Nevertheless she persisted…

Last year I signed up for the Brokemans Half marathon.  At the time I was healthy, well healthy for me. At that time I had recently completed a half marathon and was inspired that I could keep up that distance over the months in between.

Life happened. I got pneumonia. Several times. I gained weight from repeated doses of steroids for pneumonia and upper respiratory infections. More recently I had surgery and that was the final deciding factor that a half marathon was completely not doable right now. Last week I convinced myself I could do 4 miles. I had been keeping up my mileage, at least walking 2-3 miles a couple times a week. I had started testing out running intervals again, but it was very slow going and every day was dependent on how I felt that day whether or not I tried or just was content with being out of bed and able to walk through my illness.

Two days before race day I decided I couldn’t do it. I attempted to run and it went poorly. I was sick again and was in a lot pain. I was upset and frustrated that I couldn’t beat this, that was Friday.

I woke up on Saturday with a fire in my belly. I was angry. I was angry I was allowing my body to set my course. I was angry I was being limited by an invisible demon. I was angry I was giving up. I was determined to fight for my health. I know I am happiest when I’m on the trail. I know I’m content when I’m giving it my all, even if it hurts. I know even if there are tears along the way, every step is worth it because I am in control. That in those moments, even when it may not feel like it, I am winning the battle.

So I went to bed late Saturday with voices telling me I couldn’t do it. Voices that said it will be too cold that I should just sleep in. Voices that said I stayed up too late and I probably just shouldn’t bother trying. Voices that said I was too sick to do it. Voices that said I was going to make myself sicker by doing the race. Voices that told me I wasn’t good enough to be at the race with other runners. Voices that said I wasn’t healthy enough to be in a race. Voices that said I was too weak. Voices that said others would judge me when they saw me walking the entire race because I couldn’t keep up. Fear that made me worry about talking to other runners because I didn’t want them to find out I was voiceless and try to convince me I shouldn’t be out there with them. Fear that said what if something happened on the course and Dean wasn’t around and I was voiceless and couldn’t communicate my name or any of my health information to the medical team?

These were the voices that kept me up late into the night. These were the voices I rejected as I woke at 6 am and laid in bed for 40 minutes until finally I decided to quickly get ready to head out the very last minute to leave for the race. I arrived 10 minutes before my event was to start, leaving me just enough time to pee and get to the start line. Which means I avoided talking to anyone and was able to quell any worry of anyone finding out how sick I was at the start of the race.

No one knew I took pain pills before and after the race. No one knew I needed my inhaler to make sure I could breathe afterward. No one knew I was in unbearable pain for the first 1.5 miles, even though I was just walking.

What happened after those painful first few miles? I cried. I caught a glimpse of the sun through the trees. I let go of the fears. I let go of the pain. I let go of the worry. I just put one foot in front of the other and took in the beauty all around me. I worshiped along with the music I was listening to on my headphones.

I eventually started doing run/walk intervals. The pain subsided. For 2 miles there was bliss. Pure, heavenly, painfree, peace. It was short lived and replaced by other issues but for a brief period of time I experienced the one thing I can only find when I run. I don’t know why it happens or why it only happens sometimes. But sometimes, when I run I feel good. Really good. It doesn’t usually last and the aftermath is usually pretty bad, but for the brevity of it, it’s almost always worth it.

So it was worth it. I will keep fighting. I don’t know what’s wrong with my body and accept that I may never know. But I know that for me running or run/walking is the one way that I can escape it, even if briefly and not even always consistently. Some days I can barely get out of bed. Other days I can run with no pain. It makes no sense. There’s no rhyme or reason to it.

But yesterday, for a little while, I saw a glimpse of glory and I am grateful for it. I will keep fighting for those moments. Even if it means there will be pain and tears along the way, the reward is worthwhile.

 

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

One Response to “Nevertheless she persisted…”

  1. Angie says:

    Good job!