post-marathon thoughts

i made a choice a couple of weeks ago to get more sleep leading up to the marathon rather than to get up and write in the mornings. i definitely missed this time, but i desperately needed more sleep. and, thanks to daylight savings time {why do we still do that, again? seriously.} my kids have been waking up at least 30 minutes early, but usually a full hour earlier than normal.

and now my second marathon is behind me. strangely i was far more nervous this time than last time. i felt like i had more to prove. i had a goal besides just finishing, and hitting a certain time. i had to beat my time from last time. or at least i really wanted to.

i was so nervous the morning of the marathon that peter had to pin my bib number on me. i shook like i had some pretty violent chills. last time i didn't fuel as well as i needed to, and i ended up slowing way down during the last 10k. this time i didn't want that to happen. i had a fuel plan written out on paper. peter had a bag of fuel that he carried with him, and he and my dad met me at various points on the course to get me more fuel.

but beyond all of that i learned so much training for this marathon. training this time around coincided with a couple of different book/bible studies i'm doing right now, and i realized that - if i'm being really honest - i've always given myself a lot of credit for my achievements - especially my athletic achievements. 

i did it. 
it was me
i worked my butt off, 
and i accomplished what i set out to do.

but i didn't make myself athletic. i did not give myself the inherent athleticism that i have. 
i did not make myself fast.
i did not give myself a build that is good for running.
i didn't give myself the drive that i have to want to run and to want to get better.

and there is a part of me that subconsciously tied my athletic achievements to my worth. as much as i know that's not true intellectually i had to remind myself over and over again that even if i didn't finish the race no one would love me any less. 

what do you have that you did not receive? and if you have received it why do you boast as if you had not received it? {1 cor. 4:7}

running a marathon was largely selfish. it was something i wanted to do, and something that other people in my family had to make sacrifices for me to attain.

how could i use that run to bring glory to God? how could i run in his strength instead of my own? i wanted to run like eric liddell - i wanted to run to feel God's pleasure.

i think part of the reason why i was so nervous leading up to the race, and why i had one really horrible 20+ mile training run, and why a big part of that misstep was not fueling properly; all of those things drove me to prayer. they drove me to the place where i reached out for prayer and support from others. those things drove me to my knees - literally - to ask God for his strength. 

and he brought to mind isaiah 40:31. it's a familiar one, but it stayed in my head for the last 3 days before the marathon, and spoke to me while i ran the course.

but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. they will rise up on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not feel faint. {isaiah 40:31}

did i hit my time goal? not quite. my reach goal was to get 3:20. i ended up with a 3:21:51. much to my surprise i also ended up 1st in my age group, and the 5th female overall. those things were largely thanks to peter who met me at mile 25 and ran from 25 to 26 with me, and helped me kick in and finish off the race. he helped me pass another girl in the last .5 mile of the course. 

God took my nerves, and the gifts he gave me, and he let me run to feel his pleasure. he let me run to get to interact with a whole lot of spectators, and policemen, and runners, and volunteers that i otherwise wouldn't have. he let me run in his strength. 

because at the end of the day, it's not about me.
and at the end of the day, i couldn't have run the race i did without the support of a whole lot of prayer warriors, a whole lot of volunteers, a whole lot of policemen, a whole lot of organization, and a whole lot of love and support from family. and mostly - a whole lot of Jesus.



  1. This blog is so true to my own thoughts and self talk during training for races. Thanks for the good read!! -Liz

    1. Thanks for stopping by and saying hi! Hope you're doing well!


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