I have never been an athlete. Ever. So having picked up running and learning to trust the training…it has been challenging to say the least.

I choose to blame my parents who never signed me up for any extracurricular activities, but that is a whole other discussion!

I remember in high school, I decided to join my friends for fun and give the volleyball team tryouts a whirl. While doing one of the drills, the coach – Mr. London (I will never forget that name) – came over to me and kindly suggested that I leave the tryout.

Message received, loud and clear.

Fast-forward a few years to when I was 18 and I came home from a year spent in Europe that gave me the gift of 50 extra pounds.

I decided running was my best option to lose the weight. I’m sure I was going so slow that people driving by were thinking, “Seriously, why doesn’t she just walk?” but I kept it up.

Eventually, 10 years later I decided to give a half marathon a whirl but, hopefully, Mr. London wouldn’t be there to ask me to get off the course.

I have since completed over 10 halfs and five full marathons.

At first, it was just about finishing and I didn’t give a second thought as to what time I completed it in but then a few years ago, I started running with someone who pushed me to go faster. I realized I was capable of more than I thought.

I am a part of a running club that meets three times a week and the age range is from teenagers all the way up to people in their 70s. The trainer, Benny, gives us our training schedule that we are to follow for the 3 months leading up to our next running challenge.

A few years ago he gave me a plan for my next marathon and it just had distances on it but no pace to stick to. Thinking I was suddenly Olympic quality, I would push myself to the brink on my long runs.

Eventually, a long run is between 22-30 kilometers. I would force myself to run a faster pace than I could normally sustain and I would make it. BUT the next Saturday, I would totally bonk on my long run and hardly be able to finish.

It got to the point where I couldn’t sleep the night before my long runs because I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to do it. I beat myself up over this but continued with this winning strategy. The final product was that, on race day, I nearly died.

After one particular death, I talked it over with Benny and he said I was doing it all wrong.  To have a fast race time does not mean you have to run fast on all of your training runs.  In fact, you need to run SLOWER on your long runs so you don’t exhaust your legs. 

By the time I would get to race day, my legs were shot and couldn’t perform.  So for my next training plan, he gave me distances but he also told me what pace to run each distance. 

After the first few weeks, I panicked.  He had me going slower on the long runs and when I would finish I would feel like I could have done it way faster.  I was getting frustrated that I was setting myself up for failure. 

Again, I went to talk it over with Benny and he said to me:

trust the training


Trust that the pace he was setting would get me to my goal. 
Trust that the distances he was giving were enough to get me across the finish line. 
Trust that rest days were good for me and necessary for me to complete the training and the race. 


For the next two months when I was on my runs, I would diligently keep my eye on my pace and force myself to slow down to the time he had assigned. 

As a side note, this actually made running more enjoyable because I wasn’t gasping for air and going into cardiac arrest on every run!

I was actually able to relax into it and enjoy it. I remember that I even was able to take in the sunrise while I ran; the quiet of an early Saturday morning.  

Race day took place in Philadelphia and I was so nervous!  But, when I look back on that day, it was amazing. 

I remember grinning from ear to ear as the start gun went off; I enjoyed listening to conversations of runners around me; I noticed the pebble stone roads that we ran on and the beautiful old buildings. 

Around 35k I was able to smile and laugh as a rapper rapped the ‘Fresh Prince of Belaire’ song to the runners as we ran by him.  At that point, there should be very little laughter but I soaked it up.  And all this time?  I was running the fastest pace I’d ever run for a marathon. 

In fact, I beat my best time by almost 30 minutes!!!!!!  It was crazy and I was so pumped.  I remember going home and seeing Benny – I hugged him and said, “You were right.  Trust the training.”  

If I close my eyes and listen really hard, I think I can hear God saying “Trust the training.”

 Life is a race and there is no finish line until I take my last breath.  That’s a long race. 

So often I handle a situation well and then think I can plow through other troubles now because I think I’m so incredibly capable.  Other times, I lie awake in bed because I don’t think I can do the task He has scheduled for me. 

What if I can’t keep pace?  What if I can’t do the distance?  What if I completely bonk?  My life gets ruined by just the FEAR of what I don’t think I will be able to do.  Just the fear! Not even reality!  

I was terrified when I was pregnant with Summer. I have major clinical depression and was petrified that I would get post partum or that I would be such a depressed mother that I couldn’t care for my child. 

Even worse, what if she has depression? That I gave her??? I would beg God to end the pregnancy and I would make stupid choices to try to cause a miscarriage.  That’s how scared I was. 

I couldn’t hear God whispering “Trust the training.” 

The training had been all my battles with depression leading up to that pregnancy; battles I begged for God to remove from my life.  I’m thankful He didn’t because they strengthened me and trained me to handle depression as a mom. 

And that depression race still isn’t over…again, I don’t think it will be until I take my last breath.  But, even now, I think God keeps whispering, “Trust the training.”  Each battle makes me stronger for the next one.  

trust the training

I’m often scared of how my depression will be if I lose one of my parents, or Ted, or God forbid, one of my children. But, as terrible as that sounds, these battles will prepare me for that day, should it come. I will be able to look back and see how God got me through it other times.

It will still hurt and be devastating, but the training I’ve been through will get me through it. But I have to trust the training that I’m doing right now.

I could give you more examples of training that God has been or is doing in my life but maybe let’s hear from you.

Are you in training right now? What training have you had? How did training help you through a tough situation? Is God whispering to you to trust the training? Can you?

As hard as it is, we can trust Him – He knows what we are capable of with Him. He knows what pace is too fast and pushes us too hard. But He also knows what we don’t need to lose sleep over the night before because we think we can’t do it.

We need to trust that the pace He is setting will get us to our goal.

We need to trust that the distances He is giving are enough to get us across the finish line.

We need to trust that rest days were good for us and necessary for us to complete the training and the race.

We need to trust Him.


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