Monday, July 28, 2008

The Dirty Feet Group

Mike, Jackie, Me, Robin, and Chris
On Saturday, I had the opportunity to do one of my most favorite things! As my blog name implies, I am a runner and have been for a long time. It's part of who I am. Running helps me to stay sane! While I'm out running, I have lengthy conversations with God--until I get distracted by a dog or snake or a thought randomly pops in my head! It's easier to stay focused on Him when I'm listening to praise music on my Ipod (at a very low volume as so to hear cars, people, etc.) or when I'm chatting with a fellow runner about Him.

The majority of runners stick to roads in neighborhoods or streets in town--familiar territory. Last year, some wonderful and daring running buddies and I caught onto something different--trail running. Oh, do I have some stories to share!! This running on trails has become something precious to us. It's an opportunity to be in nature enjoying God's creation. We'll be running down a trail and suddenly stop and just listen. You can only hear the sound of your breathing! Awesome! No cars or people!! Oh, I still run the roads, but I am most delighted to be on a trail!

Saturday(don't you just love how it took two paragraphs for me to get back to the original thought?), Robin, Jackie, Scott, Mike, Chris, and I headed up to our local state park to run the trails. It was HOT and HUMID to say the least!! Chris ran trails for the first time in his life! You rock, Chris! We planned on running two loops. After the first loop, we rehydrated and ate salty snacks. We took off again for loop number 2. That's when I really started feeling the effects of the weather. Many moons ago, like in high school, I suffered from heat exhaustion. Once that happens, you're always at a risk. It is not fun! We began our climb and were doing well until cramps in my feet and calves set in--oh, my word! I could not walk much less run! We made it to a stream where we splashed the refreshing water all over us. I wear a bandanna-a do rag-to keep my head cooler because I saturate it in water. I do take precautions!! We kept climbing. My friends were wonderful! They kept asking how I was doing and if we needed to stop. I had to stop several times to catch my breath. This is the type of camaraderie that you experience on a trail run. You're out there in the middle of no where! You have to depend on each other. Chris and I had been talking about our faith and how God sees the big picture even if we do not. As I was struggling with the pain of the cramps, I finally focused on God. I needed a verse that was hidden in my heart to get my mind off of the discomfort. And...God is sooo good!! Phil. 4: 13, "I can do everything through Him that gives me strength." popped into my sweaty head! I knew with that strength from Him that I could make it to the top of the mountain. I just kept repeating that scripture over and over.

God is so faithful. He desires to be so intimate with us that we will crave His Word and hang onto it as our lifeline. I needed that reminder on Saturday's run. How do you satisfy that spiritual hunger in your life?

To conclude the running story: I made new friends who drove me down to the bottom of the mountain! I left a puddle of sweat in their nice SUV!! I was put out that I didn't complete the distance I had hoped for, but, hey, there will be other days! When the rest of the group finished, we snacked on delicious watermelon (thanks, Robin!) We were absolutely filthy from the dirt and sweat. When we took off our trail shoes and socks, we were just nasty! So, Mike dubbed our group "The Dirty Feet Group." I look forward to more time on the trails with this group of dedicated runners and another nugget of Truth in my heart.



Leebird said...

I LOVE your new blog design!!! I want one! Hey...that blog was the best one you've ever posted (in my opinion).

I love you sister! First day of school went great except for getting blisters on both feet. Still haven't walked...please pray for God to show me when to fit it in...I know I need to do it. I want to do it even. I just can't figure out when to possibly fit it into my schedule. I honestly don't have anything to quit.

Joyful said...

Susan - LOVE your new blog design. Kelley did another amazing job!!!! Isn't she the best!!!

Way to go with your running...and running to the Truth for encouragement and perseverance. Please be careful and take care. Be wise (as my mother would say!).

Love ya,

Yolanda said...

God is our!

The new look is simply beautiful!


Paula (SweetPea) said...

I love your new look but I've already told you that. Your "Susan" label is a little scrunched today though. You had asked me yesterday on my blog so I thought I'd tell you about this.

I admire your running. There are so many women who talk about running and I feel an itching to maybe try to start it.

Do you run in the winter with the snow?

Gotta Run said...

I LOVE YOUR NEW BLOG!!! The look is SO YOU :)

The trails were perfect and I am glad you are ok. I love how driven you were to want to finish but smarter to know when to stop.

I will miss ya this weekend but have fun at your conference.

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Susan, here is my email address. I'm not sure why you couldn't get it by hitting the "email me" link or clicking on "email" on my profile page.

It is

Email me so I can get your email address. I just tried sending it again to the one you left in my comment and it came back again. failed.

Love ya,

On Purpose said...

Your blog looks so GREAT!

Hey I am celebrating over on my blog today and you are invited!

Pinkshoelady said...

Hi Susan,
Yes, I know where Heath Springs is! Do you still live there?

I loved your blog! I can see why you were picked by On Purpose!

I could picture the run and each stop. I use to love hicking trails. I lived in Co. for a couple years and loved hicking those mountains.

I would love to meet Lynn from Rock Hill. If you could pass my blog onto her or hers onto me I would be grateful.

If you still live in the area then I'd like to meet you too. I lived in Lancaster for four years so I know that area well.

Was the State Park Andrew Jackson?

Keep giving God the glory and I'll be back soon.

Pamela R.

Lysa TerKeurst said...

Great running post. I was thinking this morning while running that running is never easy. I've never gotten to a place where I think, while running, "Whew... this sure is a breeze."

Each step is a commitment. Each step is a choice. Each step is a pressing through and pressing on process.

And a sweaty on at that. Keep going sister!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Great new look!

I imagine we all carry a little dirt on us as we continue to press on to take hold of our God! I, too, love to run, but alas, I keep it slow and steady and flat.


Paula (SweetPea) said...

do you have an alternate email? Are you having trouble with other people sending you email? I just sent you a big long one and it came back and simply said failed.
All I did was hit reply to the one you sent me. So, I know the address is correct.

A few months ago my mom and I had a similar problem and we both have hotmail. I could send to her but she couldn't send to me.

Just know that I've replied and I'll continue to try to send it. Maybe there's a skip in the cyberspace wire.

I'll keep trying to send it. If you have an alternate email, just email me with that address.


andi said...

Nothing is worse than cramps while running, except shin splints, or maybe in-grown toenails. No, really cramps are terrible!:) I used to run, a lot, can't do it now do to my silly knees. I love the blog design! So fun!!!! I love the name "Dirty Feet!" Sounds like a great time! How many miles do you think you guys did? I can't imagine in this heat!!!!
You GO GIRL!!!

On Purpose said...

Hey Susan I recently finished The Shack and am chomping at the bit to twirl it around with someone?!?!

Let me know what you think

Rob Dempsey said...

Hey Runner Mom - Remeber me??????
Good to see the blogging world has class