Sometimes a race may not end exactly the way you hoped or anticipated. There is just no way to control the outcome despite all your efforts. Could it be in those less than perfect times we find something new about ourselves?
My October was to be filled with 3 amazing half marathons, however, God had other plans. If you are a repeat reader you know that 2 weeks ago I injured my ankle and it was actually uncertain if I would be running any of the 3 races let alone the first one which was the most important to me.
Missing one full week followed by a very limited week of running right before the first race was not ideal, but surely it would subtract from all the running prior to the injury. Right? My reasonable side said yes, absolutely. But, my inner competitor had doubts. Big doubts that proved unshakable. They followed me right up to, across the start line and over the 13.1 miles of the B.A.A. half marathon yesterday.
It turned out to be a rather warm fall day but so much of the course was shaded which helped keep the heat at bay. Originally, I was a bit nervous of the logistics of getting to the race. There was no onsite parking and so for me living an hour away it was best to take advantage of the shuttle service they offered which surprisingly went much smoother than I thought it would. Huge plus! The pre-race timing of the morning worked out perfectly. I hit the first wave of shuttles making it to the race site with plenty of time to use those lovely porta potties, get my t-shirt, walk around to loosen up from the drive, drop off my gear at baggage and file into the mass of runners for the start.
So why all the stress? Why could I not let go of my injury fears and doubts? Just a run in the park or so I kept trying to convince myself. Funny thing is, the ankle actually held up well. But for me running has always been 90% mental. I just was never mentally in this race. So when the intense pain of another foot issue arose, that inner competitor in me was not available to endure it. Out of the 13 miles I might have enjoyed 2-3 miles.
Around mile 10 there was a photographer on a ladder taking pictures as we passed over a square painted with the B.A.A. logo. I pointed my index finger toward the sky giving my ability to God. For the next few miles I tried to keep in a constant prayer or recalling lyrics to old Sunday school hymns we sang as children. I knew there was no way I was making it to the finish without divine intervention. I was now mentally focused on something bigger than me so despite the increased pain I eventually made it across the finish line. Whew! that was a tough one.
Yes, it may have been my worst half marathon time, but I can honestly say I am not disappointed. I had to stop numerous times due to the pain in an attempt to get even a moment of relief but each time I continued on. Because of the intensity of the pain I did a little research online and may have found the solution. I will save that for another day as I want to be sure of my findings.
So, the moral of the story you ask? Reaching our physical limits in whatever sport of choice teaches us many things about ourselves. Yesterday’s race was an inner battle of doubt but when I let myself remember who ultimately was in control and gave it all to Him, my spirit prevailed. I have nothing to be ashamed of despite my official time. Shawn McDonald’s song, Rise, says it best:
Yes I will rise
Out of these ashes rise
From this trouble I have found
And this rubble on the ground
Cause He Who is in me
Is greater than I will ever be
And I will rise
Now, I can look forward to the United Health half marathon in Newport next weekend with no doubts or regrets.running by faith, Bekah