Running Like a Girl: My Unlikely Trek to 140.6 Miles

Running in the Forbidden City

Some rights reserved by pamhule


So here’s the ugly truth: I’ve never been good at running.

I’ve listened to friends talk about the “high” they get from running and I think, Really? The only high I get from running is the few seconds of vertical extent I achieve as I’m tripping over an uneven patch of sidewalk.

I love words and find my exhilaration in the printed page, but even the best piece of George Eliot or Nathaniel Hawthorne (my favorite) does little in the way of physical exercise, save the few seconds of elevated heart activity when it becomes clear who fathered Pearl in The Scarlet Letter.

(I know, right? Didn’t see that coming.)

A friend of mine is participating in the Ironman Boulder on August 3, 2014. He will swim, bike, and run 140.6 miles. Honestly, that is about as appealing to me as undergoing dental surgery without painkillers. But then there’s this–he’s completing this Ironman to benefit orphans.

And there is something that makes me vastly more uncomfortable than running: children without families.

Not a day goes by when I don’t look into the face of my oldest son and think of the thousands of children who still linger in orphanages around the world waiting to be chosen. I may be the worst runner on the planet, but I will run for them.

And so I am going to join Denny Gillen in his training for the Ironman. To be clear, my 140.6 miles will be run between now and August 3. (The chances of me reaching 140.6 miles in one day are akin to me skipping on the moon.) You can read more about the Virtual Ironman here. Better yet, join me.

For them.


  1. You’re right! Seeing 153 million orphans still without homes is far more uncomfortable than lacing up my running shoes and hitting the pavement. There’s nothing more rewarding that running for orphans! I’m Rebecca, the director of Team Orphans, and we are so blessed to have Denny join us! I’m the mother of three adopted children and I’m not a great runner either, but somehow God has me doing Ironman races too- for orphans. In fact, I didn’t start running until 7 years ago and I absolutely hated it for quite some time. Then I started to endure it. As parenting has gotten more challenging over the past 7 years, I’ve started to love my running time- not for the exercise, but for the respite time to be with God. I use that time to worship, pray, and soak in God’s love and mercy so I can be the Mom He needs me to be to my three hurting children. May your 140.6 miles be blessed “God time” over the next 5 months! I’d like to repost your blog on our Team Orphans blog tonight. I’ll give you credit and send them to your page!!!

Speak Your Mind