Saturday, November 22, 2014

On Half Marathons and the Potentate of Time

Today: John Lynch Bridge, Piscataway, NJ
This morning, in subfreezing temperatures, my husband and I completed eight miles of walking, punctuated by tenth-of-a-mile runs. Tonight, after our two-hour naps, I went to 5 p.m. Mass at our parish, not remembering until I showed up that this Sunday is the Feast of Christ the King.

July: Canal Walk, Indianapolis
Since early summer, we've been training to walk a half marathon in San Antonio, Texas. I am sharing here photos I've taken with my iPhone of walks in Vermont, Indiana, Massachusetts, and New York, as well as in our home state of New Jersey. Greg and I will be walking with friends, a couple we met in Raleigh, North Carolina more than two decades ago. The months have brought me more physical strength and helped me to endure some nearly unbearable loss. 

July: Country Road, Chester, Vermont

August: Green Hill Park, Worcester, Mass.

No matter how we walk in Texas, there will always be more goals to set. Saint Augustine says it best: Our hearts are restless until they rest in You.

A teacher colleague, a mother of three, runs marathons. In the hallways between classes, we've been trading stories about training. She told me whenever she is about to run the race, she tells herself this  will be the last one, And then, once the race is through, she realizes she wants to run again. She said it's like being pregnant; the thought that one cannot bear to be pregnant again. And then the baby comes and the joy outweighs the physical discomforts of pregnancy and childbirth. She completed the New York Marathon on Nov. 1, telling herself  the night before that this would be her last. And now she plans to run again.

July: Belt Parkway Promenade: Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

I'm not so sure I would walk another half marathon. The training has taken many, many hours. Then again, I am  planning to run a 5K in February at a park across the river from our home.

October: Manasquan Reservoir, Howell, New Jersey

This all leads me to Christ the King, and why it felt so fitting to celebrate this feast day after our final run before the half marathon. The words of one of the hymns we sang settled into my soul.

 "Crown Him the Lord of years, the Potentate of time,

Creator of the rolling spheres, ineffably sublime.

One of our parish priests, Father Jeff Calia, C.O. pointed out in his homily that Christ is king for sure, but a king who rules not through coercion but by giving us free will.

We  run to Him.

August: Mianus River Gorge, Bedford, New York

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