This post was going to start differently. In fact, this wasn't going to be a blog at all - but rather a post about my love for running and how I want to help you reach your running goal. In light of everything that has happened this week (coronavirus), this is something on my heart, and I wanted to go more in depth.
My heart breaks for so many people. For lives already lost, for the many healthcare workers and first responders working over time to take care of people, for people who's businesses are taking a hard hit from cancellations, from athletes who are losing their season or senior year.
It is a crazy time to work in the event/sport industry. I'm beyond thankful the events and races I plan are later this year - but it breaks my heart to see so much hard work, money, time, etc. to all of a sudden feel obsolete. To know many of these races, events, etc are what keep businesses going - or heck even the economy, and to now be at a standstill - it hurts. Might I add, it's even scary.
I could continue to focus on the negative and additional impacts the coronavirus has already caused, and will continue to cause - but I want to focus on the positive.
I've been a runner for a long time. I've participated in races where I've put little to no training in, but also have run when I've been in the best shape of my life. I didn't grow up running, just ran for conditioning during gymnastics practice, and began running local 5ks in elementary school. When I decided to hang up my leotard, my parents handed me running shoes.
I began running more races, participated on the cross country and track teams in middle and high school, and when I got to college I decided I wanted to take my running a different direction. I trained for and ran my first marathon my freshman year at UGA, and from then on I was hooked. I quickly decided my lifelong running goal would be to run a marathon in every state. And so, I began that journey.
January of 2020 was my 9th marathon in my 9th state. It was the Disney Marathon nonetheless. Number 10 was on my calendar - set to be April 25th in Illinois.
Just this week, that race was postponed. I was crushed. I was hurt. I was angry. I wasn't even mad about the money I had already spent on this race, but rather that I had put in so much time training, planning, etc. I was hurt for Taylor who was training for his first half marathon. I was hurt because this was going to be my 10th state, allowing me to join the 50 States Club (yes, it's a real thing).
For the remainder of the day, I was upset. And what happens when we get upset about something? Everything else seems worse. Everything else annoys us. Everything else hurts us.
But when I woke up the next day I was reminded of a few things:
These cancelations are happening to best protect people, hopefully keeping everyone safe and healthy. As much as I didn't want to admit this, I knew it was best.
Just because I won't be running my 10th marathon on April 25th does not mean I won't run my 10th marathon - it's just delayed. And that's okay.
My hard work has not been wasted. And yours hasn't either. While yes, I will not get to run in another marathon for presumably the next 6 months (because most races for spring are postponed, and I truly don't want to run in the summer heat), I am a healthier person from my training. While the end goal has changed, the life change that has happened between day 1 of training and now is no less important.
Ultimately, God is in control. Whether you agree with all the cancellations or not, remember to "exercise wisdom, take precautions, [remember] this is a broken world, but do not let fear rule you. Trust in a God who is not overwhelmed" - Lecrae. Knowledge of His power is not a reason to show apathy, but rather a reason to find peace and follow His guidance.
If you're in my shoes friends, I feel for you. I get it. It's frustrating. Over the last few days I've struggled to know what to do next. Give up on my training? Feel hopeless? (Not just from a running standpoint either) Wait with inaction?
While I could sit and stew on the negative, here's what I've decided to do: move forward. Continue my running journey even without a race in sight. After all, I don't run for the glorification of running another race. I run because it teaches me to pursue Jesus harder (because let me tell you, running 26.2 miles is a lot easier when you pray for help, endurance, and trusting that He will get you through it). I run because it allows me to connect with others - whether praying for them during a run, or sharing similarities. I run because I know I've been given a gift and I'm called to use it for His glory.
If you've been displaced from a future race like myself and are unsure what to do next - continue running. Maybe dial back the mileage, but don't forget how far you've come. If you were looking to start training for a race to be healthier - start anyway. Don't let a bump in the road keep you from pursuing a goal. This is a confusing time, but don't stop living. Of course - take necessary precautions, but continue to pursue your goal with appropriate parameters.
So here's what I would love to do: let's talk. Let's work together to continue to push forward. If you don't know what step to take next, send me a message. If you don't know how to train or keep your training relevant, talk with me. We're in the same boat and we can do this together. Even if you hate running and don't know what to do in general, are afraid of what could happen, or not sure how to be cautious,
let's still talk. You can reach me by sending me a message via the connect page, on my Instagram (@hannahmfatheree) or if we're friends on Facebook.
Be praying for our leaders who have to make tough decisions. Be praying for our health professionals and first responders who continue to put their lives at risk for the sake of others. Be praying for our event professionals who rely on successful events for income. Be praying for those who are losing jobs and already struggle to put food on the table. Be praying for safety, clarity, and protection. And most importantly, remember who's in control. Don't let fear overshadow truth.