This morning I ran 8 miles outside. It was not extremely cold, right around 32 degrees, and the wind was mild. I ran the hills in my neighborhood – which made the run seem like I was in the tundra, blowing winds, and not a Peppermint Patty in sight. I was satisfied with my pace and even though I hit the hills, I still enjoyed the run. It felt cold and I hurt, but I know the pain is a sign I need to get stronger and the hills are helping me achieve it. After my experience in my last marathon, I have decided I want to keep my strength up on the hills regardless of the expected terrain of the race I will be running next. Speaking of strengthening, I start my strength training plan this week. I should have started last week but my schedule was a bit hectic. Now I have no excuse.
This afternoon I had a great treat. A friend and I went to see Les Miserables. The Broadway musical is by far my favorite, I have had the soundtrack for over twenty years, and the movie did the musical justice. Who knew Russell Crow could sing so well? Anne Hathaway did a wonderful job singing as well. Even though I saw the musical three times and I have listened to the soundtrack countless times, I still cried in the movie. It is a wonderful story that takes oppression and shows redemption and grace. For those familiar with the characters, I am sure we all would want to live lives that turn out as Cosette and Marius’ did, however I relate more to Fantine and Eponine. They both lived challenging lives that did not turn out anywhere close to their expectations. Like so much in life, we so rarely live the storybook life we hope as children. But there is redemption. If you are not familiar with the plot, go see the movie! It is worth every dime spent.
Training brings challenges – running hills, climbing even worse hills on the bike, swimming in rough waters. But the experiences make us stronger. My races sometimes turn out better than I could have imagined. As I have shared, several also ended far worse than I hoped. Each day brings a new dawn. As Les Miserables shares, there is grace and redemption. The chorus of the finale begins:
do you hear the people sing
Lost in the valley of the night?
It is the music of a people
who are climbing to the light.
For the wretched of the earth
there is a flame that never dies.
Even the darkest night will end
and the sun will rise.
So I will tackle the hills – and climb to the light.