Yes, one and a half months ago I ran my first 5K. That was huge to me. But it cannot touch Saturday's feat. I completed a 1/2 marathon.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a bad back and knees. They also know that I signed up for this run back in December when I had not so much as run a 1/4 mile in two years. But Anita asked and I said yes.
Well, I honestly admit that I did not practice like I was supposed to for the race. I was either too cold, too late, or I was too tired, so I did not start practicing until February. I had my first 5K scheduled in March and had a big fall two days before the 3 mile run. But, I did it anyway and was fine. In fact I was proud of myself. I had run my first race. But the next day I was tingling and numb all over. I had to hang upside down on an inversion machine just to stop the pain and then lay on the floor for twenty minutes. I was a mess.
Over the course of the month, I was taking Motrin and/or Naproxin around the clock. I had all but stopped running and had told everyone that I would not be running in the race in June.
Before I knew it, it was June -- my girfriend arrived bringing along with her stories from her last few races of other women who were ill prepared but yet still tried. She also offered me other walk/run ideas. I listened. I heard. I thought about how much that race meant to me. It was a bucket list item. And on top of that, I loved seeing the pride on my husband’s face when he told others that I was going to attempt it. Needless to say, I easily took the bait (it did not help that the race cost me over 100 dollars). I was going to at least start. Since I had sore knees and a stiff neck, I told myself I would play it safe and run a mile, maybe even three, just to say I ran in it. I suited up -- pinned on my number and got in line with 3000 other overzealous people.
It was a wine country event so I figured I could run a mile or two and then go back and drown myself in my sorrows until my friend crossed the finish line.
I lined up, the gun went off and we ran.
I felt okay. I was listening to my body, and I heard nothing. But I listened to my head and was told to stop before I do hurt something. I thought about a little more and decided that I had to take care of myself because my family needed me. I would stop at the second mile marker.
That’s when a lady ran passed and got in front of me. Her shirt was not covered in endorsements, but a message instead: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13).
Whoa! Is that message for me, I thought. I continued to question my abilities, my sanity, and whether or not I should even be trying. But the message kept coming into my mind. I quickly realized that that message was absolutely for me.
I had been hurting so bad the week before that I was popping pain pills like candy. But that shirt was a sign to keep pressing on. Though I have herniated discs, bad knees, and a chronic achy back, I felt nothing that day. I took my time and was surrounded by the angels in the back: women half my height and double my width, men with limps, people way older than me both walking and running. How can you stop with them for inspiration? So I didn't.
I ran 11 of the 13 miles and walked two. And yes I finished the 1/2 Marathon. I eventually realized that it was not so I could gloat, but so I could stand as a testament to the power of the Lord. And I believe that I was allowed to do so to inspire someone else that if you believe and put your trust in the Lord, all things are possible!