Running is like Grief

I’m still getting that “age old” question, “how are you”. Its a question people ask the grieving that is as old as the dawn of time. Mostly I now just tell people that I’m fine because I am fine. Some days I have downright amazing days, and other times its just so sad to think that new memories won’t be made with that part of my life.

Above all though this journey could be compared to running. Since 1999 I have been a runner. I began running over the winter that year to get prepared for boot-camp the following year, and started running three miles at a time a few times a week. I was hooked.

While I was in the Navy I became more serious about running, and even ran my first marathon in 2002 and countless half marathons after that. (In fact my very first official race was the marathon! Go big or go home right?)

After a particularly difficult 10 mile race last summer I decided I was going to hang up my laces for a while and took an 11 month hard break from running. I ran five miles on National Running day this year on June 4th which was nearly unbearable, and then began running more regularly just last week. Just two and three miles at a time, a few times each week.

I’m so out of shape. Running just two miles at a 10 minute pace is grueling but like life I just have to put one foot in front of another and continue. Like running I wake up, get dressed, go to work, and try to be a normal and happy person, and it mostly works.

I take each day, day-by-day- each hour by hour, and each moment by moment, just like I take each marathon by half marathon, half marathon by mile, and mile by step. My friend Hannah blogs over at Feet Move Forward and I think she’s really on to something. You just have to move forward.

Do I want to lay in bed all day and wallow in despair? Yes. But I have my husband counting on me, my daughter counting on me, my animals (all 9) counting on me, and my work counting on me. You just move. Move forward. It doesn’t matter how much that day, just move.

I’ve been daydreaming lately of running goals I have over the next year… – as this metaphor continues, and like my blog’s namesake says, “Feet May Fail” some of these daydreams might fail. My day might fail me, and the hour or minute might fail me, but I have to try something. Go out where feet may fail, and not be afraid to get out of the boat.

I think 2015 is going to be a spectacular come back year for me. I don’t want to give too much away, but stay tuned throughout my journey as I use running as a healing outlet for me to cope with this grief.

One block… one mile… one half marathon, and one marathon at a time!

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Hebrews 12:1 And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

9 thoughts on “Running is like Grief

  1. I am so amazed by you. You show your fears and not ashamed of your tears.
    If you ever need company or a conversational run, I am available for you. You are thought about often.


    • I love this take on grief! I too was a runner before I had foot surgery. It’s so easy
      to get out of shape both physically and spiritually. We just let other things fill our
      time and pretty soon we are “out of shape” in all areas. It’s a reminder that we
      all have to strive daily, (hourly) to keep our eyes on Jesus. And not to fill our time
      with non productive thoughts, tasks! But we need each other to do that and God
      knows that. So you have all of your family, friends and your dad (just in a different
      realm) loving you and praying for you. I too have lost both parents, and four siblings.
      There will always be a void in gatherings and in my heart, but somehow God has
      given me the grace to go forward in joy to appreciate what people and gifts I do have
      with me. (like I never did before) That in itself is a gift. And before you know it,
      in a blink of an eye we will all be reunited again with all our loved ones in HIs very
      presence. But until then we pray, and sojourn together. Kathy Gatto


      • You’re exactly right Kathy! Just like running – if we let our spiritual muscles go without exercise we can get out of shape so easily in that area of our life to! How wonderful and comforting to know that Jesus is with me every step of this journey!


  2. I’m so there with you right now. It is truly a day by day process and like you, I started running as well to help me escape from “reality” of being daughters without fathers. At times I find it hard to even get out of bed but we have to because people our families need us. I think we need to get together for a run very soon. Hugs to you my friend!


    • Thank you Carrie! For me – running gives me a chance to remind me that I am still alive, and I am still here with a purpose. I’m not sure what that is yet, but for now I’m spreading Gods love around. Hugs to you as well, and a run together sounds so lovely!


    • Thanks Molly! I’m going into it with arms wide open, and we’ll see what comes my way! I’m running smart so far, which is pretty big for me. I’m working on consistency, and so far its working! Having my races further away allows me to run and train the right way! (which I’ve never really done). Instead of hating or dreading my run, I look forward to it, as a time to breath, feel physically what I feel emotionally, and spend time in meditation with God. Thanks for following my blog and leaving some words of encouragement!


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