The tragic events at the Boston Marathon earlier this week shook me to the core. While other tragedies have certainly impacted me, this one hit home. This happened on territory very familiar to me – the open road, at the finish line of a remarkable accomplishment – packed full of runners and spectators. I knew of names, recognized some of the faces of those competing in the race. This time it felt personal and too close for comfort. There are simply no words…
Today, almost one week to the day of the Boston Marathon, I completed my first race of the year, the Lansing Half-Marathon. This was my fifth half-marathon since starting the great adventure of running over three years ago. The weather was perfect this morning: cool, but sunny with blue skies; the city had an atmosphere of peace and unity. Eight weeks and 159 miles of training came and went in anticipation of this day and the hopes to set a new PR and reach a new level of athleticism.
But today was more than just about a PR. And it was more than just another race and the attainment of another medal. It was about exercising not only my body, but the freedom I have to dream, to laugh, to play, and to run in this great country… freedom to do all this without fear that someone or something will take that away from me. Because nothing can and nothing will. The energy and camaraderie of today proved that even in the midst of adversity and tragedy, horror unspeakable, we are conquerors and victors, our spirits stronger than ever before. That’s what I ran for today – and that’s what I will continue to run for in the future. “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:8-9, NIV).”
I will share that I completed the race with a new PR of 1:47:34 (8:01 mile pace) – which means that since September, I have managed to cut over 7 minutes off my best time! All praise and glory to God! As my running mantra professes: I can do ALL things through Him! I am beyond thrilled and amazed with today’s success, but even more humbled by what God has done in my life through this gift He has blessed me with and the empowerment and strength He has given me to keep pressing forward. I could not do it without Him and the wonderful people He has placed in my life who encourage, support, and inspire me to let nothing stop me from going hard after my dreams and goals! He is GREAT and Life is GOOD!
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” (Hebrews 12:1, NIV)