Monday, November 15, 2010

13.1 Lessons I Learned

I did it! I did! By God, I did it! I'm so excited I ran my race and kept the fight! I can't describe the feeling of the race. On race morning, I was just really ready to do it and see what I could do. Everything started off good but as fate would have it I did get a little upset stomach – not enough to make me stop or anything. It was just enough to be annoying and also keep me from really taking my jelly beans at mile four (as practiced and planned) and throughout the race. If you run, then you understand the "stomach issues" that accompany distance running. So, I needed to be cautions because I was not leaving the course for anything. I had a really good run until around mile 8 or 9. This race prides itself on the hills and the great UPHILL finish. At mile 8 or 9, I was running up this street that was nothing but incline for about a ½ mile and that's where I had it. I was like get me off, get me through sweet Jesus. This street was like the energizer bunny. It just kept going and going and going. Now, I've run this twice in my training runs and I knew it was tough but I was not mentally prepared to tackle this. After I finally made it up and to the water stop, I ran a couple of slower miles. I found a little more energy, but by this time I was at the big finish. Tired and thirsty I pushed through the last bit. Finishing was crazy! I don't really remember anyone around me. I heard cheers and saw the clock and the finish line, and everything else was a blur.
I am pleased (more than pleased) to say I ran a half marathon. I did not stop (really). Now, I did do this little run, walk, walk, walk, nah girl keep moving thing twice on the finishing hill. But, I was like NO, you can not stop and I put my butt back in gear. In one year, I went from 0 miles to 13.1 and that's progress. It's determination. It's effort. And, it's perseverance. And, in a nutshell, that's life. It takes effort to live a good life. It takes perseverance to take the uphills, the downhills, the flat areas when life seems to just be moving along and then you run into twists and turns and uncertainty. Training and running this half marathon has taught me a few things I want to share:

13.1 Lessons from My Journey
  1. Black Girls Rock and Black Girls RUN!
  2. Set goals and aim high. You can't let yourself be your own worst enemy.
  3. Put one foot in front of the other and just keep moving.
  4. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1 (KJ)
  5. You can pray and praise God anywhere. I had a few moments along the race course on Saturday.
  6. Maintain a spirit of gratitude. Be thankful for each day, each opportunity and each experience.
  7. Running friends are Awesome. Some days you have to push someone, other days you are the one being pushed.
  8. No run is a bad run. It's an opportunity to do better.
  9. ICE heals things. You have to cool things down so the healing process can begin.
  10. I LUV to RUN, but I hate getting up in the mornings.
  11. Completing this half marathon makes me want to set more goals.
  12. It's a great feeling to say I DID IT!
  13. The encouragement and support from friends and family is priceless.                               
  .1) Life is a journey full of the unexpected. You can choose to quit or you can choose to keep running. Endure and persevere because God has so much more in store. I believe that's the key to faith building. It ain't over until it's over! Thank you Maurette Clark Brown. That song played on that mile 8 or 9 hill.

Forgive me because I forgot my Gratitude Journal on my last post.

Gratitude Journal

I am grateful for family.
I am grateful for my friends at the finish line and running beside me to the finish.
I am grateful for Massage Envy.
I am grateful for online shopping.
I am grateful for my devotional time.
I am grateful I ROCK!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Faith To Do

It's race eve and all week I've had mixed emotions ~ nervousness, excitement and anticipation. I know my body is in great shape and I'm running well. My achiness is pretty minimal and my concentration seems good. Everyone I know is encouraging and wants to see me do well. Now it's up to me to channel my energies and make my body do what I KNOW I can do. I've been struggling with believing I'll meet my goal. I fear public failure. I've caught myself a few times saying things like I hope I'm ready or I hope I make my goal time. I hope I can run the entire race without having to stop or I hope my legs are going to hold up and don't cramp on me. Today it dawned on me, why am I settling for just hope? Where is my faith? I've been hoping for a good outcome, but I haven't truly believed it by faith.

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."(NIV)

Hebrews 11:1

Yes, hope is necessary but faith without works is dead. Hope produces faith and faith is the belief (the knowing) it shall come to pass. In 14 weeks, I've come a long way in my running and spiritual journey. I praise God for all he's shown me, and what he's yet to do. I've worked through long runs, hot and humid days, sudden cold mornings, dogs, torrential down pours, stomach issues, foot and shin pain, and the enemy attacks on my mind. I really wanted to quit a few times but I always managed to get it together and either get it done or make it through. I made it through my training. I made it through the hardest Saturdays I ever experienced. I made it through the Wednesday Tempo/Mile Repeats/Ladder workouts. I made it up the hills when my body wanted to stop. By God, I made it! As I look back on the past weeks of training, I see why I fought so hard with my mind. It's because I lacked faith. I've been hoping I can do it and hoping I can finish. But now, I'm not just hoping, I have faith. My hope produced faith, and my faith strengthens what I believe. By faith, I receive it and I believe it; I'll run a great race on Saturday. I can't wait to get to the finish line! That's called living with expectancy.

Live in Faith, Walk in Love! (I borrowed this quote)