Running The Race Of Life Like A Marathoner

May 25, 2017

Are you in the middle of running the biggest race of your life? Perhaps a course, which may have caught you off guard and calls for perseverance. Maybe not – but I have news for you – we all will find ourselves in unexpected trials at some point in our lives.

How we run the race of life will determine our success. 

In my last post – How to Run the Race When Life Gets Tough, I shared with you a tool that helps me when I am overwhelmed.

“Fix your eyes on Jesus and remember you just have to get to the next mile-marker.”

I was so intrigued by how much the mile marker mantra has helped me to get through overwhelming circumstances, and it made me somewhat curious as to how marathon runners make it to the end. So, I pursued reading and discovering about people that compete in tests of endurance.

I may not be a runner but let me tell you, one can learn a great deal from people that know how to go the distance.

SEVEN LIFE LESSONS LEARNED FROM A MARATHONER

1. COMMUNITY

We need to run the race of life with others. Can you imagine running a marathon all by yourself? Others will inspire you to keep going when weary, pick you up when you fall, and you will have the opportunity to do the same.

2. PERSPECTIVE

One needs to pull back every once in a while and see the big picture. Things that seem huge at the moment can once again seem manageable when we step back and see the entire picture.

I think that is why I love flying. As you pull up in the air, you begin to realize we are just a small part of a big world full of hurting people.

I do believe all pain has significance, should be acknowledged, and can’t be measured. Pain is pain!

However, I do think we can gain helpful insight by looking around. One can almost always find someone with more problems, more pain and less going for them. By seeing this, we may find ourselves reaching out to help or saying, “Well at least I don’t have those conditions so surely I can handle this.”

Equally important you can find someone down the road that may have it better off – this can fuel hope and inspire new goals for us to reach for.

3. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS

One must check their progress from time to time. It can serve as a reminder of how far you have come. Sometimes we can get so discouraged and bogged down by our situation we do not even notice we are making progress.

With mental health challenges and I am sure with many things the steps forward can appear so small we don’t mark our forward motion. When you take the time to add the steps together, they tell a different story.

Maybe you are not where you want to be but moving in that direction is a good thing, take the time to applaud your progress.

Of course, you wouldn’t want to get stuck just looking at where you have come from as this might create you to be stagnant.

One must …..

4. SET A GOAL AND FOCUS ON IT

A person must know what their destination is. Once you have the goal in mind, breaking it down into smaller goals like mile markers will be key if it is a race in life that requires perseverance.

Remember – keep your eye on the mile marker and remember you just have to get to the next one.

5. TRAIN AND PRACTICE

Marathoner’s train and practice for the race. You have to put in the hard work to reach the finish line.

So maybe you were thrown into the unexpected and unable to train. That is okay just start right where you are. You will make mistakes, but that will be alright – just keep practicing.

Be consistent in your training.

6. BELIEVE IT IS POSSIBLE

One must have faith they can reach the finish line. Every step forward should be a reminder that you are capable. You can do more than you ever thought possible.

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”Matthew 19:26

7. PACE YOURSELF

You don’t want to start too fast or too slow. You want to keep moving one-step at a time in a steady manner. Of course, along the way do not forget to REST and REFUEL.

Free Printable – Click the list

Running a marathon is a test of endurance, much like life. Fixing your eyes on Jesus and concentrating on the seven life lessons learned from marathoners will assist you in crossing the finish line. I have no doubt one can develop resilience and the tenacity to run the race set before them.

Are you running the race of your life like a marathoner?

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24 Comments

  1. Reply

    Brandi Raae

    Focus can be my biggest issue – there are too many goals, so I have a difficult time picking just one or two things to really put all of my effort into. I keep thinking, “When I’m an empty nester and no longer homeschooling . . . then I can focus!” 😉 Thanks for linking up your encouraging advice at the #LMMLinkup.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Brandi,

      I spent years thinking that. When I…….. I would do …… Guess what it wasn’t until I changed my ways did I start to embrace so much more out of life. Wish I could go back and recapture what I missed. Have a great weekend. Maree

  2. Reply

    Debbie Kitterman

    Maree – So, I love the analogy and the 7 lessons to learn from a marathon runner – but please oh please don’t ask me to run one. LOL – I detest running, even though I do it at CrossFit when it is assigned, even if I feel like it will kill me. Thank you for your insight here Blessings and thanks for linking up with #TuneInThursday last week – hope to see you tomorrow.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Debbie,

      I promise I won’t ask you to run if you don’t ask me. However, if you are doing CrossFit, I bet you could. Cross Fit is intense training. Thank you for hosting the linkup.
      Maree

  3. Reply

    jerushaagen

    I love this analogy, Maree! So many great lessons packed into this comparison. I especially love the mile-marker tip. I tend to get overwhelmed by looking too far ahead at what I see as the end goal, a destination that is dauntingly distant. I need to focus on those mile-makers, instead, so I can be encouraged along the way. Thanks for this post!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Thank you for stopping by and reading my post. I agree the mile-marker is my best help. Maree

  4. Reply

    rjbritton

    Love these lessons. I’m not a runner, but I’ve been there to cheer along others who have run marathons. I think it’s easier to run the marathon of life with others cheering us on.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      I agree it is easier running with others. I haven’t run a marathon either. I would love to try, well maybe a 5K might be the best place to start. I have a bad knee. Maree

  5. Reply

    Karen Del Tatto

    Great word picture to encourage us to run the race Jesus has laid before us with our eyes on the prize.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      I love that verse to keep our eyes on the prize. Thank you for stopping by. Hope you had a good Memorial Day.

  6. Reply

    Dawn

    A marathon is a great analogy to use when thinking about getting through the harder things in life. This is such an encouraging post. I did a half marathon once and I was surprised at how easy it felt after training. The difference was I trained by myself but when I raced, there were lots of people around me. I gained so much energy from having them around. Life can be like that, too. Visiting from #momentsofhope

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Dawn – I have heard that one can run further than they ever thought when surrounded by people. I have never run a marathon or anything close. I think I would love it. Yes, I agree life sounds a lot like that. Thank you for stopping by. Maree

  7. Reply

    Jill

    Hi Maree-Great post and tips on running our races. I particularly liked the perspective & pacing points. So often we get bogged down in our own race, we miss looking at the big picture & realizing it’s a marathon, not a sprint. I also just finished a blog series on running our race and am a nurse focused on memory wellness. So happy to have found you at #FreshMarketFriday!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Jill,
      Thank you for stopping and reading. I can’t wait to read what you wrote on running the race. You are so right about getting bogged down in our race. I am feeling a little bit of that this morning and do need to get some perspective. Maree

  8. Reply

    Betsy Cruz

    These are great tips, Maree. I like the one about setting some goals and then focusing on them! (Not doing the second part is where I often fail!)

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Yes, I agree the second part is tricky but oh so necessary. Thank you for stopping by and reading. Hope you have a great weekend. Maree

  9. Reply

    Gretchen Fleming

    Love this Maree! You really lay it out there on how to keep moving forward when all we may feel like doing is giving up. You actually give the steps to take and they are so practical:) I especially liked the comparison with endurance running. Wise words here that I’m happy to share👌

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Gretchen, I feel so honored that you found my words wise. Thank you for sharing. Maree

  10. Reply

    Edith

    Hi Maree! This post is insightful. I could write another post just responding to this but let me talk about running with others. I visited a church once where the pastor, in his sermon, cautioned us against being lone-range Christians. We need the support and encouragement of one another. We also need brethren to help keep us accountable. If we feel the race is just us and God, we’re mistaken and may run into trouble along the way. How many have started well but veered into error or backslid because they were feeling self-sufficient? Thanks for sharing.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Edith, I would love it if you wrote a response post. Please email me a copy if you do. I agree we should not be running alone we need community. I know I am guilty of veering off to the side when feeling self-sufficient. I need my people to point me back to GOD. Maree

  11. Reply

    Sarah Koontz (@sarahekoontz)

    Love the advice to pace yourself, so important!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Sarah – Thank you! Someone just sent me one of your posts. Looking forward to reading it. Maree

  12. Reply

    Abby

    I love this perspective. It’s so easy to try to do everything all at once and feel overwhelmed. These steps help me put everything in balance. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Abby,

      My bent is to do everything all at once. I used to be a master multi-tasker until I was forced due to circumstances to do one thing at a time. I learned through trial and error and a little studying that doing things one thing at a time is more efficient. I still find it challenging but oh so rewarding.

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