The Short Runs Count {a blog about running, but not really}

I have always trained for races by the letter.

Hal Higdon’s website serves me a little shy of Gospel truth when it comes to a training plan.  I love the thrill of counting twelve weeks before a race, downloading a program and marking my calendar appropriately.

Hal has never failed me.  Come race day I’ve always been ready because I did the work necessary to earn my place at the starting line.

It is beyond me, however, why I thought I could get away with any less.

But this year’s half marathon, I tried. {Sorry Hal}

Like a good runner, I still printed my calendar and marked my mileage.  My days were set.  Three short runs during the week, one long run on Saturday.

But my plan made it only as far as my pen is long.

I did the high mileage.  Every weekend, Jody and I set out from the little, stoney church, only to return nine, eleven or twelve miles later.

But my body was confused.

Mile six and seven my IT bands started asking questions.  My hip joints chimed in, too.  Enraged at my inconsistency and sporadic demands on their abilities.

I wasn’t doing the work in the middle.

A couple of years back, my mentor and I sat at my kitchen table, I her Timothy and she my Paul.  I soaked up her every word of instruction and discipleship on how to deepen my growth as a woman of God.

These words I will never forget.  “Becky, your deepest growth in the things of God comes in obedience.  In the little things.  You obey God everyday.  Say yes to Him all day long.  Then when the trials of life come hard, you’ll be better skilled to handle them.”

The little things.  The short runs.

The speed work that seems such a waste of time, is crucial for being ready when the gun fires.

I can not expect to go into battle if I’ve yet to complete basic training.

How can we expect to live through war if we haven’t geared up at base camp?

Our lives are not made up of marathons. But yet a series of 5Ks.

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8

I must not neglect the short runs.  I can not expect my body to perform at a marathon if I haven’t put in the effort to get there.

Reading and meditating on God’s Word regularly – a short run.  Living in community with believers – a short run.  Loving the unloveable – a short run, too.

Forgiving my husband.  Patience with my children.  Spending time in prayer, regularly… all.. short.. runs.

We train our spiritual ear to hear the Lord.  We renew our minds. Repetition. Everyday. 


THIS IS WHERE GROWTH OCCURS.  We start and end our day at the little, stoney church, amen?

When someone tells me they ran a marathon, I am more impressed with the dedication it took in training.  Not the day of the race itself.  Because I know that before they were able to run 26.2 miles, they spent 18 weeks dedicated to the 13, 15, 17 and 20 miles prior.

So, note to self:  Hal Higdon is not trying to waste my time.  The short runs count.  

Today, let us grab our Bibles and start small.

Race day is coming.

Let us be well-trained.


Where are you lacking in your short mileage?  Is it prayer? Bible study?  Community?  How can you make changes in your “plan” today?

Power Verse:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

9 thoughts on “The Short Runs Count {a blog about running, but not really}

  1. Very good friend! This is my weak area- where God is trying to discipline me – the maintenance of life – the short runs consistently and how convicting it is that it’s my job to teach this to my kids! I can do it In Jesus Name!!! Thank you for the word- love you 🙂

I means so much to hear from you!

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