As I posted yesterday, at the last minute
- Really God?
- You've GOT to be kidding me!
- I didn't train for a 20k!
- I don't know if I can finish a 20k!
- What if I fail?
- It might really hurt my ego if I start and can't finish.
- What if I hurt myself?
Two things I've said about running before:
- Running is 90% mental.
- You don't just get up one morning without training and run a long distance race.
So, I got up this morning after a great night sleep to get ready. I went into panic mode when I realized if I wore my Camelbak people wouldn't be able to see the verse on the back of my shirt. This was very important to me, so I had to decide - do I ditch the Camelbak and not have water available to me when I want it? No - at 3:45 a.m. I got creative. I cut up one of my Team 413 shirts and pinned it to my Camelbak. Problem solved!
So, my friend Wendy and I headed down to Des Moines at about 4:30 (yes, it's a little sick that I got up earlier on my day off than I do during the work week.) It was an absolutely beautiful morning. Wendy and I took some pics...
|Me by the sign at the beginning of the bridge.|
|Our traditional "self-portrait"|
|It was a beautiful view from the bridge. If you look close, squint your eyes, you can see Downtown Des Moines. It sure seemed like it was an awful long way at this point.|
Looking at Downtown from here, I was still thinking, I can do this. I started out and the first couple of miles went really well, I walked, jogged - my pace was OK and I was feeling good. LOTS and LOTS of people were passing me - I got a couple of pats on the shoulder or arm and thumbs up in reference to the verse on my back... I even got an "Amen" from one man. Even though I was being passed by what seemed like everyone, I was feeling good - I knew the more people that passed me that more people saw the verse.
Then came mile three. I was hurting by this point - not jogging nearly as much, walking as fast as my short legs could carry me. I hit the 3 mile post and thought, OK - do that 4 more times and you're done. I kept at it... jogging as much as I could, got to mile 4 and started wondering if I could finish. I was praising God, listening to my music, praying for random people I saw as they were going past me, praying for my friends who I knew were running and others who I knew were hurting or dealing with tough stuff today. As I approached the mile 5 marker there was a van with Dam to Dam volunteers taking down the mile marker posts. At this point I thought, "I could maybe keep going, but I'm going to be out here all alone because my pace is so slow - they are closing down the course ahead of me." I jogged as much as I could to mile 5 trying to see if I could get my pace back and catch some of those who passed me who were walking.
Nope - my body wasn't having any part of that. So, I flagged down a nice lady Sheriff and she radioed for the "Sag Wagon". She drove me to where they were sitting just past the bridge going over the interstate. When I got in her car I looked at my Garmin and saw I had walked/jogged 5.25 miles. And if you added what we had to walk to get to the start line I probably really had done 5.5 miles by that point. That wasn't anything to be ashamed about. I have had a hard time getting back into the groove and it was what it was.
I went into this race with a whole different mentality than any other race:
- I wasn't trained for it.
- I might not finish.
- It wasn't about what I could do.
- It was about me being obedient.
- It was about me trusting God had a plan.
- It was about knowing there was a bigger picture.
I knew I might never know what purpose God had for me out there. I was sitting in the van, texting friends, updating Facebook to let people know how I did (and that I was alive). I sat there thinking about the day. I realized...
- I may never know what God's purpose was for me out here today.
- I am completely OK with that.
- I know I was obedient to do what He asked me to do.
- I listened when He said it was time to be done.
- I must trust Him completely with whatever He meant to accomplish through me today.
A couple miles down the road we picked up another runner who couldn't finished. When she got in I tried to encourage her as I could tell she was pretty dejected. A few miles later a gentleman got in who couldn't go on - he was visibly upset and hurting. The driver asked him after a while if he was OK and he said he was hungry. I offered him the granola bar I had with me that I hadn't eaten and didn't need. He very willingly took it. We picked up the last runner at about mile 10... I couldn't help but think if I had made it that far I don't know if I could have quit. She had a very good attitude about it and said she had met what her goal was. I appreciated her attitude and good spirit. After they dropped us off I thought, "Hmm... maybe the whole reason I stopped when I did was to encourage the others who couldn't finish and to give him my granola bar."
Honestly - I don't know and my never know how God may have used me out there today. But, one thing I do know - He changed me through this race. He made me realize that as much as I love my running - it isn't about me. Yes, it's great for my health and I enjoy it, but in the end... there is a bigger picture and it all boils down to Psalm 115:1
No matter what race I run, no matter what I do in life - GOD'S GLORY is my purpose. When it is all said and done I want my life to matter for the Kingdom. No matter how many more races I run, no matter if I finish strong or have another DNF (that's runner talk for "Did Not Finish), whatever I do for my work, how I treat people, what kind of neighbor I am, what kind of friend I am - it should all be to honor and glorify the Lord. It's not about me. Something major changed in me from Friday morning to when I stopped the race this morning. I kind of feel like I had heart surgery - because God sure did a number on my heart. It's so cool how when I'm walking close with God, spending time in prayer and in His Word, praising Him, etc... I hear Him clearer. I knew what He wanted me to do and although I wrestled with it, in the end I was able to obey.
'Tis So Sweet To Trust in Jesus,