Day 35: Running in Humility

After hundreds of miles of training, it can be quite disappointing to realize that during a long run, it just isn’t your day. It may have nothing to do with your training, lack of sleep, what you ate the night before. Sometimes you may have to come to the realization that not every run can be a rock star run. Even when you feel like your getting faster and runs are getting easier, a bad day can slip into the mix sometimes to humble you.

This happened to me several weeks ago. When I approached my driveway at the end of my 14 mile goal, I looked up at my husband, who greeted me with cheers, and said, “I don’t see how I can finish this marathon.” His answer, “Maybe this was just a bad day. You can do this.

How you choose to respond to this type of realization can largely affect not only your training, but also your sense of accomplishment. I wasn’t ready to give up, but I sure doubted that I could go any further.

Pushing through on a bad day, while fighting off the negativity that follows you every kilometer is far more challenging than advancing through mile markers with ease and confidence. Luke 14:11 says, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Running as well as you can on a bad day can teach us humility, perseverance, and inner-strength. These skills are needed and invaluable in our future running endeavors.

In a real sense humility holds the secret for growth, wisdom, perseverance, blessing, salvation, and wonderful relationships. It is natural for us to not seek the path of humility, but if we seek to be successful in our race, then our training must include a number of runs on the roads of humility.

It is important to realize that circumstances in life are designed to humble us, not crush us. They are experiences that shape us so that we may taste and have life to the fullest. We look at such experiences as threats to our success, but they are the path to true success. God does not take us to great heights without first walking us through the darkness of the valley. In any run, particularly longer runs, there will be rough roads, but if you can learn to anticipate the rough road and run stronger through it, you may surprise yourself with the end result.

I hope you only experience great days during your running; however, if you happen to run into bad days in the future, try to tell yourself to push through and run the best you can. As Olympic medalist John Treacy said, “Believe in yourself, know yourself, deny yourself, and be humble.” A slice of humble pie never hurt anyone!