cheater cheater pumpkin eater

Last weeks miles: 17.01
Total mileage, ten weeks training: 138.53
(I use the Nike Plus sensor on my Ipod to measure my miles. It has a sensor on my shoe that acts as a fancy-schmancy pedometer. It measures my mileage, pace, calories burned, etc.)

I burned up my shiny silver Ipod in May, on my first 5 mile run.
How do you do that? Well, I assure you that Vanity is a strict taskmaster. If you listen to her, you will decide not to wear your armband Ipod holder, because it makes your upper arm fat squish out. Nevermind that you are already running around in public wearing spandex, let’s control what we can, here. So I tucked my Ipod into the wide shoulder strap of my running top, because I’d worn it there for several 2-3 mile runs without a problem. But the machine slowly slid down, and I was too focused on gulping oxygen and trying to not pass out on the road. I didn’t notice until I pulled it out to check my pace and my Ipod was fizzling and spitting and blank screened.
It was like looking into a mirror.

Now running isn’t FUN. Those who say it is, are delusional. It’s painful, it’s hard, and it’s bearable only with good music, played very loudly. Without music, I can go about 4 blocks. And I will have to rest, on the way.
Plus I had become addicted to the little screen telling me just how far and fast I had gone…it really adds to the sense of accomplishment when Nike has a sudden recording of Lance Armstrong in your earphones with a booming “Congratulations. You have just passed your own best record for the mile!”
(and thoughtful, gracious Lance doesn’t add “12 minutes? Is she crawling it?”)
I had been borrowing Josiahs, until last week when John graciously bought me a new one (after I promised to wear my ugly armband thingy)
However…in order for it to measure my pace/distance accurately? You have to calibrate it. I didn’t realize that and yet, I knew something wasn’t right. See, my four mile route is clearly FOUR (I have checked with the car about 32 times to be certain)
Yet my new Ipod was saying 5.3. The power of my self-deception was so strong, that I KIND OF BELIEVED IT. I didn’t know by what asphalt magic my road was stretching itself out, perhaps I zig zagged a few extra times, or went a little longer, maybe the car was wrong 32 times? who cares!? Then tough old Lance took a break from his bike ride to mention I was doing an under 9 minute mile and I rejoiced, because, FINALLY! Some progress! I have been running this route for 10 weeks and it’s been consistently hard, consistently long, consistently 10-11 minutes per mile pace. I was so greedy for any sign of forward momentum that I ignored the little niggling thought of “now, how can that be?”
Saturday I ran with the team, and 2 of the ladies had Garmin GPS watches and we stayed together the whole run, and at the end their techy wrists said 6.3 miles and my pod said over 8 and I was sick. Here’s the proof! my Ipod is counting incorrectly, and don’t I feel stupid. John helped me figure out the calibration this morning and I measured out a mile and sure enough-it’s right where I thought, and I am still at 11 minutes.

I was SO disappointed. I felt like a victory I’d worked for had been snatched away. Then I thought NO-it wasn’t ever there. It was a hollow victory, a false belief-it wasn’t true, at all. It was a week of La-La Land (I am a frequent visitor, have my own little condo.)
So, did I really lose anything? Or did I gain something? Knowing who you are-your inadequacies and failures, too-is a gift. Oh sure, it’s a gift you don’t really want. Kind of like the garbage disposal John bought me once, for our wedding anniversary…ugly, yet practical. Unromantic, but really necessary.
It’s honest, it’s real, it’s needed.
I want that authenticity in my life.
I desire to have an integrity that keeps grace-filled honesty at the forefront of all my relationships. That means I am truth-full EVEN TO MYSELF.

And I am learning that is the hardest person to be real with. For if I think my efforts won’t be blessed with the reward of my choice? I will justify and rationalize all my self-deception. If the ends don’t seem big enough to justify the means? I become a cheater. I have run almost 140 miles and lost but two pounds. The plain truth is, I am growing tired of putting in so much effort without the payoff I was hoping for. Yet, my Lord has taught that faithfulness is all about doing the right thing, even when there seems to be little to no reward! Is eating healthy and exercising consistently good for me? Yes. Is it being a steward of this body God has blessed me with? Yes. Is running teaching me perseverance? Yes. But I don’t want to be faithful as much as I want to get back into size 6 Levis. OUCH. Will I do all this sweating and work, EVEN without that reward? That is what is being decided, lately. Today, I was reminded of this crossroads. This has been mulled over more than once in my life, because it seems I am always trying to wiggle out of faithfulness.

I have put energy and effort into teaching a son, and in the middle of a multiplication lesson that was going NOWHERE, it has hit me–no matter how hard I work at this, he is not going to Harvard. And I have crossed my arms and thought “This is maddening. What am I doing here?” Do I hang up school or choose to be faithful only because God asked me to?
Sometimes you don’t see immediate results of love and effort. But faith believes they will come.

I have had days where I put in the extra effort to bless and love my husband and he was too tired or distracted to even notice. And I have crossed my arms and thought “No more, buddy. It’s your turn.” So was it “as long as you both shall live” or was it “as long as you keep it 50/50”? Will I be faithful to love John because God asked me to, even if John doesn’t love me back very well that day?
Sometimes you don’t see immediate results of love and effort. But faith believes it will come.

6 years ago, I had a little blond girl I wanted to raise. I thought it was God’s will and I did all I could to make it happen, and even as He shut the door I threw myself in the way and begged with tears to be her Mom. I had to let her go, because God asked me to. Will I remain faithful to carry her in my heart and pray for her like I do these boys? To be her mother, spiritually, though I can’t hold her or watch her grow up?
Sometimes you don’t see immediate results of love and effort. But faith believes they will come.

I don’t understand why God has me running this half marathon. The reward isn’t yet what I was hoping for but I believe HE ASKED ME TO. So I am going to keep running, and loving, and teaching, and praying, and trusting. And I am not going to cheat Him, or myself, by rationalizing or justifying or deceiving–myself, or others.
The truth shall set you free.
and it’s like pouring medicine over a deep, infected wound.

Honesty stings, but that’s how you know it’s working.

About sparrowjourney

Christian homeschooling mom to three boys, married to my best friend, John, for over 20 years. I love gardening without gloves, learning history with my kids, cooking with lots of butter, serving others, great books, rich coffee, studying the Bible, camping outdoors, scrapbooking, vintage home decor, the smell of rain and cut grass, authentic people, poetry, laughing until your sides hurt, and babies. oh and black licorice is pretty awesome.
This entry was posted in deep thoughts, exercise, me me me. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to cheater cheater pumpkin eater

  1. Anne says:

    I think God is making you do this run to keep you humble. =) You outparent, outscrapbook, outgarden probably most of us (the people you know – and probably most that you don't), SO keep running dear friend. When you look back, you are not going to care how fast your miles were, you are only going to remember that YOU DID IT, just what you set your mind to do. So, keep plugging away, take it one day and one mile at a time. I'm inspired by your dedication and committment to this "journey" and I'm sure others are as well.

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