Training Break and Spiritual Restoration

Training Break and Spiritual Restoration

Last week I had the amazing opportunity to relive my counselor days. For those of you that don’t know, I was a summer camp counselor/cook/program coordinator while I was in college. It was at the same camp I had gone to as a kid (Luther Heights Bible Camp look them up if you’re interested! I cannot sing their praises enough! 😊 Shameless plug there is a young adults retreat coming up, and I am attending and would love to see you all there too!) For more info on my experiences at camp, check out this post. If you are interested in attending camp or sending your kids to a camp, definitely check out LHBC! There is a program for everyone :) I was honored to be asked back, and excited to relive some of my favorite memories. Before I left, I planned to continue my training whilst in the mountains. I was going to run on Sunday (4 miles) and then again on Monday during my time off (3 miles) and then take Wednesday off and be ready to go again on Thursday when I got back into town. When we pulled up to camp, and I stepped out into that 7,096’ elevation air, I knew my training hopes were dashed. As we dragged out bags to the cabins we were staying in, my lungs fought to pull in enough oxygen just to carry my bags.

As I was introduced to my cabin, a gaggle of eight young girls. The energy that I had before the week soon faded. I had forgotten how much energy kids can have. They ran me all over the place, and I loved every second of it. Every time we pretended to be pirates, searching for buried treasure out on the lake, or sang our favorite hippo song at the top of our lungs, I was reminded at how not in shape I was for counseling, even if I can run 8 miles down a few thousand feet 😉. However, as the week continued, and I chose to sit and read during my break instead of lacing up my shoes and going for a run, my body and mind was slowly restored. The log pole pines swayed with us during out campfire worships. Despite my exhaustion, those kids helped fill me with energy and excitement. Their zeal and vest for life was contagious. I love how their eyes widen, when they see something new. I love watching their joy, as they sing camp songs, play camp games, make friends and learn about Jesus. They are amazing; refreshing and restoring. While I didn’t sleep very much all week; I came home with more energy and zeal than I have had.

I did almost regret taking that time off, when I hit my run on Thursday. It was a five mile run, and by the time we headed out it was already about seventy degrees outside. (I know that isn’t comparatively super warm, but I am an absolute BABY about the heat) However, my feet just kept hitting the pavement, and propelled me forward. I was inundating my running partners ears with stories from the week, and the five miles went by so quickly. I wasn’t tired, worn out; I was energized. The next day, I woke up with a clogged nose and head, and ended up sleeping in. Apparently, I had caught something from one of the littles. But as I look towards this week, I am excited. I am ready to tackle my training and continue moving towards the half marathon.

After my first 8 mile run in this training routine, I have beat myself up. I have not pushed my training as hard, because honestly, I was afraid that the 9 miler would be just as terrible. And that each run would continue to get worse as my training plan continued. I was focused solely on the physical aspects of my training. I never considered that my spiritual health was being neglected. It took me driving up into the mountains, sitting around a campfire singing Psalm 121 to realize that I had been missing a major part of my health. I needed that break, but more importantly, I needed that change of scenery and company. After I was able to refill that aspect of my life, I sit here excited for the next week, and excited to plunge myself into a spiritual stupor, as my feet pound on the pavement and I continue towards my goal.

My tips for you:

1.       If you are feeling burnt out, take a break. Switch up your scenery. Spend a weekend in the mountains and reconnect with nature and your creator.
2.       Switch up your routine. If your long runs are always on Fridays, move it around so that you aren’t as focused on the day of the week correlating with the run.
3.       Mix up your running playlist. I did this on a whim when I got back from camp, and man it really helped me on my last run.
4.       Don’t give up! I am over halfway to my training goal. I know I cannot stop now, when I’m so close to the finish line! 😊