It's been two years since I've run a half marathon. I took two years off to focus on finishing my graduate degree and taking care of my health. Sometimes you have to put your priorities in order and say "no" to some things. I decided in January to run another half marathon because it would be a great way to lose my holiday weight and get back in shape. It also causes you to depend heavily on your inner strength that is fueled by faith.
Pushing yourself to reach your goals is the most rewarding feeling.
|Ready to start the race!|
I went into this race knowing that I wanted to finish my personal best. I felt it could be accomplished with the help of a wonderful friend who agreed to be my pacer. She's a no nonsense kinda woman who wouldn't let me fall short of my goal. I wanted to push my body to perform better than it had in the past.
I've been fortunate to train in cool weather. My body was used to cool morning runs with low humidity. Yesterday's weather was very different from my training. Within the first 10 minutes I was sweating like crazy and fading fast in the high humidity. I needed the prayers of my friends and family. I felt way too hot at the start of the race and I couldn't fathom how I would finish 13.1 miles.
After a few miles, I no longer felt dizzy. I could feel the prayers of my friends and family. Mile 6 to 9, was great on the course. My body relaxed and I felt good. Then the clouds moved and the sun beamed....
It drained me. Mile 10 and 11 were probably my hardest along the journey. It's the part of the race when you have to tell your body we are doing this and you better not quit. You pray hard and try to breathe deep. By mile 12, my husband and son were in earshot distance and their energy fueled me. Just hearing them caused my eyes to well up with tears. By the last 1/2 mile, I only had 6 minutes to hit my goal of crossing the finish line in my record time. I could hear Donna yelling at me, "you've got to sprint!" I'm not a sprinter by any means but I gave it my all. Within minutes it was finished! I accomplished my goal!
Then the unexpected happened......
I couldn't breathe. I was trying so hard but it felt like there wasn't any air coming in. I was in tears. Part joy and part anguish. Fortunately the ambulance was right at the finish line and I found enough strength to walk over. After 15 minutes of oxygen, water and a banana, I felt a little better. I'm quite certain, sitting in the sun for 8 hours the day before during the track meet, was not the best for me. It drained my energy and I didn't realize it.
I'm thankful that I have the strength to train and complete a half marathon. God is so mighty in His ability to sustain us through the toughest of situations. It's unfortunate that some of us never give him a chance. (Posted by Renee)
Hebrews 12:1-3 (MSG)
Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!