Sunday, October 08, 2006


Today I completed the Latin Classic Half Marathon here in Bradenton. I spent three days this week recovering from last Sunday's back injury. Three visits to my chiropractor and I was cleared to run again Thursday.

For some reason I get nervous before events like this. It was only the second race I have entered and I felt the same way before the last one. A mix between "What have I gotten myself into" and excitement that I can be counted as one of the crazy elite who actually willingly subject themselves to 13.1 miles of running. I was even more nervous before this event because I knew I didn't get my usual amount of running in during the week.

I was up at 5:30 AM, had my Clif Bar, checked the weather (a cool high 60/low 70 forcast for the race), took care of other necessary chores and made sure my gear was ready to go. I made it to the high school (where it started and ended) by 6:30 and quickly found one of my running buddies, Kerry, and several other Galloway method runners from my Saturday training runs.

We started out at a pretty fast clip (for me) of 11 minutes per mile for the first 4 miles. Since we run two minutes and walk one minute that is pretty quick. Especially considering I am usually around 12 minutes per mile for a longer run. Coupling that with my medically reduced running log this week, I was quickly wondering how I could do this pace for 13.1 miles. We kept up about an 11:11 mile for the next 5-6 miles and at about mile marker 10 I was really huffing and puffing. I made it to just before mile marker 12 when my heart rate hit my max (I wear a heart rate monitor when I run). At that point I slowed down to running one minute and walking one minute for the rest of the way. My sweet friend Kerry stuck with me and was encouraging the whole way, even though I was running slower than she needed to. With about .2 miles to go I spotted my cheerleading squad: Mike, Anna, Sarah, and Emily! I rallied up and made it to the finish line in 2 hours, 32 minutes, and 46 seconds. A final per mile time of 11:39.

My body didn't enjoy this run (usually it does enjoy running, honest!) but I am so proud that I made it. I wasn't sure a week ago that I would even be able to run today. My time and the fact that I finished completely amazes me. I am hoping that the work that I did today pays off down the road in increased endurance. Every time I push past those feelings of "let's just walk" and finish a long distance I think of the verse in Philippians: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Chapter 3:13b-14) Pressing myself physically and mentally prepares me for the challenges that life gives me. Life tries to pull me away from reaching the goal of Christlike holiness. The road to holiness sometimes feels like a marathon in which the mile markers are difficult to see and progress seems slow. When I keep my eyes on the prize and press on even when I'm not sure I have it in me anymore I am learning endurance in my Christian walk as well. Consider Phillipians 3:20-21 - But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. I am looking forward to that heavenly body that won't fail me at crucial moments!

After the run I enjoyed a free post race massage. I highly recommend those!! My hamstrings were the tightest I've ever felt them when I completed the run. After the massage they felt normal again. I even got a medal for finishing. Enjoy the pictures. The camera ran out of batteries at the finish line so we don't have a picture from then. The running picture is with my friend Kerry, taken just as we spotted Mike and the girls.

Praise God for all His strength!