J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

Rest Stop – Marathon Training Musings

gump running 2I have slightly over a month to go before I run the Thunder Road Marathon in Charlotte.  The training is at the point where I have one big run left (20 miles two weeks from today) and then the mileage backs off so the body can heal before the race.  I feel good, and after today’s run, I think my body is ready for 26.2.


I’m still a novice runner, so I’m constantly logging data points about myself throughout the process.  I know what to do to be ready for a run, and I know what I can do on days I haven’t prepared well.  I also know that there is no substitute for drinking water all day long.


The other day someone asked me why I was running.  There are the normal answers like, “It seemed fun,” or “I want to get one in before I turn 40,” but I think the biggest reason is the sense of accomplishment.


In the ministry, rarely is anything ever completely done.  Rarely can a pastor say, “Well, this is accomplished,” and walk away never having to return.  The work of the Kingdom is always about process and change.   Those aren’t bad things, but it can leave one with a sense that nothing is ever achieved.  On bad days, it can feel helpless and frustrating.


Training for the marathon gives me that sense of finality.   There are markers along the way in terms of achieving distance and time.  The marathon itself will be an accomplishment.  If I finish, I can say I did it and it is done.  Mentally, those are healthy things for me as I live and work in a sea of process and change.

This article also appears at the Raleigh Examiner.

November 7, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,


  1. Yes, it is the sense of accomplishment. The thrill of doing something you, at one time, didnt think was possible. Crossing that line is so powerful!!! I am ALWAYS brought to tears!!!!

    Comment by karla | November 7, 2009 | Reply

  2. Thank you. I’m a fan of Thunder Road and made a blog of this movie here : http://thunderroadmovie.blogspot.com/

    Comment by bestsport | November 14, 2009 | Reply

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