Blue Line Conquered

For months I have been half heartedly training for a marathon in which I would be a part of a relay team.  There were five ladies and I only knew the one who organized it.  We had a Facebook message going the whole time to encourage each other, pray for each other, and talk about our aches and pains.

But I didn’t get where I wanted to in my training.  I find that I need that push of accountability of someone waiting for me… and I ran alone all summer.  So I ran less.  And then for the two weeks prior to race day I got a head cold that hit my chest and just lingered.  I tried lots of things and nothing would get it to go away.  I rested and took two last training runs.

Saturday came and I was as ready as I could be.  My family took me to my relay point and I waited in a crowd of runners for the person who would pass off to me to come.  I was the fifth, or the last spot.  I had to run 5.6 miles.  I think we were all nervous that our team wouldn’t come in under the allotted time and as the minutes ticked by the weight on my shoulders increased… along with a cough and a headache!

But 4 hours and 40 minutes after the start of the marathon my team member arrived and handed off a very sweaty slap bracelet that I would have to wear to cross the line with my team.  I also had a timing device on my shoe that would give me my split time from the team’s.

Thus began my run of following the blue line through the city streets.  Passed the community cheering me on, calling out my name, and ringing cow bells.  There were live bands, children playing drums and dancing, and the wonderful water stations to quench that dry throat that was threatening to make me cough horribly.

But step by step, I just kept going.  I felt good as I passed a few runners and found my pace.  I had to walk at points and did my best running up each hill.  My family appeared a few times to cheer me on before heading to the finish line.  Coming into the city up one more hill the sun came out and made the streets hot after a rather cool and shady run.  One more thing I had to conquer.

I ran into the stadium trying to smile and look like I was not completely worn out.  I began hearing ladies cheering for me {later I would realize this was my team who was waiting at the finish line for me} and then saw my family cheering for me.

I did it.  I crossed the finish line.  I grew greatly over those months but that morning I had to relay on God to give me the strength to make it to the finish.  I was happy with my time… but can certainly do better.  Next time… I think there will be a next time.

This is the verse that kept ringing in my read as I ran.

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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2