A Lesson In Numbers: Looking Back at a 2015 Half Marathon

The first part of this is a repost from a race recap a year ago.  

Indianapolis Half Marathon October 17, 2015

I say “Don’t be defined by the numbers.”  I tell you I’ve thrown away the scales.  I don’t count calories.  Your spouse doesn’t care what you weigh.  Your kids don’t care how fast you can run.  But then life….times 2!

So I go run a half marathon.  I’ve run over 50 of them!  Old hat, right???  I don’t win awards, but most of them have been under 2 hours. Most not by a lot, but under 2 hours nevertheless.  And if you’re a seasoned runner at this distance, you know the importance of “under a 2 hour half”. It just feels good to say it.  I’ve even run my fair share of them not even wearing a watch and still under 2 hours.  But on the hilly (you be the judge!) Indianapolis Half Marathon, I went over 2 hours.  Not be a few seconds, but by 7 MINUTES and a few seconds!  Now, the girl who says you’re not defined by numbers, shouldn’t be defined by these numbers, right???  Well, sorta wrong!  lol!  

I began to question my training.  Question my body.  Are you working hard enough?  Too hard?  You threw away those scales a few months ago, I bet you’ve gained weight and now you’re too fat to run fast.  And so the mind goes.  

And during all this, I’m struggling with something else coming up…..the “life times 2 part”…..I go to the doctor for my annual exam on Tuesday.  Haven’t had a scales so haven’t weighed since June.  It’s just a number.  I’m not defined by the numbers.  No big deal, right??  WRONG.  It’s been on my mind.  I’ve been worrying.  What if it’s more than last year?  Am I a fluke?  Do I go back and say, pull out those scales!  Start counting your calories!  You DO need to know your numbers???  

No, no, no Marsha.  Slow down.  Let go.  It’s okay.  And so my sweet Jesus (when I finally let Him), assures me that I’m okay.  Numbers DON’T define me.  It’s a new day.  Your husband still doesn’t care how much you weigh.  Your son didn’t even ask how fast you ran.  He just likes to see the medal….and I get one no matter what my finish time is.  

I do believe from the bottom of my heart that we are not defined by numbers.  And I will tell you that any and every day you let me.  And above all I’ll tell you…..Jesus loves me this I know.  

A lesson in numbers. Looking back at a 2015 half marathon. #runmyrace Share on X

That is what I wrote a little more than a year ago about that half marathon.  Oh how things can change in a short amount of time.   What I would give just to be able to toe the line at that event this year!  I was celebrating running 2 miles without stopping and without my knee swelling up this week!  Had I known that might have been my last time running the Indianapolis Half Marathon I may have taken it even slower and enjoyed the beautiful colors of fall.  

I mentioned a doctor’s appointment in the text above as well.  I did step on the scales that day.  Can I tell you what it said?  I’m not exactly sure.  I have an idea, but does it have any impact on me today?  Nope.  It was just a number on that given day.  Next month I’ll be going back to that doctor’s office for my annual exam.  Will I weigh?  I’m not sure yet.  I’ve been faced with a doctor’s scale a couple of times since that day.  Once I politely refused; the next time I got on without even thinking.  Bottom line:  those numbers make no difference.  They have zero impact on me at this moment.  

We are not defined by the numbers on the scale or our stop watch. #runmyrace Share on X

Friends, we never know what the next day or even the next step will bring.  We can’t let superficial things like numbers on a scale or a finish time on a watch define who we are.  We are more than our weight, our size, our finish times.  

This week I read a SheWorksHisWay devotion by Michelle Myers:  Be about God and for others.  

My numbers, your numbers, have nothing to do with serving God and others.  My numbers bring the focus back to me, and that’s not where my focus needs to be.   Sure, healthy living is important so that we can fulfill our calling, but finish times and pounds lost do not define healthy living.  Healthy living is about being free to move.  It’s about caring for our body as a temple so we can love and serve others.  It’s so we can be present and active with our family.   Healthy living is being able to shift the focus from ourselves and onto others.   

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    1. I can imagine Abby. You’ve had some big things to deal with lately. Stay strong and hopeful! You’ve got this!

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