Monday, April 9, 2007

Easter/The End of Peak Mileage

Today's mileage: 7 miles

My family had a great Easter weekend. First, it is likely the most important holy day for Christians. My friend, Rachel, sent me this image (see left, "Christ's Descent into Hades"), and I have been thinking about it all week. I love the imagery of Jesus standing on the cross to elevate himself as he pulls Adam and Eve (and us) out of the grave. Christ is raised to power by the very instrument that put him to death. He conquers by sacrifice; he lives by dying. Our hope ultimately lies in the Resurrection. Christ is risen; he is risen, indeed.

Secondly, my peak training weeks for the marathon are behind me. This past Saturday was the last of my 20+ mile training runs for the Derby Marathon on April 28th. I am happy to report that I came through the peak training weeks relatively unscathed. I am feeling strong as I head into the taper. Barring a fluke injury or illness, I should be well-trained, rested, and healthy for April 28. It is 18 days and 12 hours until race time.

Now, in contemplating both Easter and running, it is fitting that my last and longest run (23 miles on Saturday) came on the last day of Lent. The long, arduous training runs are over, as is Lent. The preparation and suffering have come to an end, and the celebration has begun. It will be easier runs, warmer weather, and pasta dinners heading into race day. Such should be this life. No matter what setbacks, injuries, or challenges life may bring, the preparation and suffering are, at least in one sense, complete. Living that out in how we treat ourselves and others is the good stuff of life.

Christ is risen; he is risen, indeed.

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