I am most certain of my faith in a God who loves me deeply when I run. Maybe it’s the adrenaline, but there is something magical about the way that my mind clears when I feel the wind against my face. As my lungs fill with oxygen, and my muscles work in unison, I feel . . . in a way . . . relaxed. My shoulders fall away from their normal (and unhealthy) perch up next to my ears, and my face relaxes into a satisfied (if labored) smile while I focus on nothing more than putting one foot in front of the other. The exertion, the challenge, and the success brings me close to the longing that I feel every day to participate in something bigger. In the moments that I am running, I am acutely aware of the fact that God made me with capabilities far beyond those which I use in my every day life. If I can do this, what else might I be called to accomplish? To initiate? To become?

Last year, I ran my first half-marathon, and my goal this spring is to do it again. I was happy with the fact that I was even able to make it across the finish line on my feet and running the race from start to finish, but it would be super if I could manage to make it in less than 2 hours and 45 minutes. That’s a long freakin’ time to run, people. I’ve got to speed it up.

That said, I’m interested in learning how to maximize the limited amount of time that I have to give to training for the upcoming event. I’ve done some reading, and my dad, who runs with me a lot (fun!) stumbled upon this interesting article about the possible benefits of running barefoot (Running Shoes Changed How Humans Run). It’s about how most of us run heel to toe, when actually, our bodies evolved to run with our toes first. Huh.

Fascinating research, but I’ll take some rubber between me and the road, please.

In January, I got a beautiful new pair of running shoes.

My feet are in love.

I know they’re pricey and everything, but here’s how I justify it.

  1. Saving money: You can run anywhere and anytime. These shoes are expensive, but cheaper than a gym membership.
  2. Preventing injury: I have super flat feet. Seriously. I bet the army wouldn’t even take me. When I was a gymnast, I had to wear these nasty little Velcro inserts so that my arches didn’t collapse. My $35.00 Adidas, while pink and totally cute, were not correcting this problem.
  3. Motivation: Having running shoes that cushion and cradle my problematic feet feels beautiful when I hit the pavement. Plus, they’re pretty sleek-looking. I’m shallow, and if having fabulous footwear makes me want to work out, I’m going with it.

Happy running, friends and fam! If you haven’t tried it, you know I highly recommend. You’ll learn a lot about yourself!