Thursday, November 10, 2011

More 13.1 Lessons I Learned

"and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" Hebrews 12:1
I Rocked Savannah 13.1! Half marathon #3 is done and I had a great race. I didn’t get the PR I hoped for but this was by far my best race. The week of the race was a lot different from my past races. I wasn’t nervous and I wasn’t anxious like normal. I was really looking forward to racing on Saturday. Race morning was even different. I was a little nervous but it was different than the other races. Once I set out on the course, I had a very emotional moment because I remember what was happening this time last year.  I watched someone I love fight for her life. Mile by mile I replayed those days from last fall.  I remembered how she wouldn’t let her illness get the best of her spirit. And with those thoughts, I began to run a different race.  Compared to everything she went through in those last months, I can certainly run for 13.1 miles. Her sprit encouraged me and something happened. I could hear her saying to me, “stop acting in fear and to act in love.”  I was flooded with emotions and the feelings to just let go. And so I let go, and I ran my own race.  Sure, I didn’t run in the time I hoped or expected but part of letting go was allowing myself to let go of other's expectations of me, my feelings of doubt and failure and the stress of finishing in a predicted time. I let go and let myself run my own race.
This 13.1 was different. This 13.1 was about my story and my journey from one year ago until now. In almost one year to the date, I completed three half marathons. I went through physical, emotional and spiritual changes. The one year journey chasing 13.1 has been one of the hardest things I’ve done yet it has been the most maturing and humbling experiences in my life. There were times I wanted to quit and there were times I couldn’t understand why I got up to run another day. A year later, I now see the beauty in my strength, my courage, my faith and my will to believe.  My strength doesn’t come from me finishing three half marathons. My strength lies in the fact that I wouldn’t quit, I kept running. I read a poem that says, I asked for strength and God gave me difficult situations. I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to solve. I asked for courage and God gave me dangers to overcome.  Well, I had similar request to God.  I asked for wisdom and God gave me running. I asked for strength and God gave me hills to run. I asked for courage and God gave me long runs. God didn’t give me what I wanted or what I thought I needed but he allowed people, situations and races to build my endurance. Chasing 13.1 has taken me on a journey of self-discovery and self-awareness. My experience Saturday was out of the ordinary. It was God using my circumstances and speaking to me through a special person.  So, I choose to honor her memory by dedicating my race to her, DLR; she opened my eyes to get out there and run my own race.
More 13.1 Lessons I Learned
  1. Run my own race.
  2. Believe. It all starts in what you Believe. if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20
  3. That “Pain in the Butt” moment is the very lesson that life needs you to learn, understand and apply.
  4. There is no Quit in me.
  5. Some things are just really not that serious. You have to learn how to just chill out and let things be and let people be who they are.
  6. Unspoken truths are real feelings. Treat people for who they are and not based on how you think, feel or respond.
  7. It’s ok to lose the boundaries and step outside your comfort zone. There is more than one way to do things. Sometimes you have to try it a new way.
  8. Hot Yoga is my friend. It’s my gateway to relaxation and stress relief.
  9. It’s ok to fail sometimes, but it’s not ok to just give up. Failure keeps you growing, reaching and stretching.
  10. It’s still a process. I’m in a place called There, because God needed to get my attention.
  11. Pain is only temporary. Quitting lasts forever.
  12. I lost some battles by walking in fear but Thank God, I didn’t lose everything. I never lost my praise.
  13. While chasing 13.1, I found my strong.
.1)  .1 is often the hardest part of a race. .1 can wreck your dreams of a PR or a certain time goal.  It’s when you see the finish line and the crowd. .1 when your legs are heavy and everything aches and burns. It’s the longest yet shortest distance of the entire race. It’s when you can see it and feel it but you just haven’t arrived. The .1 is when you dig down deep and say I think, no, I know I can make it. I’m running towards my .1 right now. I see and feel that something is about to be birthed for me. I’m not there, but I’m almost there. So, God, I stand with outstretched hands waiting expectantly for your abundance of blessings. I have favor….

 Gratitude Journal
1)   I am grateful for my mother. My mom got a text alert as soon as I crossed the finish line and before I could take my post-race picture, she texted me to tell me Good Job and she was proud.
Black Girls Rock and Black Girls Run!

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