Worst day ever.

I became a “runner” 5 years ago this year. I never knew that it would be something that I would crave, it would become my outlet. Through the years I’ve felt happiness and heartache when it comes to running (and life for that matter). Last year was a huge running year for me. I set a goal to run a half marathon and I did. In fact, I ran two half marathons.

At the end of the year I logged 292 miles according to My Fitness Pal. This year I set the bar at 365.

My thoughts have changed since my running journey began. I used to run to stay in shape but now I run so I don’t lose my crap in public places. It keeps me sane. Maybe literally.

To keep myself on pace for my 365 goal I know I need to run 1 mile for every day of the month. So far I’m at 27.04 miles so I’m a little ahead of the game.

This weekend was a pretty rough weekend. I’m a stress eater and let’s just say that I ate A LOT. Like, aaaaaa lot. Which is fine. Sometimes you just need to feed the soul and that’s ok, but because I “fed my soul” I didn’t feel the greatest today. It caught up to me and I just wanted to go home, change into sweats and lay on the couch.

I really wanted to do that but instead I knew that a run would be the better option (Oh adulting). I didn’t bring any of my running gear with me. I didn’t have my face mask (it was SO flipping cold without it) and I didn’t have my race belt or Garmin watch or the right headphones or the right shoes but I needed to run so I did. I’m forever in excuse mode these days so it would have been easy to talk myself out of it but I sucked it up and went anyways.

Then it all went downhill from there. A mile and a half into my run I got shin splints like a mother. It was probably the worst case of shin splints that I’ve had since high school. I had to stop and sit down to rub them. I wanted to cry, it took everything in me to not cry. My emotions are off the chart high right now and with my legs throbbing I wanted to quit. Just throw in the towel and cry while I walk very slowly back to my car. Instead of crying I sucked it up and got off of the freaking cold grass. I kept going. This is nonsense. My whole life feels like a case of horrible shin splints right now but I set a goal and I will achieve it.

Whenever I have a running goal in mind, say 4 miles, I will run until it says that I have reached my 2 mile mark and then I’ll go a little further just to log a little extra mileage but today once that lady in my ear said that I had reached 2 miles I pivoted and turned like my next step was hot lava. I just had to keep telling myself that I can do it. In my mind I knew that my time was crap. I didn’t even check it to see what my time was because I felt like I was running slower than an 80 year old walks at Walmart. It didn’t matter though, I was 2 miles away from my car so I knew I would finish the 4 miles whether I walked, ran or crawled.

My legs started to feel better closer to mile 3. They still hurt but I could pick up the pace a little bit without feeling like I was going to curse. By the time I hit the 3 mile marker I knew I was getting close to home so I changed my attitude and pressed on.

When I finally reached my car I checked my time. Thinking it would be close to 50 minutes or so I about died when I saw 34:14. THIRTY FOUR MINUTES. Holy cow.

Then I almost cried again but I didn’t because crying is super lame. It made me feel so grateful. I have an able body. I have an able mind (when I stop making excuses). My average pace was 8:31. I’m almost positive that that is a new PR for me.

I set a personal record on a day that I felt was the worst day ever. Even in the moments during the run where I felt like I was doing ok I didn’t give myself enough credit. I was in pain but I finished. I was in pain but I finished at the top. I was in pain and I completed a goal that I set out to complete.

Because of God.

None of this is me. None of this life is me. It’s. All. God.

Even on my worst days I’m ok. I’m winning. Even on days where I’m in pain, Gods got me.

Today was a reminder of God’s grace and mercy. I feel like He sent me on this run today to show me what He can do and is doing. Even in my pain I know that I will persevere. I will reach my goals and not only will I reach them I will CRUSH them. Because God.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

This has been my go-to verse. Simple. A verse that you learn at a young age but a verse that you don’t hold as a mantra often. Until now. Now I need it. We all do.

Whenever life is hard just keep moving forward. Sit down when you need to but don’t stay there. You’re only 2 miles away from where you’re going.

Keep pressing on, friends. There is a beautiful glory after the pain.

Love,

Kari Jo

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