I Danced and Celebrated.

I was told that I was too timid of a soccer player.

I could play entire games, beat people to the ball, and excel at endurance.

But, I was terrible at headers, would shy away from being aggressive, and feared attacking the ball.

Distance running and marathon training isn’t for the timid. And, instead of believing that the heat could defeat me, or that I might not being able to finish, or even that it could be extremely mentally hard…I’m not timid. Nor, am I afraid. I still don’t believe I would be the best soccer player, but when I run, I’m fearless. I’ve learned that when I tune into the Holy Spirit and let His power lead, I can do things that even I am unsure that I can do.

While my fitness was at another level than I’ve ever been at before, and I was in shape for a great PR, conditions don’t always lend to PRs. Early warm and humid weather greeted us as the sun rose. When the gun went off, I hung with the lead pack and felt sweat drip down my neck a few miles in.

I was dressed in pink. Pretty in pink.

And, ready for battle. Really, a mental battle. I knew today could be painfully hard and if it was, I would finish with grit and and joy.

Many of my competitors were close friends. And, my family, Seth, and His family braved the crowds to cheer or watch at the finish. As the race pressed and I took my bottles and many water cups, dumping them on myself, I noticed some competitors disappear. Some had less than ideal days, and I realized this was no longer just a race…it was a mental battle to get to the end in less than ideal conditions. Looking down at my watch every so often, I knew a PR would be far from what I would get, and that finishing would be success.

So, I danced and celebrated through that race. The later miles in the race were the most painful miles I’ve run. I almost wanted to laugh…or cry. So, this is what real marathon pain feels like? My last two marathons were almost like sitting and eating homemade coffee ice cream. My goodness. Forget it. This was actual pain. But, I told myself I could do it. I told myself God has given me the tools I need: He is my strength.

When I finished in a slower time than I would ever hope for a marathon,  I smiled, greeted by people I love, teammates, family, friends. I was filled with joy and peace and a “THANK GOODNESS THAT IS DONE.”

The marathon humbles you, a lot. But, I’m just dancing and celebrating and laughing. A PR will come in the future. Post-race, I’ve been having the time of my life with the love of my life and my family. A late blog post has come due to: sorry. having. too. much. fun. For now, I’m spending time with those that fill me up, savoring slow mornings in the Word, running slow, drinking iced coffee, eating donuts, and kale (duh), and LOVING that God has given me such a beautiful gift to celebrate in.

This marathon was special. And, worth celebrating. And, a finish as 7th American is a “ohkaleyah” in my book because 7 is my favorite number.IMG_1716 IMG_1263 IMG_1244

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