In three weeks I will be heading to the Allume conference with my friend, Amy! I am very excited about going and learning as much as I can about the blogging world. I’m praying I will be able to really enjoy my time and not worry about everything else taking place in the next month.
I’m on a count down: Five weeks from today I will have completed my first marathon! I am running the Savannah Rock and Roll marathon and my parents are running the half marathon. I love that I will not be running this race alone. I have a lot of running friends from Charlotte that will be running it with me! Yes, we are all different paces but it will be wonderful to have them there.
In the midst of those things I am taking a college level course through the organization I work for. It is called Beyond Suffering: A Christian View on Disability Ministry. I am really enjoying the class and am learning so much more than I expected. It is tough and challenging and I now want to go back to school to finish my degree. 🙂
To be honest this is the first time I’ve had a moment to blog in several weeks. I’m a little bit overwhelmed with all that is taking place. My friend, Amy, joked with me earlier about reading something in my spare time. We both laughed because I don’t have much spare time to do any extra reading. Oh how I wish I did! My email has been neglected and will be neglected (unless it is urgent) for at least another few days. I’m hoping to be caught up on that this week.
All that to say… I have a lot going on and I am grateful for all these wonderful opportunities!
Last night a friend of mine sent me a devotional that related how the Christian faith is much like running an endurance race. When I first started running I knew there was something more for me than “just running”. I was learning, growing and experiencing this new found love of running in a much different way than I had expected. I see how my walk with the Lord (my faith in Jesus) is like running a race. When I am in training mode, I have days where I just want to give up. In my walk with the Lord, there are days I want to throw in the towel and ask “is this really worth it”? It is worth it!
Every single moment is worth it. Let that sink in.
The hard days are what make getting to the finish line that much sweeter. I know once I cross that finish line that I did not give up, I did not quit. I press on and see each new goal as a way to accomplish something great. I run hills that seem to go on forever and with each footstep I sometimes feel that cement has been poured into my shoes but once I reach the top, I rejoice at pushing through that difficult climb. Then comes the down hill portion, that wonderful time of recovery. I’m happier at that point in the run. But I know another hill comes up shortly and the routine continues. And just like that I am reminded of the problems I face. The hills I must climb each day, spiritually speaking, can be short and less painful or they can be long and arduous reminding me that I am not yet at the top. I haven’t finished the run.
I need to press on.
I am then reminded of Philippians 3:12-14
“12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” NIV (Via Biblegateway.com)
My faith and running go hand in hand. I understand my faith in a deeper way than I had before I started running. I am truly thankful. I love what the writer, Paul, says in Philippians. I haven’t arrived yet, but I press on. I continue to train (read my Bible, pray, serve and love others) daily with my faith just like I do with my running (running the hills, long mileage and sprints) to one day reach the final goal.
What inspires you to deepen your faith?
I have completed another half marathon! I took it a bit easier with this race and ran it with one of my closest running friends, Caroline! I loved crossing the finish line with her. What a joy to see my parents, our running group, and Caroline’s husband and kids at the end cheering us on!
Not only that, Caroline got a PR (Personal Record) and I am sure she hated me at some points during the race because I was coaching her through and pushed her to finish with a sprint at the end! 🙂
I found out another runner from our group had a PR as well! Way to go Chandra! I’m also really proud of our coordinator Shellbie, she finished another half and the support at the end for her was fantastic! I wish some one had a video of everyone running her across the finish line. What a wonderful moment for all of us!
There were other accomplishments that day with my mom doing the Five Mile race and placing in her age group!!! Running is not my mom’s favorite thing in the world but she sure is loving the medals that she has accumulated over the last year! My mom will be running her first half marathon in three weeks. Jody’s (another runner in my group) mom, Nancy, ran her first half marathon and did awesome! I loved being there for her finish!
Here are some pictures from the race:
Most of the USA Fit group before the race.
Me and Caroline almost to the finish! We were determined to finish strong!
Me and Caroline at the end of the race.
Me and Holly at the end! So proud of her!
Mom with her medals! The bigger medal is for placing in her age division.
Group shot at the end!
Last Saturday I ran the hardest race of my running career. I am not sure why I thought that a 5k at the National White Water Center would be another just another race, but I did. I was clearly WRONG! 🙂
The race was a bit more than a 5k and not a road race. It was a trail run, something I have never done before. I am so prone to falling I had to really watch every single step I made through the woods. Lots of tree roots to jump, or run over, muddy places and narrow trails that kept me on my toes literally!
Yes, I do still believe that the race last Saturday was harder than any of my half marathons! Trail racing is not for wimps that’s for sure! 🙂
I ran the race with my friend Lisa’s husband, Ryan. He had no idea what he was getting into as well! He was only prepared to run a mile run with their daughter Ella! I’m very thankful that Ryan stuck with me the whole race.
Here is the finish: