13 Miles for 13 Years

weddingWell, January has started and our Anniversary is on the 26th! Thirteen years!!! Wow…Annette and I have made it this far and we keep dreaming big! So to celebrate our anniversary we are running our first half marathon on the 25th, 13.1 miles! A mile for every year that we have been married. (Cheesy, I know and it was my idea) Last year, I challenged myself to run, and it has become an outlet for Annette and me that we enjoy. I still find it kind of strange to go to the gym and work out and run. I’ve been going to the gym quite often, and it has made a difference in my running and my overall wellness.

In my quite time, as I was praying and seeking what can I say on this blog post, I felt as God asked me “How are you training for my marriage?” (Pumping my brakes…quickly) That question really made me think and I didn’t have an answer, plan or a workout of the day…nothing.   God began to show me that marriage is like running. Like the first couple of miles, the first couple of years are the fastest. It’s the added years/miles that our race becomes more challenging. (Hebrews 12:1) So I wanted to share some tips for marriage that I have learned through running:

1. Nutrition!!!!! I try to eat better so I can run better! So I watch what I eat. I try to get a good portion of essential vitamins and protein for better performance. As for my marriage, this year I will also watch how much “nutrition” is coming into our marriage and start to take out the “junk food” from our daily diet.

2. Have a plan to prevent injury. When I started running, I injured myself, not once, not twice but three times. The first time I thought I wasn’t going to ever run again. This is when I asked for help from our chiropractor friend, Dr. Lawson. He showed me how if I strengthen some smaller, weaker muscles, it would help me prevent injury. The reason was that if one muscle is weak then it throws the whole muscle chain off. Same thing with marriage, I will begin to work out the weaker muscles so that in strengthening that specific area I strengthen my marriage overall. And if I do get hurt along the way, I want forgive. (Help me Lord!) Forgiveness is like ibuprofen, it helps reduce the swelling, pain and fever to get over your injury. And yes, like ibuprofen, forgiveness might be hard to swallow, and make you sick to your stomach but if it helps me with my injury, then I will do it…for our marriage.

3. Watch my pace. I’ve noticed if my running pace is too fast, my heart rate goes too high and there went my energy. So I try to run at a good pace and if I start feeling like my heart rate is starting to elevate, I slow my pace down and recover then pick up the pace. In this race called life, it seems like everyone is in a hurry. Let’s get a house, let’s fill it with furniture. Oh, let’s buy a car. We are having a baby! I moved to a different city. I got a new job. I got promoted…..things come at us fast and sometimes we lose our energy in our marriage because we didn’t have time to recover. I want to learn to slow down the pace so I can recover the energy in our marriage.

4. Have a running partner. Running with Annette has been encouraging. It challenges me and I’m sure it has challenged her. I have gotten stronger and faster because it is something that we are doing together.   We keep each other accountable and cheer each other in our accomplishments. I want the same thing to happen in our marriage. In the Bible, Amos 3:3, it states “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” (NIV) I want to walk together…in agreement with everything that we do. We are running a race…together. I want to us keep challenging each other to be the couple that God created us to be.

These are some simple tips for running and marriage. We named the blog “Running with Purpose” according to 1 Corinthians 9:26 NLT. I love this verse because this is the start of us running with a clear goal in mind, every step that we take, may we always head in the direction that God has set before us.

-Bobby

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