I don’t usually give away my running secrets but today I make an exception. You will want to take good notes here. When I run a 10K or even when I go to the mailbox, my strategy is simple. I walk the hills fast and I run the level parts. When you combine my fast walking pace and my running pace (which are not easy to separate by the way), it adds up to a nice finish. Nice is an easy way of saying, “no ambulance necessary”.
Most distance races are a combination of hills, valleys and in-between places. The in-between places are places in every race where the course is fairly flat and that makes running a little easier. During those times, you can accelerate a little more. On the downhill places, you can’t really get moving. In fact, the downhills may even make you slow down slightly so you don’t hurt yourself. The hills, however, are a different story. They hurt! On the Peachtree Road Race, they even call one hill “Cardiac Hill”. I’ll let you conclude why they call it that.
I’ve lived long enough to realize that even life has a few “Cardiac Hills”. Life has some places where the climb hurts and will almost kill you. In those times, you wonder if you will ever make it to the finish line. In my opinion, those are the times it is okay to walk if necessary. In fact, you might even need to be carried up a few hills.
Being a disciple is not without some very difficult hills to climb. There are places in every disciple’s journey where the road gets hard. We all have physical, financial, relational, vocational, and even spiritual challenges that suck the life out of us at times. When these places come, it is okay to walk. It won’t be long till the road will flatten out again and you can pick up the pace again.
One last thought about hills, hills can hurt but they also help. Running hills actually makes you stronger. Some runners even run up hills as a strategic part of their development as a runner. What a great reminder to embrace the hills rather than curse them! Impact Ministries is committed to helping you run the race as a disciple of Christ. Check out more at impactdisciples.com.