Monday, March 21, 2011

God's Grace in a Race

About 12 weeks ago I decided to run the Mercer Island Half Marathon again. I literally said to Bill, "If I'm going to run another race before we possibly have another baby, now would be the time." Wow, does God have a sense of humor! I started training and running 8+ miles on the weekends and exercising every day, sometimes twice a day. Then about six weeks later we found out I was pregnant. I would be 7 weeks on race day. I read that if a person's body is used to running long distances before pregnancy, it should be okay to continue. The training continued and I was feeling pretty good (although tired).

But this past week on Wednesday I suddenly became very nauseous and sick, I couldn't keep anything down and I was very weak. On Wednesday I mostly slept, which is hard when there are kids to tend to (thank goodness for TV). I couldn't tell if this was morning sickness or a flu bug. Thursday wasn't much better, and I realized that if I didn't get better fast, I wouldn't be running on Sunday. That thought made me cry! I'd been training, I'd paid the registration fee, and it'd be such a disappointment! I posted on a running group forum at church asking if someone would take my place, but no takers. Really, who can run a half on 3 days notice?
Friday I was feeling a little better but it wasn't a vomit-free day. By then I had kind of accepted that I wouldn't run if I was feeling so yucky and was okay with it.

But thankfully Saturday I woke up and felt amazing, compared the previous days. I was even able to run a little, and feeling God's grace and my friend's prayer. It made me so grateful!
Sunday was race day, and I was so excited and ready! Dang that's a tough 13.1 miles. Rolling hills throughout and some major hills as well. My goal has usually been in races to not walk or stop. With God's grace I was able to do that this time. But my time was much slower than the last time I did the half. No mind, I was just grateful to have been able to run!

There was an amazingly inspirational running team that I ran with much of the time. A man, maybe 60, who was blind with a woman, probably also 60-ish, as his lead. They were tethered together and the man was on the left. The woman would tug on his tether around his hand as he began to wander. It was an amazing thing to see, the course is so curvy this lady sure had a tough job keeping the man on track. It made me think, I wonder what each person's story might be. I have a tiny baby in my belly, I wonder why other people are running? It's interesting being at the end of the race because there are these people who just keep running, even though they're at the end of the pack. The race isn't about winning against others, it's about winning against yourself.

Bill and the kids came to the finish line. I knew I would see them, and when I did I just wanted to be done, even though there was maybe 200 yards to go. Caley and Amelia saw me from far away and ran toward me. The excitement and exhaustion at that point caught up with me and I couldn't catch my breath. The look on my face must have been kind of scary because when Caley got up to me she didn't want to give me a hug and looked kind of scared!

I hope to keep running through this pregnancy and be able to do the Iron Girl in September. I'll be about 25 weeks. We'll see! That'd be awesome. But for now I'm still basking in the feeling of God's grace through this race.

If you'd like to see some pictures of me running go here. Be warned, I look freakish. When I saw Caley and Amelia I nearly lost it and my face looks scary. Gimme a break, it'd already been 13 miles! :)

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