On May 25th I published The Good Life Halfsy as a promise to myself of great things to come. I wrote it just a few days after signing up to run my first half marathon – an important component to my journey to regain my spiritual health.
Sunday morning, with 550 miles of running training — a smile on my face and peace in my heart — I packed my FAITH to race with GRACE.
My favorite farmer filmed the finish of the race so that I could share it with you 🙂
God had my back and I learned in a very tangible way that my faith could be stronger than my fear.
My high school Cross Country coach would likely tell you that my running form still needs some work 😉 but, I overcame that with grit and determination to finish the race in a time of 1:42.49. I negative split the race (ran the second half faster than the first) with an average pace of about 7:50 per mile.
It’s amazing what happens when you open your heart and mind and let God’s presence fill your soul. I trained and then completed the race with no stop watch — a decision that I made before beginning the journey in order to help myself to learn to let go of control and just BE.
Somewhere along the journey, I learned to lean on God. To find joy and peace in the times that we spend together each day, as well as strength to overcome the physical and mental barriers that had plagued me since my battle with Graves Disease more than ten years ago.
As I crossed the finish line, I was proud of me.
Proud of the person that I found deep inside of myself during the training journey.
Life is about much more than any one race or moment in time. The lessons learned along the way carry you forward on the road to excellence. I found that I needed to build the muscle of hope in my heart just as much as I needed to build the muscles in my legs.
When you build the muscle of hope, then faith supports you on the journey!
25 years ago…
Sunday morning, just as the sun popped over the horizon, I logged in my 500th mile running since deciding to compete in the Good Life Halfsy October 29th in Lincoln, NE.
500 miles is a long way…
Farther than the width of the state of Nebraska – Similar to traveling from NYC to Cleveland…
I decided to keep a journal of my training as a bit of a whim. I figured that looking back on my swimming and running cross training for the race would be meaningful. More than four months into the journey, I am very glad that I did. Not because I plan to do it exactly the same way the next time, but because it gives me insight into the journey of peace that I embarked upon last June.
For the first time in my life, I trained not for time but as a means to regain my mental and spiritual health.
I’ve logged in more than 500 miles never wearing a watch. I never missed it because my pace was superfluous — I set out not to regain the athletic status of my youth, rather, to regain balance in my life. In less than two weeks, I will cross the starting line packing my faith to compete with grace. I know that what I accomplish on that day pales in comparison to what I have found running the gravel roads — watching the sun rise — and finding a deep sense of rightness in my life.
Somewhere along the way, I learned that my faith could be stronger than my fear. I found joy, peace, and inspiration as I opened my heart and refocused on what is most important in my life. I will cross the finish line with the knowledge that life is a journey.
That I am stronger than I ever imagined and that hope is the muscle that fuels faith.
I remember when I moved to the farm in June of 1997, I laughed to Matt that I traded flip flops for cowboy boots. Over the last four months, I have learned that my perspective on life is healthier if I also add in a pair of running shoes in order to fuel myself with some quiet time in the presence of God.
The blessings are numerous — we only have to look to see them.
Where did you see God today?