Just Keep Running

Several days a week, my view during my morning run looks like this. You would think that would be enough to get me excited about actually running…but, um.

I confess.

I confess that running is maybe not my most favorite thing in the world on a lot of the days. A LOT.

There are times when I do really, really like it.

And then there are a lot of times I don’t, but I do it anyway. I drag myself out of bed, force the socks and shoes on my feet, and push my own bum out the door just so I can M.O.V.E.

I don’t look like a runner…I’m just telling y’all that now. My running clothes aren’t bright, fun colors and expensive brands. Nope. I run in Target shorts and tank tops and my running shoes are the Nikes that were on sale, big time, at Kohl’s last fall. (And a lot of times? I just sleep in my running clothes…minus the shoes… πŸ˜‰ so I don’t have to change in the morning.)

I don’t have a perfect stride or even-close-to perfect breathing when I run my miles. Also, I’m pretty sure my arms flop around like Phoebe’s do in that episode of Friends.

There are a few days when I basically make it my goal to survive…And, to keep running.

And so I get out there and I do just that. Some days are better and faster, and some mornings I’ve gotten a whole lot more sleep than others, but I go. I do it.

And all of those things? Well, they make me a runner…at least, in my mind.

You see, when I plan to go running, I set my goal before the first steps. And, barring a major injury, I have a rule that I don’t shortchange myself. If I’m going out for six miles, I’m going to do six miles.

Three miles of sprints? No cheating. Just do them. (Ugh. And I realllllly don’t like sprints.)

Last weekend, I wanted to quit halfway through my four mile run. (The problem with that was that it was at the turnaround, so quitting…yeah…) I’d run about a 19:50 split on the two-plus-a-bit-more, and I was happy with that. I’d just turned around and passed the little section of the path that almost meets the road, and cars (with onlookers) zoom by.

It was then that two guys on bicycles passed me going the other way. All I heard them say? She’s a runner? That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen!

Plus laughter.

Ok, ok so I know. I KNOW. They could have been talking about anyone.

But it was a bit of a tough pill to swallow for the girl who already doesn’t feel like a runner or really look like one, either…and I felt the defeat creep in as I forced my feet to keep moving. Boy, was the finish line…in the form of my front sidewalk…a welcome sight.

But then I thought about that comment…and whether it was actually meant for me or not wasn’t the issue. You see, there are always going to people who choose to use their words for discouragement.

There are also going to be people who look at a person at judge them just by what they see. They don’t know the story, and they don’t know the hundreds upon hundreds of miles you’ve run or thousands of steps you’ve taken or millions of words you’ve written.

I have a choice…WE have a choice.Β We can let them squash us or we can just keep running. Or writing. Or doing. Or being.

I’m thankful that last week, I chose to keep running. Was it my fastest time? No.

Was I dying just a wee-bit when I finished? Maybe, yeah. πŸ˜‰

But their words didn’t stop me, and they shouldn’t stop you today, either.

It’s been a weird season for me, to be honest. I’m not exactly sure what God is doing with my words or with my family or, even, with my life. But I’ve got to believe and trust that He’s got a plan.

He does. And it’s a good one, because He promises us just that.

And so, some days I pull myself out of bed and go for that run, the one that is replacing another glorious hour of sleep that I could have. πŸ˜‰

Other days, I sit down and write words…words that might end up published or words that might just stay hidden in the pages of a journal.

And yet, others…well, I don’t know on those days. And so I open His Word and pray…pray that He’ll give what I need for the day. He always does.

And, somehow, my feet find a way to move forward…to keep running.

I don’t know where you are today, my friend…but keep running. Whether you are pounding words or pounding pavement, He’s got this.

And I’ll cheer for you, too. :)



  1. I’m pretty sure that anyone who can run 6 miles is a runner, no matter what you look like. :-) I’m proud of you pushing yourself almost every day. It’s more than I do.

  2. Mel, this is so great! Yes, He always gives us exactly what we need. I think that sometimes, the problem is that we want more than exactly enough. To tame our hearts to His can be tough, but Oh. So. Worth. It.
    You are a great writer, girl! And, I bet you look better than the average runner!!! Keep running and flapping those phoebe arms, friend. You’ll find joy there!

    • I love that…”taming our hearts to His”…that could be a blog post. (If you don’t write it, let me know and I will!) πŸ˜‰ Love to you, sweet friend…thanks for being here!

  3. Thank you Mel– I needed this toady!! And btw I do the same sleep in my running clothes.

  4. Yes, yes, yes. Thank you for this post. So encouraged by how you run and serve despite not knowing exactly what God is doing. He’s doing something mighty, friend.

    • Thank you, sweet friend…looking forward to seeing His BIG plans unfold for both of us! So grateful for you…blessings and hugs! :)

  5. Beautiful post!! Just beautiful!

  6. Mel, my heart is crying out in agreement! Thank you for listening to the words that God whispers in your ear. Thank you for sharing your words, here, today, to encourage. Although you won’t catch me in running shorts anytime this side of Ever, we’re in the same race. And as we keep moving toward glory, I love knowing I’m on the path with this beautiful community of writers and runners and mothers and sisters and friends.

    • You make me smile, Missy…thanks for stopping by and leaving such sweet encouragement! Have a wonderful weekend, friend! :)

  7. “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus.” (Heb. 12:1). Thank you for showing me that even runners may not like running! I thought it was just us walkers that felt that way. :-)
    Running…literally or figuratively as you so eloquently wrote..takes perseverance. Keeping our eyes on Jesus keeps us going! Thanks for the reminder!

    • Oh, I assure you…not all of us love it. (I do love the chocolate I can eat after a good, long run!) And I do love how I feel after…it’s just the actual, initial, making-my-feet-move part. πŸ˜‰ Love you, friend! :)

  8. I so needed this today. I’ve always felt like such a poser when running. Like all the world is saying what those bikers said. And this last year has been rough. I went from running 5 miles a day to not running for weeks (thanks to surgeries and midnight feedings). I just started a couch to 5k, which makes me feel a bit like a failure. But your writing-it helped. Just doing it is what makes us runners, right? Thanks for your encouragement, Mel!

    • Oh, friend, I’m sorry it’s been such a rough season. I’ve been in those, too…and it’s so hard to build that endurance back up! I’m actually doing parts of C25K right now to work on speed, too…so don’t be ashamed at all! Remember, you are still running circles around everyone who is sitting on the couch! (((hugs))) :)

  9. I couldn’t run six miles in my imagination! I am in awe of your commitment. Keep running the good race and don’t let the haters of the world bring you down in either your physical or spiritual realm.

  10. So…you run faster than me! :) I run in the bright clothes…confession…I like them! :) However, I have been totally slack in not running all week this week or last…so…need to get back on the road/sidewalk/wherever. Planning to go to a family yoga class tonight. I sleep in my running clothes too! You have to sleep and move…least energy and washing expended the better. Great post! Jenn

    • I’ve found that if I take too many days off in a row, it’s a challenge to get back at it! I just have to get myself out there and take those first steps! :) Love it…maybe tomorrow I’ll step out of my box and wear a bright green running shirt. (I think I actually have one buried in the bottom of my dresser drawer.) πŸ˜‰ Have a wonderful day, friend!

  11. Seriously, I am in awe of you. I am in totally agreement with your hubby–if you’re running six miles, you’re a runner! I admire your perseverance, girl. I totally fall in the “I run only when I’m being chased” camp. Or maybe when I hear my kiddos scream and think they’ve gotten hurt. In any case, you’re awesome. :)

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