Yesterday was Good Friday, which in the Christian tradition is the day we commemorate Jesus’s death on the cross. Services, often called Tenebrae (meaning “shadows”), are held and there are readings of the cross-story and the moments leading up to it.
We read about Jesus’ betrayal by his disciples.
47 And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus and took him. (Matthew 26)
We read about Jesus’ gentleness and submission to His Father’s will.
51 And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear.52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?55 In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.56 But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled. (Matthew 26)
We read about Jesus being mocked by the Roman soldiers.
27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!30 And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. (Matthew 27)
We read about Jesus being mocked by the Jews.
39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. (Matthew 27)
We read about Jesus’ suffering on the cross.
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?47 Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.48 And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.49 The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. (Matthew 27)
We read about Jesus’ death.
50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. (Matthew 27)
On Easter Sunday, we will read about Jesus’ resurrection. We will celebrate Him as Lord and Savior, as Conqueror over the grave and over our sins. But for now, we mourn.
We mourn the death of an innocent man. “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
We mourn the necessity of the cross as the just punishment for our sins. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
We mourn the loss of someone we love and who loved us. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17).
This weekend was great. Why, you ask? Because I had a chance I wasn’t expecting to run another marathon!
In Atlanta, the Publix marathon is well-known. It’s a great course that wraps around the entire city, giving you a tour of everything ATL has to offer – MLK’s childhood home, the church he preached at, a beautiful skyline, all of the major colleges (Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Emory, and Agnes Scott), Centennial Park, the various neighborhoods, and – it wouldn’t be ATL without them – hills.
Now, I’d heard about this course. I have friends who have run it and warned me against the hills. I’ve had running store employees preach about its beauty. I’ve oscillated about whether to do it – and figured that, knowing myself, I’d probably end up doing in in the next 10 years.
But this year? Yesterday? I wasn’t expecting it.
Fact is, I needed (and still need) some time off of training after my last marathon (Dallas, December 13, 2015). Not off of running, just off of training. I like a good challenge and I do miss the rigor of training, but I am finding other ways of challenging myself in my running. So, while I’ve been running, I haven’t been training for a marathon. As any experienced runner knows – those two things are very different. It’s one thing to run a couple miles a couple of days a week. It’s another to have regimented long runs, speed work, etc.
But then my friend called the day before the Publix marathon, asking me to run with her. Did I want to?
First thought: YES
Second thought: Oh my gosh why did I even have that thought
Third thought: Wait, I should think about this…
Fourth thought: Why am I thinking about this??
Fifth thought: YESSSSSSSSS
After doing the requisite Google search: “Can you run a marathon without training?” I took the plunge and told my friend I’d be there.
Turns out, that was the best decision I could have made. The race was absolutely fantastic, and I ran it without any sort of expectations. To be honest, it felt just like I was out for a daily run – I was running in my city, some of the course was part of one of my running routes, and I wasn’t pushing pace. I wasn’t running to perform; I was running to enjoy.
And thus the race was a great reminder to me. I run because I like it. I run because I think it’s fun. But sometimes I have the tendency to put all these sorts of expectations on myself. I catch myself thinking that just because I can run a certain pace, I should run that pace… all the time. That to do anything less is slacking somehow.
Which I realize is completely ridiculous. You’re supposed to have easy days, hard days, speed days, long days, rest days, etc. But sometimes I turn the very thing that’s supposed to be fun, supposed to be free, into a chore or a requirement or a measure of my worth. Which gets me back to the training break. I need some time to run 16/20/4/8/26.2/etc. miles because I feel like it, because the weather is great, because I’d like to see what I can do, because I want to discover a new part of the city, but NOT because I have to.
This race was a great reminder of being motivated not by fear, but by love. To explore, not expect.
And, as with most of running, it’s a good reminder to me for the rest of my life as well.
Would I recommend that someone else do the same? It depends.
If someone doesn’t run at all, I wouldn’t recommend that they do a marathon without training. You might cross the finish line, but the likelihood of injury and misery is high. All the wisdom of Google confirms this – it’s physically possible, but also physically miserable. Plus, training is fun. One of my many favorite parts of marathon running is the training. Also, running knowing all the hard work you put in amplifies the experience of the marathon. Why deprive yourself of that?
But if you run upwards of 35mpw (miles per week) regularly, a marathon will take less of a toll on your body. Or, rather, it will take a toll, but your body is used to that. If you run it for fun, it’s completely within your powerhouse. Ultimately though, it’s like a lot of running. You’ve got to listen to your body, which is unique.
So, what are you gonna do for fun?
When you run long distances, hydration packs are a must. Not only do you need water, but they’re also handy ways to store your nutrition so that you don’t end up looking like this.
When I needed a new hydration pack, I thought I’d be smart and save money. I went with a brand I had never heard of, because hey, it got great reviews on Amazon. I tried Camden Gear’s 1.5L Backpack……. turns out there’s a reason you’ve heard of Camelbak and Osprey and Marmot and etc.
This pack was slated as a one-size fits all. While it did technically go around my shoulders, it was not snug enough. I still have the chaffing scars.
In lieu of that experience, I bought the Osprey Rev 1.5L pack. I was a bit worried, because I’ve been accustomed to having a chest clip and a waist clip – and the Osprey has only 2 clips at the chest. I thought for sure this would mean the dreaded chaffing again.
Turns out, the pack is pure bliss. One of the chest clips is attached to the bottom of the pack’s front, so it keeps the pack in place. I barely feel the pack when I’m out, which is exactly what you want in a pack. Furthermore, unlike my old pack, where the mouthpiece would bounce around on my shoulder, the Osprey has a magnet that connects the mouthpiece to the chest clip. All you have to do is reach down, sip, and replace – all without having to turn your head. The magnet is strong enough that it’s easy to set the mouthpiece in place – you can do so without thinking about it – but not so strong that you can’t pull the mouthpiece up for water easily.
Furthermore, there’s a nice little tech pocket.
I usually put my iPod in here, because I don’t like to run with all the distractions of my phone. The nice parts are 1) you can use a touchscreen through the plastic and 2) you can detach the tech pocket if you don’t want to carry anything in it.
The pack has ample space to fit enough fuel for even the longest of runs – bananas, gu, water, fruit snacks – despite its small size and light weight.
Of course, there are a lot of other options out there for carrying your hydration and nutrition with you. Some people like belts. Some like water bottles strapped to their hand. One of the nice parts about running is there’s no formula. You find what works for you. But if you’re in the market for a good pack, I wholeheartedly recommend the Osprey Rev 1.5L.
*Disclaimer: I wasn’t paid to write this review. All opinions are my own.
My life’s been all over the place recently, so in similar vein, this post is gonna have a little bit of everything.
I’m still dealing with some foot issues, so two Fridays ago, I went and got a foot massage. Whew, let me tell you, that was great! They soaked my feet in hot water, massaged kinks out of them I didn’t even know were there, and then wrapped my feet in a hot compress. Complete the atmosphere with a lush chair, a chandelier that looks like water droplets, a fountain, light music piping into the room, and warm tea and you’ve got perfection. I’m not sure if it helped my feet, but I know it helped my soul. Or should I say sole?
You know those moments where you feel like you have a glimpse into your future? I was on my way from the courthouse downtown, got the massage, and then was meeting a friend for dinner at Cafe Intermezzo. I had the feeling that I could see myself doing this in 10 years – just finishing a trial or a long day at the DA’s (District Attorney’s) office, and getting a massage to get the stress out of my body and the criminals out of my head. For that future when I’m a prosecutor….. I can’t wait!
That was two weekends ago. This past weekend I drove out to Athens for a NEDA (National Eating Disorders Awareness) Walk.
Eating disorders are a serious issue, not just the pet-issue of girls who are insecure about their bodies. Eating disorders affect men and women, athletes and non-athletes. People believe their lies because they want to feel beautiful, because they want to feel righteous, because they want to not feel at all. They are among the deadliest psychiatric disorders and are not to be taken lightly.
I will probably rant about eating disorders again and often, but for right now, check out this great article by elite running Esther Atkins. It does a great job of explaining one side of eating disorders as it pertains to long distance runners.
In other news, I was able to go out to sushi with a friend last week. Sometimes in the law school we all get caught up with our to-do lists that we don’t stop to assess how we’re doing as human beings. It was a good time to re-center and to care for each other…… and to use strips of wood to eat raw fish!
Also, the weather is starting to get warm! Hooray!! I am so ready to give up the treadmill (though I have cultivated a love for it over the winter – it’s great for keeping you warm and on pace) and take to the sun and streets again. I love how, when the weather is nice, you can lace up your shoes and go out any time of day. You don’t have to plan your run for when it’s light enough out or warm enough out. You can just go, as easy as breathing.
Without further ado, it’s back to the law school and studying for me!