10- shirtless people with little shorty shorts ( and majority were men)
3.5- bananas i ate in 24 hrs....weird!
1- sign that made me laugh for a few blocks that read "that's not sweat, it's your fat cells crying"
4- the mile I wanted to give up at :)
I have had a lot of running buddies in my life, but Bry is one I never expected and always hoped for...he didn't want to be a running buddy, he hates running long distances, I hated to run growing up but all that changed in college.... and here we are running up these killer hills together praying for each other, encouraging each other--there is no competition, just care for the other person and how they are doing and the feeling that we can keep going because we know the other is struggling through limits of the mind and body too... and we ARE wearing matching "manny packs" that has to count for something right?!
There is a definite parallel to going through something you wish you could quit, you know will be hard, you aren't sure what will be around the next turn, and yet you press on-- you keep going-- you grab extra water for them--you stop when they stop-- you go when they go-- you keep in step with their stride--you pass others together-- you warn of whats ahead for the other-- you rejoice when you finish together.
Its sounds cliche I know, but preserving through something like that together makes me think I can do it with anything--and having him cheer me on reminds me that we are on the same team, not just on the pavement but in life. Its more rewarding that anything I have ever been through to get to hold Bry's hand and cross that line.
As we were putting on our gear and getting ready, I slipped on my "livestrong" yellow bracelet everyone was wearing in the race and felt God telling me to write these words on the outside "run for eternal purpose" I had no idea what that meant when we started, I just knew I was soon to find out. At the first mile, my leg and hip had already started hurting and I knew the only way for me to get through the next 12.1 was to pray. But I didn't feel compelled to pray for myself after the first utter of Lord please help me to keep from hurting myself and to make it to the end together. Mile 1-2 I prayed for ppl in Austin and in my life who didn't know God, or about His love for them. Mile 3- I prayed for all my friends especially those going through a life change and the people in their lives (be it spouses or kids) 4- I saw three runners in a row with pics of children on their backs and "running in honor of..." above them. This is when I started listening to music and worshiping God thanking Him that I didnt have to wear that on my back and that I had His favor in my life, for whatever reason, that my children were alive and healthy and I hadn't faced such heart ache as those around us. Mile 5 - I continued to thank God for the provision in our lives and more specifically asking Him to guide us in this year ahead to use wisdom and trust in Him. Mile 6 was just survival, I was jamming out and appreciating my iPod a LOT! Mile 7 my knee started to throb uncontrollably and I wasn't sure how much longer i could go, i thought of people who have pain every day in their bodies who have to carry on in life, go to work, take care of families, suffer through much worse situations, i thought of my Paw Paw and when his legs would hurt and when he went through chemo...I prayed for him, his body to heal, and his bravery, I prayed for my friends and family who have an illness or MS or kids who have sickness this lasted for a few miles. By mile 10 my legs were numb and they were just moving against my own devices they were going and I was in the zone...still cursing those hills together Bry and I pressed on and then at a restroom stop Bry's calves started to cramp up... so for the rest of the way I prayed for him, for our marriage, for his life and purpose, for his influence and for his place as father of our children. Next thing i knew I could see the capitol building, we pushed on and held hands and crossed the finish line. Bry gave me a kiss as our feet hit the marker and we were off to get our bananas and water and shirts :) It was surreal and another moment I am thankful he was standing with me at its end. I missed not seeing our girls along the way, every kid on the sidelines giving out free high fives we hit em up top and thought of our little ones--Bry even said "one day it would be cool if all 4 of us were running this together" now that is something to look forward to.
As always at the races end we are all about food and where we can eat and talking about how we felt over each mile. We feel a new sense of ability to push through in life just like we did for those few hours on a Sunday morning, recalling God's word and seeing it change from just a moment in time to a way of life--
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..." Hebrews 12:1-2