Sometimes in life our dear Lord asks us to do things that we don’t quite understand why because we don’t feel up to the task at hand. Running this marathon is one of them. My youngest child is only eight months old. I am heavier than I was when I ran my last marathon, and I have plantar fasciitis which makes for very soar feet in the morning.

After talking to the marathon coach about it, she simply said, “Ann, wait and see. If increasing miles makes it unbearable to run, then you will know.” For now, I am icing my feet after long runs and wearing arch support through out the day. That has helped.

I hesitated sharing this on the blog because I feel as if I should simply “offer it up” or be as positive as I can, but I think it is important in life to not only “be real” but be receptive to the movings of the Holy Spirit and to respond even if you do not “feel” like you are the most perfect candidate for the position. In humility, we should step forward and trust that our Lord knows what He is doing and is ready and able to make up for all that we are lacking. Even if it seems a great mystery to us. Motherhood is like that. The great course in humility.

For now, I’ll just keep jogging or as my fun sister-in-law likes to call it, slogging. She is in her mid fifties and says at this point in her life it is no longer a jog, but a slog.  So hears to slogging, one day at a time.

Image Have any of you heard about the coyote problem Edina is having? McMansions and coyotes. When I go running in the morning it’s still dark. I don’t want to see people and I sure don’t want to see coyotes. But today I did. He was running ahead of me. Now, I don’t mean to imply that I could outrun that coyote or anything. And he wasn’t exactly looking back to see if I was gaining on him. But I was very nervous, so I stopped running and called my husband. You know. It’s a girl thing. Like the time I called him from the laundry room at 5:00am because there was a mouse. I was sitting on the wash machine and my husband was in North Carolina. You tell me. Exactly what was he going to do to help me?! But I digress. And in this instance he was about as helpful as he was from North Carolina. My husband of 25 years told me to yell at the coyote. Or, since the city of Edina has hazing classes to teach the residents how to deal with the coyotes, my husband said I could make the coyote sing his school fight song. You just can’t buy security like that.

You know those people who tell you, “If you can run a half marathon you can run the whole thing?”

They’d better be right.

I began running in May 2009 to help lose what would end up being 100 pounds.

I didn’t think I could run 6 blocks.

In October 2010 I ran my first, and only, half marathon . . . in the woods . . . on trails . . . tripping on tree roots. Let me give you a visual. I’m 48 years old and 6 feet tall with wildly curly hair. It’s ok. I give you permission to laugh.

That marathon was really fun. I’m not kidding. I don’t profess to love running at 5:00 in the morning (which is what I do. Which means getting up at 4:30am . . . when I REALLY don’t love running.) But I loved that event. And at the end of it I said to my running partner, “Do you realize that if we were running a whole marathon, we’d have to do that again . . . right now!?”

NOT A CHANCE I WAS EVER GOING TO DO THAT.

But last year on the day of the Twin Cities Marathon, my husband and I were on a bike ride that took us along a portion of the marathon route. It was a beautiful fall day and I had this small longing inside that felt like, “Why can’t I be one of those crazy people?”

I talked about it with a few runners I know who said they’d think about it. You understand how easy it is to pretend to seriously think about something that’s almost a year away.

Then one Friday morning a couple of weeks ago I was running my 5 mile route and I said to God, “I can’t do it. It’s not grabbing hold of me. I’m not going to run the marathon.”

I couldn’t hear Him then, but now I know God said, “Ha!”

After mass that very morning, one of the young moms in the parish asked me if I wanted to join a group of them for coffee. I love my morning coffee. So much so that when the Archbishop asked that we make a sacrifice for all the attacks being made on religious liberty, I gave up coffee on Friday mornings. I sat in my car thinking about what I needed to do at home vs. going to coffee, but not drinking coffee. Since it was a group that was somewhat new to me, I thought I’d expand my horizons and go for a short while.

We were all discussing various topics when Ann, whose oldest child is in school with my youngest, said – out of the blue – that she had been thinking of running in the Twin Cities Marathon, but that she was about to give it up because she wasn’t feeling inspired. She was searching for the words to explain what she meant when I asked, “Do you mean you need to spiritualize it? To give it an intention?” Indeed, that was exactly what she meant. For the amount of time it was going to take to prepare, it couldn’t be for selfish reasons. So I said, “Ok. Let’s run it and offer it for something.” Like what? I didn’t know.

A couple of minutes later it occurred to me – the Marriage Amendment.

Ann agreed that it was a worthy sacrifice and that she would speak to her husband about it and see if she could persuade him that it would be worth the time. I suggested that she just present what we talked about and if her husband expressed hesitation we would not do it, but if he agreed – that would be our sign.

Two days later Ann told me that her husband said it seemed to him that God wanted us to do this. So here we are all signed up for the Twin Cities Marathon.

Better late than never.

path at lake harriet

Thanks to all those who expressed interest in running the Twin Cities Marathon
for the Marriage Amendment vote in November.

We will be have an informational meeting on Tuesday, April 10th at 7 pm at the Perkins off 50th and Highway 100 in Edina for training advice with a former marathon coach.

There will be hand-outs of training routines for beginning, intermediate and advanced runners, so no matter where you are at, there is a plan for you if you need it.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your health or diet during training, she will be able to give you some great advice.

So, if you haven’t registered for the race yet, this might be a meeting that will help you make that decision.

Please RSVP at marathonformarriage@hotmail.com no later than Monday, April 9th so I can reserve enough space.

Finally, we look forward to starting group long runs on the weekends! Attendance is NOT mandatory. The first long run will meet Saturday, April 14th.

We will be training at and around the downtown lakes in Minneapolis. For more details email me at marathonformarriage@hotmail.com. Afterwards, we will go to one of our neighborhood’s finest coffee shops. Hope to see you there!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses  . . . let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)

Today on the Solemnity of the Annunciation, the day Our Lady said “yes” to be the mother of Our Lord, we extend an invitation for you to say “yes” to help protect God’s plan for marriage.

We are Ann and Teresa and we are inviting you to train with us to run in the Twin Cities Marathon on October 7, 2012, the feast of Our Lady of Victory, in an effort to bring attention to the proposed Marriage Amendment appearing on the ballot in November.

Entrust your works to the Lord, and your plans will succeed. (Proverbs 16:3)

This idea sprang up over coffee one morning when we were discussing the marathon and looking for a way to offer the sacrifice involved in this endeavor for a higher purpose. What more significant issue could there be at this time than keeping marriage defined as between one man and one woman?

Not that of ourselves we are qualified to take credit for anything as coming from us; rather, our qualification comes from God. (2 Corinthians 3:5)

We are average runners who are looking for others who believe in the importance of this issue. We have a professional marathon coach available to advise us on training methods for this race. Don’t worry if this is your first marathon.

The most important step to take at this time is to go to the Twin Cities Marathon website and register at www.tcmevents.org. Registration has been open since February 2 and the field is more than half full. Once you are registered you can continue to check back with our blog for tips on training, how to order Marriage Amendment Marathon shirts, inspirational messages and humorous anecdotes about our journey. Please join us on this adventure!

Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

Of course there are going to be challenges. Life itself is a  marathon, not a sprint. Be not afraid!

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