Monday, April 23, 2012

Observing a Half-Marathon

Yesterday morning I went to support a friend who was running her first half-marathon.  I got to downtown Clearwater about 6:45 (yes, a.m.), parked, and walked several blocks to the starting line.  I didn’t see my friend or anyone else I knew, then I decided I should go back to the car and get my camera, so I did that.  I teared up and wished I was running, but there’s no way my knee would let me.  After the runners took off,

I started to head to the finish line at Clearwater Beach.  I didn’t want to drive because I know how crazy traffic is on Clearwater Beach, so I started walking but didn’t know how far it was going to be.  I ended up walking BACK past the car, kind of following the runners,

Hold on…alarm just went off.  Time to do 1:30 on the elliptical. 

Huff!  Puff!  I’m back.  Got my heart rate up to 167. 

and headed toward Clearwater Beach.  I walked up a HUGE bridge.  

with no problems.  I was only walking, but still…no problems!  I took a picture of the bridge from the starting line because it looked so massive.  Like my desire to run again.  Is this my mountain?  If I can just get to where I’m running over this bridge, will I have conquered?  Or are my knees my mountain?

I walked down that massive bridge, walked some more, walked farther, and kept walking.  All the way to Clearwater Beach.  As I made my way to the finish line, the first runners were coming across the finish line.  It was a little more than 90 minutes since the start of the race.  I’d been walking for an hour and a half.  Wow!  At a fairly fast pace, too.  Not exactly race walking, just my normal fast pace.  But I’d kept it up for 1-1/2 hours! 

I started looking for my friend’s family or anyone else I knew, but saw no one.  (Why does God keep putting me in situations by myself involving races?  I’ve gone to a few of them now and not seen anyone I know.  What are you teaching me with that lonely feeling, God?)  I did see some notable things, though.  Like this

The homemade message on the back of her T-shirt says, “I ‘m running because there’s food @ the finish line.”  Are you kidding me???  NOOOOOOO!!!  Big sigh. 

Then I saw this woman

At first I thought, “Oh, honey, let me talk to you.”  I wanted to tell her how Jesus has changed me and how He can change her.  After I took the picture and got closer to her, I saw that she was holding a 5K medal in her hand.  I assumed that she was holding it for someone else because if I had just run or even walked a 5K at that size I would’ve been wearing that medal proudly.  She even had the ribbon part folded up so that the whole thing fit in her hand and was hardly visible.  I saw her from the front later and she was wearing a race bib.  She had done it!  I was wrong!  Well then, you GO, girl! 

Hold on…alarm just went off.  Time to do another 1:30 on the elliptical. 

Huff!  Puff!  I’m back.  Got my heart rate up to 165 this time. 

I kept walking and was getting hungry.  Then I saw this


This is me in the blustery, gray day.  You can see the pelting rain on my glasses.  This is me happy after resisting Yuckdonald’s.  J

I kept walking and saw this on a T-shirt

I’d love to see this sign.  No, I’d love to run past this sign!  (Did I really just say that?) 

So let’s wrap up this lesson, boys and girls.  What have we learned today?  Remember when Jesus told Peter that the spirit is willing but the body is weak?  My spirit is very much willing to continue running.  The last few months I’ve thought that my body was weak.  Yesterday I learned that my body is capable of much more than I give it credit for.  There may be one more race added to my church’s running team’s schedule that I will at least walk.  Beginning this morning I increased my time on the treadmill by 50%, from 1 minute to 1-1/2 minutes every waking hour that I’m home.  I will start walking a full 3.1 miles instead of just 1 mile.  (How did I EVER drop back that far?)  I will run as my knee allows, finding a balance between the fact that my body is capable of much more than I give it credit for and the need to listen to my body and not do permanent damage to my knee. 

Hold on…alarm just went off. Time to do another 1:30 on the elliptical. 
Huff! Puff! I’m back.  Also, I remembered to do a plank this time, and upped it from 20 seconds to 30.  It wasn't easy.  1, 2, 3, 4, 5...just 20...6, 7, 8, 9, 10...your body is capable of much more than you think...11, it's not...13, 14, 15, 16, 17...YES IT IS...18, 19, about just 25?...21, 22, 23, 24...NO!  Keep going!...25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30!!!  Whew!

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