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Sunday, 08 June marks a major milestone – eighteen weeks until the Chicago Marathon.  This means 18 weeks of focused training to get me ready to run the marathon.  I remember when I reached this point when training for Grandma’s in Duluth, 18 weeks didn’t seem long enough to prepare – but it really works.

However I am not where I would ideally like to be.  I would like to have more conditioning and distance under my belt before the 18 week countdown begins and I have a shin splint type injury. 

But this week of injury has given me time to reflect on why I like to run – it gives me time to pray and spend time reflecting on what God is teaching me.  Believe me I have had plenty of prayer requests coming through email.  Things like D and L’s infant son born with a heart defect, K’s daughter had an algebra final and was struggling with test anxiety, plus getting ready for a ministry trip to Mississippi.  This morning as I walked to stretch out some muscles, I prayed and had a great time with God. 

Now as I turn the corner from pre- training and conditioning to focused training, I also need to remember to pray as I train.   Turning this corner also means that I will be cutting my running days from 5 or 6 to 3. This just helps to lessen the pounding that my body takes.  The longer distances take a toll on the body.  But during those three days, I will get my hill work and speed work in during those runs – combining some things to make it work.  I will also continue doing the weightlifting and strengthening work – 2 days per week.  Once I am injury free – I will go back to running 3-4 days per week.   I will be wrapping the ankle to get a bit more support as I move into this next phase – but I am ready to get serious.

Eighteen weeks and Counting!