|Optimistic despite 37• weather!|
There is something that is incredibly intimidating about the word marathon. It tells of an experience that does not come easy, or with little effort. There is great risk, but in perfectly proportional fashion there is a great opportunity for prosperous reward.
It was a cool October 2011 morning as I awoke to the sound of cheers and chants outside my Moody Bible Institute dorm-room window. I looked outside to see a multitude of runners passing our school heading south on Wells street, and low and behold I was watching the Chicago Marathon take place. My first thoughts: that is crazy, I would never do that. I proceeded to place my head back on my pillow and drift back to sleep, still hearing cheers and chants outside.
My Spirit did not let me rest with my first thoughts, and I proceeded to start my Chicago Marathon 2012 training in the summer of this past year. I was living in a small neighborhood in Humbolt Park, Chicago and the days were in the 100's regularly. This made training difficult on top of work and summer school.
Time passed, and I found myself on October 6th, picking up the race packet for my friend who was injured a couple months before the race. I know this is highly discouraged but in the best financial interest for me being able to pay my college school bills, I took her bib and ran in her place.
The race could be described in one word: exhilarating.
It's October 7th, 4:30am, 32 degrees. I was assisted to the starting line by two of my best friends: Elizabeth and Sage. We had a gourmet breakfast at a local restaurant that consisted of oatmeal, a bagel and a cup of orange juice. We headed out around 5:30 towards the starting line to get ready
It was one of the best experiences of my life, and following suit in the greater risk = greater reward equation, one of the toughest.
The first six miles were phenomenal, I felt great and was keeping my 7:30mile pace. Around mile 7 a sharp pain in my knee slowed my pace until about the halfway point. At this moment, I completed my first half-marathon. Why not do another!?
My hunger overtook me around this time and thankful to the God who provides that there was a booth on the side of the road, with fresh fruit and bread for any runners who needs it. This was provided by @partylikeafox.
Pressing on, I took the next 5 miles by storm, having a huge second wind after being nourished. The biggest obstacle has yet to come.
Around mile 18 I felt a sharp cramp in my quads that had me taking 5 minutes every other mile to stop and stretch. This continued to slow me to a light jog and I needed to have this properly treated. It was about by mile 21 that I stopped at a massage tent to get stretched out.
After this I took the last couple miles to reflect on the race, the amazing city I am blessed to have to opportunity to study in, and the amazing volunteers that sacrifice their time to serve those they do not know. I encourage all of you, including myself, to spend more time loving people you have no reason to. It will greatly bless both parties, I believe.
My finishing time was 5:05:34. With a goal-time of anything under 5 hours, given the fact I had spend about 30 minutes or more just stopping to stretch, it was an encouraging time to finish in. I very much look forward to getting my friends to race with me in the 2013 Chicago Marathon. :)
I am so thankful for the opportunity to run, the great support that was powering me from my God, as He greatly used my friends and family to encourage and cheer me on. I am blessed beyond measure, and for this I am thankful. Great race, great friends.
I will continue to Run3rd for the Imperishable Crown as described in 1 Corinthians 9:25-27. Thankful for the ability to do so.
Till the next race or when He calls me home.