Saturday, November 3, 2012

Don't Sell Yourself Short

Ah. . . .the wind in your face.  The brisk chill of the fall in the early morning.

What on earth am I saying?  It was cold.

Cold I tell you.

Standing in the line for the Porta-potty at 6 in the morning, all I wanted to do is go back to the bed.

"Did you flush?"

Yes, Jessica asked me that.  And yes, I checked.  (DOH!)

We got up early that morning, got dressed, and while I ate my oatmeal, Jessica made me an iced coffee.  Have I ever told any of you that I have some awesome friends?  We took our places in the back of the lies with the walkers.  Intermittently through the morning, there were power issues with the DJ and everything.  From time to time, the power went out, and our little arch at the starting line would lose it's balloony-ness.  (Yes, that's totally a word!)

There I am!  Before long, I had my goo (yuck, but pictured at the bottom right with my prerace fuel collection.)
 And, we were off!

Before we had even hit the first quarter mile walking, I was automatically in the grips of race adrenaline I typically get.  And you know what?  Jess?  Her shin splints were devouring her legs.  She hung back.  I started running.  And how could I not?  "Come Together" by Third Day was playing.  All of the sudden, I was in the midst of Facing the Giants and I could. . .

well, not win the thing, but do really, really well.

I went ahead.  Jess hung behind.

"I'll catch up to you later,"  she says.

Yeah, we saw each other again.  I was leaving the subdivision she was going into.

So I run through Coastal Grand Mall, down the Robert Grissom Parkway, and I'm running!  Well, running 1/4 mile, then walking 1/4 mile, but I'm doing it!

As I round to get to Broadway at the Beach, Jessica's husband was there.  Well, with Dory, and sorry, Brian, but I noticed Dory first.

 There I am, jacket off and tied around my waist!  Didn't last 4 miles.  I saw curbs littered with jackets.  Should've done it, but I just couldn't.

So, I continued through the race, and I was making great time.  And then it happened.

Remember that subdivision I said I met Jess coming out of?  My IT band started killing me there.

I was in tears.  I was thinking, "I'm going to have to give up.  Please, Jesus, take this pain from me."

And then, the song, "Should've Been Me" by Citizen Way began playing:

It should've been me, should've been us; Should've been there hangin' on a cross.  All of this shame all of these scars, should've been stains that were never washed. 

Oh, my goodness.  Here I was, wincing over a little bit of pain, thinking of giving up, while my Savior took my place and dealt with unimaginable pain.  How silly of me to think of giving up a race, when He didn't give up and He had the power to end all of that pain.

No, my pain was not removed from me.

Yes, it got worse.  As I hit the Boardwalk pat at Myrtle Beach it really got terrible.  For those of you who are not familiar with it, it twists and turns.  Every turn made my knee feel as if it were coming off of my leg.  I walked most of that way.  I was cheered on by people on the Boardwalk.  I wanted to cry.  I kept going.  Sometimes, I'm sure, instead of taking pain from us, the Lord gives us the strength to persevere.

Actually, I think it's most of the time He does that.

I did start running as I saw the finish line ahead.

And through the pain, I finished.  My goal, which I told no one, was 3:20:00.  And the official time?

3:03:08.  Nailed it.  And passed it.  By almost 17 minutes.

When all was said and done, Nike+ tells me I ran 13.9 miles.  Wow.  That's a lot of weaving there, lol.  Also, according to Nike, I did 13.1 in 2:51:51.  I'll take that.

The ending view was amazing:

I picked up my water, banana, and bagel and waited to cheer for Jessica as she came through.
Hard to believe we were smiling!

And I finished off the morning back at Coastal Grand with this:

After all, I did have to pass two of them while running.

I was given the strength to persevere through a lot that morning for that race.  I was thankful for a friend to share my day with.  I thought I'd walk it.  Due to conditioning I had been doing since October 2010, I was able to run and finish.

And never again will I sell myself short.  If I'm led to do something, then I know, through God's help, I will get through it.