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26.2: THE FINISH

June 7, 2010Read: Corinthians 9 "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." --1 Corinthians 9:24

Twenty-six miles. Well, 26.2 to be exact. Driving back from San Diego, Loretta checked the online results for her first marathon. The four hours and 14 minutes it took her to run a little over 26 miles represented the culmination of countless days and weeks of preparation and sacrifice. And for a non-runner like her husband, it represented four hours and 14 minutes of pride and excitement.

Finding my perfect place on the course, I hunkered down. With camera in hand, I anxiously awaited the love of my life to turn the corner and head for home. And as I waited, I took some notes, some of which I'll share with you this week. It just so happens that a marathon is to a fitness writer what a farmer's market is to a chef; plenty of ingredients from which to choose.

Oh, and yes, Loretta turned the corner indeed. Just like I knew she would. With a flushed face, she put one foot in front of the other and ran right to me. Well, she finished the race (of course), but I took her home. All things being equal, somehow I think God understands the marathon.

--J.P.

THE FIRST MARATHON The name Marathon comes from the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger. The legend states that he was sent from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon (in which he had just fought), which took place in August or September, 490 BC. It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assembly, exclaiming “We have won!” before collapsing and dying.

(Source: Wikipedia)

PRAYFIT WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: 26.2

You workout of the day is to run, bike, walk or swim for at least 26.2 minutes. Go as fast as you can and log your distance, either visually or by using a site like Map My Run (www.mapmyrun.com). Each day this week, run the same amount of time but increase the distance. More work in the same amount of time will get you great results, whether you're looking to improve cardiovascular fitness, endurance or just shed a few pounds.