Hill Training – A Blog About Running, But Not Really

Realization:  Maybe the stretch of sidewalk I routinely run on isn’t the best to train for a race.

Jody (the best running buddy of all time) and I run on fairly flat ground.  Maybe there are two hills.  {mostly likened to steeper inclines}  But nothing like the “KnoxHill” Marathon.

We train there because Jody and I meet at the “church” –  a little, stone church which is the halfway point between our two homes.  We park our cars and follow a sidewalk that wraps several miles around our little patch of town.  It is well-manicured and not heavily traveled.  And, like I said, is fairly flat.  Allowing for conversation.  And I will tell you right now, lots of talk and tears have been poured on that pavement.  So who wants hills when you are crying!?  All snotty and a sappy mess? Who needs hills when you are praying or hashing out a problem?

Or talking about Pinterest.

But hindsight, being 20/20, tells me our little stretch of hill-less sidewalk didn’t serve us much last week.


Yep, that is the topography of the race. Hello.  Hills.

This looks nothing like our training ground.

(Note to self.  MUST train on hills)

I am a hill-avoider.  I don’t like them.  They are hard and they hurt. They slow my pace and make me sore.

But when my Asics hit the road on race day, I have done myself an inservice if I am unprepared.

Adam and Eve’s decision in the garden provided all of us with a lifetime of hilly topography.  Death. Disease. Hard work. Painful labor. Temptation and Sin.

This fallen world is nothing but hills.  Steep ones.  With sporadic, tiny patches of flat road in between them.

Life is not made up of flat road.

As I ran along, mile after mile, coaching myself through each hill and preparing myself for the next, I spoke Psalm 121 to encourage myself…

I look up to the hills, but where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

He will not let you be defeated. He who guards you never sleeps. The Lord will protect you from all dangers; he will guard your life.

 The Lord will guard you as you come and go, both now and forever.  Psalm 121 v.1-3,7-8 NCV

I caught myself looking to the ground.  Counting cracks in the pavement, avoiding what was ahead of me.  But I heard the Lord say, Look up, Becky….  To the hills.  Come faster.  I am waiting for you at the top.

I spend too much of my life avoiding hardship.  Avoiding struggle.  Looking down at the ground, pretending I am not facing struggle ahead.

No. Look up, Becky.  It is in the hardship that you’ll find Me most.

What is ahead of you today? Is the topography of your week laden with heavy climbs?

Move forward with great fervor.  Run straight up the hill with courage.  Face it head on and with great joy.  Stare it down.  Eye to eye. Get aggresive.

The Lord is at your right hand, Beloved. He will not let you be defeated.  He who guards you never sleeps!

He created you for his Glory.

Do you see?! He created us for hills!  He died for our victory!  Now, let’s go lace up our shoes, grab your Jody and hit the pavement.

The Lord is guarding you today, as you come and go.  Both now and forevermore.  Hallelujah.


Are you a hill-avoider, too?  What inclines are you facing with your chin down towards the ground?  Do you trust the Lord enough to look up towards the hills?  Share your prayer request with me.  Let us pray for you!

Verse of the Day:

When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine.  And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground. 1 Samuel 17:48-49 {love this!}

6 thoughts on “Hill Training – A Blog About Running, But Not Really

  1. Pingback: prayer for endurance & joy | processingtheword

  2. Thank you so much for this post, Becky. God spoke to me through it. I hope it is OK w/you…I linked back to this post in my post today.
    May God bless you and give you the strength you need in Christ for the hills you face today!

  3. Good stuff, Becky! I have the same old hills as usual, but there’s nothing extremely pressing right now. How can we pray for YOU?

  4. Pingback: The Short Runs Count {a blog about running, but not really} | Becky Crenshaw

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