A Rich Inheritance: Race Recap.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”-Brene Brown

And so, for me, at the place of vulnerability– I moved back home–I made changes–I took a job–I started running at 6am–I started running solo–I started to mindfully use running as time to worship.

But, this wasn’t a chance or a hope or a maybe or a chance in the dark:

I trust in a faithful God. He has proven faithful over and over and over again. Despite many tears, fears, and “what ifs,” deep in my heart–I know and trust in my faithful King.

1 Peter 1:3-9

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuinenessof your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

This was my first marathon build up in my hometown. It was also my first build up without sickness, without missing a run, without missing a workout. For the first time–multiple times–in this build up, I finally conquered progression runs. God was speaking something special over this build up.

I went back to Minnesota to run Grandma’s Marathon for the second time, since it was my debut and a place that holds a special memory in my running career. It’s where I qualified for the Olympic Trials and where I truly felt God speak life into who He has created me to be.

With multiple tough marathons after Grandma’s Marathon, including 2 really hot marathons, I decided to go back to the place I first really enjoyed the marathon.

{I also wanted cool weather}

Fast forward to a few days before the race, my travel day was a little on the side of crazy as I raced through the Phoenix airport to make my connecting flight. Then, up until the race, my stomach was in knots despite bringing food for a sensitive stomach and planning the best I could. {I refuse to buy airport food}– I thought, well, this is either great because I’m so nervous that I’ll execute well, or this could be a little disastrous. Still, I prayed God would calm my nerves and help me to trust His faithfulness.

Once I got into Duluth, I was excited to see my roommate and close friend, Sarah Cummings. We chatted away and relished time together catching up and talking about post-race wine and life and how we wanted to experience a marathon that would bring a smile and joy at the finish line.

Race morning, I visited with other friends on the elite bus to the start line, but then slipped in my earplugs to listen to worship music by Jesus Culture that had helped me power through some of my toughest solo workouts…and also re-read 1 Peter 1 –reading about God’s rich inheritance. The passage sat truer than true for this season. I’ve had some tough patches with sickness and setbacks in the past few years, but I know that hard work does not go to waste and that God would bring something beautiful out of this race.

I tried to ignore the humidity and heat, until I got on the starting line and really realized: it’s HOT and sunny…the opposite of the conditions I hoped for and had raced in a few years prior. I mean, it’s LA hot…record heat in Minnesota. Since my coach, Andrew Kastor, was in France– we had chatted days before the race, and I hadn’t talked to him the night before or morning of like I normally would. So, I channeled what advice Andrew would have given me and what he had given me thus far, I trusted my training and the hard work, and, most importantly, I trusted God’s faithfulness.

While a cluster of women took off a little faster–I hung back with Esther Erb and Sarah Cummings, running a good 10+ seconds a mile slower than the conservative pace I had in my mind to run, bringing us through the half at 1:19 (woah slow). I knew a pack was better. I also knew the affects of the heat. I knew I needed to be conservative and that patience was key (just like a progression run). With 7 miles to go, I felt the peace and desire to progress–and then, I went, feeling faster than I expected–and I started passing women. I crossed the line running 3 minutes faster than the first half and surprisingly, running 2:35.30. I’ve never felt so good and so full of God’s joy finishing a race…especially a marathon. While it was not a day to run a PR, with the heat and humidity, I couldn’t have been happier with how I raced. I spent the last part of the race in prayer–and remembering all of the hard work I put in over the season; I also had a new confidence from successful progressive runs. I didn’t know that it was how I would need to finish this marathon, but God did. All of my finish line photos are of me not in pain, but smiling. It was such a special day.

The hours after were spent walking around Duluth, drinking too much coffee, time in a sweet local antique shop, hanging out with friends, awards, and drinks with friends.

Now I’m with my love celebrating each other’s victories: both 4th place, him the first American, I the second…{He raced the ITU World Duathlon Championships about 1 1/2 weeks prior in Spain}

What a faithful God we serve.

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2 thoughts on “A Rich Inheritance: Race Recap.

  1. Loved reading about your marathon experience! God is indeed faithful!! You are an inspiration to many in the running world and most importantly to those who follow Jesus.

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