Tag Archives: Garmin

Reasons for Running

Sunday night, after returning home from running the St. Jude half marathon, a friend and I went to see the movie The Way.   The movie is about a father who goes to France to collect the remains of his son who died while walking the Camino de Santiago.   The father decides to finish the pilgrimage in his son’s place and meets several other pilgrims along the way, each with their own issues.  You can check out the movie here.  At the end of the movie (spoiler alert) the pilgrims make it to the end and get their certificate and they are asked what was their reason  for walking the Camino.  Their answers varied.

That question struck me.  As runners I am sure we have varied reasons for running.  To lose weight, to challenge ourselves, to compete, to de-stress, for the fun of it, etc.  My reasons are varied as well, but my main reason for training and running the St. Jude half was in memory of my mom and praying for the repose of her soul.  My mother left her Christian faith, but for some reason always gave charity to St. Jude’s Children hospital.  Before she died she asked that everyone give money to St. Jude’s instead of buying flowers.  St. Jude is the patron of hopeless or difficult situations.

It was two years after her death that I saw a picture of some friends who had just finished the St. Jude half and decided that was what I was to do.  The fact that I was out of shape and had not run for more than thirty seconds since childhood made it a hopeless and difficult situation.  St. Jude had his work cut out for him!

The first week of my training I was reading my son’s youth catechism that was published for World Youth Day and in it was a definition for a pilgrim as one who “prays with his feet.”  It was all coming together.  My training and running would be a pilgrimage.

Every pilgrimage has moments of consolations and moments of difficulty and struggle and mine was no different!  I worked through injuries, struggled to lose weight, dealt with frustration and embarrassment, but I also experienced the joy of accomplishment, a slightly faster pace and a slimmer body!

I also had the help and encouragement of others.  Great coaches and pacers who pushed and motivated me. My husband and a good friend who trained with me and even internet friends that I have never met in person!  They were all fellow pilgrims as I made my way.

Prepared and ready, I ran the St. Jude half marathon in Memphis with my husband and my good friend.  I ran with a list of prayer intentions in my pocket and I prayed every step of the way.  My goal was to finish in 2:45 and that was pushing it!  I did not think I would make it so I stopped looking at my Garmin at mile 11 and just focused on running and breathing and praying!  I crossed the finish and stopped my Garmin.  My time was 2:43:38 officially!!  I finished under my goal!

So I ran and will continue to run as a pilgrim, praying with my feet!  Hopefully just a little faster!

Faster pace and a new motto!

Group run on Saturday was awesome!   It was 63 degrees and a little overcast with some sun peeking through the clouds.  We  started out on the trail for a 6 mile run in our pace groups and soon I settled into a rhythm.   Now I can actually see my pace group the whole time that we run!   I am getting faster!

This time I was able to keep pace with a young woman who is usually just ahead of me.   She keeps a very steady pace and it was great to be able to stay with her!   Neither of us talk much while running which is fine with me.   I am used to being by myself (because I am slow) and actually like the silence.  For me, running is a great time to pray and to contemplate the beauty of nature. Running for over an hour gives you a lot of silence to listen to God and to pray for others! ( So let me know if you have any prayer intentions!  I have a lot of miles to cover over the next few weeks!)

At almost 3 miles, my pace friend informed me that we were keeping under a 12:30 pace which made me nervous, because my fastest time for 6 miles had been a 13:10 and I still had to make it back over some tough hills!  I decided to stay with her as we turned to head back for the last 3 miles.

I was determined to keep my pace the whole way including the hills!   The hills are always hard, but even more so when you have run 3 miles already!   So I started up the first one telling myself to dig, just dig, do not stop!   Then the second one!   I made it!   Realizing the hardest part was over I pressed on.

Soon I was at the 5 mile mark and caught myself thinking: ” O.K., only 1 mile to go.  One mile is easy!” How crazy is that !  I guess the endorphins were kicking in!

I finished 6.15 miles and checked my Garmin.   I averaged a 12:44 pace!   My fastest pace yet!

I got back to Fleet Feet and started stretching.   I leaned over to touch my feet and noticed something on my shoes that I had never seen before.   I got so excited and started laughing and pointed it out to my husband and a friend.  It seems that my shoes knew just the motivational phrase that I needed to get up those hills!  (click the picture to enlarge)

My new motto!

Nothing like motivational shoe strings!