO FEAR”. Joshua 1:9-Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
I feel like I have lived a lot of my life with a lot of fear. Fear of failure, fear of losing, fear of letting people down, fear of the unknown, fear of people not liking me, fear of not being good at my job, etc. My dad told me yesterday that the number 1 contributor to stress is fear…and I can definitely see it. I can be a pretty stressed out person, I will admit. I will also admit that the basis of these fears is a lack of acknowledging God’s presence in everything I do. I set limits on God. Why would God be present at a silly road race? So often I put myself and my pride ahead of that fact that God is a big God. He has no limits…and for me that is a hard concept to grasp. This verse says that He is with me WHEREVER I go…that means ALWAYS, not sometimes, not only when He feels like it…ALWAYS. And, while I know I will not change over night, I’m tired of being afraid. I’m tired of relying on myself and limiting God. Sure, there are going to be times when I fail, there will be times when I let people down, there will be times I am not good at my job…but if I spend my time worrying and focused only on those times, how many great things am I going to miss out on? Life is supposed to be fun!! Tough at times, yes, but I don’t think we enjoy life as much as we should. So here’s a challenge to you…what stresses you out? What are you afraid of? “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Give God control and live a life unburdened by any fear. Let him fill you with strength and boldness to be the person he created you to be. This is where my focus is this year…and it’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of prayer and a lot of help from friends and family…but I am excited to see where it takes me and what God does with me in the next year. Looking forward to continuing to share the journey!