Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Finish Line

2007 Tyler Half Marathon

Sometimes I think of life in terms of a race. As a distance runner, I understand the importance of training, of ingesting just the right things to keep you strong, and the desperate need to have fans cheering you on when that hill in front of you threatens to beat you once and for all. I like the challenge of having a big, intimidating, "seems impossible" goal, because in the middle of a tough run, I find that spiritual moment where I know how weak and insignificant I really am. And when I'm at the end of my rope... at the end of "me"... I find there is always more. That surprise, that realization that you are capable of more than you think, tells me a lot about how small our perception of God is. If we really KNEW just how big He was, if we really KNEW just how much more we could do on this earth, if we really KNEW how much more potential He has placed in each of us- then we would get off our rears and be challenged to make a change. (Disclaimer: the previous words are being influenced by my current reading of Crazy Love- talk about uncomfortable... I am squirming just THINKING about Chan's chapter on lukewarm Christianity.)
So- the main reason I run (really far distances) is that it teaches me something and I like the challenge of conquering something seemingly impossible. And here's why I am EXCITED about the "finish line" in a couple months.

Summer, 2003: I decide I am going to run a marathon. I form a training group, pick a race, and talk a bunch of other people into my crazy idea. (I also meet Brad in this training group and we get to know each other through those grueling 6 a.m. long runs.)
November, 2003: Three weeks before the race, I get injured at the 20-mile mark and can't run the marathon (coincidentally, so does Brad with the same injury.... ahhh... kind of like sympathy pains?) I was pretty bummed after all those months of preparation.
Fall, 2004: Attempt #2 for the marathon, get another injury during training at the 15-mile mark. Grr.

Spring, 2005: After a new-found love for adventure racing has taken over, decide to train for the marathon a third time. Get another injury over half-way in to training and can't make it.

2006 Tyler 12-hour Adventure Race

Winter, 2007: Decide I want to, ONCE AND FOR ALL, meet my goal and run that marathon. Brad and I decide to run the Cape Cod Marathon for our 30th birthdays in October of 2008. Instead, (surprise change of plans!) I delivered Grady at the same time we would have been crossing that finish line (let me insert, here, that 30 hours of labor is a different kind of marathon, so I didn't miss out on that "challenge" aspect of the weekend. But what an adorable result!)
Present Day: Aren't you excited for us after reading my dramatic journey up to this point?! Ha- not sure anyone will ever read this. (I haven't blogged in like 6 months?) We are just 2 months away from FINALLY crossing that finish line when we run the San Antonio Rock-n-Roll marathon in November. I've changed my training approach (translation: I run a LOT less) and am so far injury-free... hang in there, little IT band!

So, if you hear the shouts of triumph all the way from San Antonio as we hobble across that finish line on November 15th, know that it's been a process over many years to finish this race (if we actually make it this time!) ... and be encouraged that just like the set backs in running, you are gauranteed to have ups and downs in your life. But you are also gauranteed to finish the race- and you aren't alone on the journey. With fans cheering you on and a heavenly Father that scoops you up when you fall, keep trudging along. There is going to be one MAJOR post-race celebration on the day we all get together at the ultimate finish- I hope there will be Chick-fil-a chicken biscuits there. :)

2009 Oklahom City Half Marathon

Friday, January 30, 2009

This and That

Man, I am a terrible blogger. I'm good at plenty of other things, though. Like eating cookies... yeah, I am pretty much the best at that- I'll throw down a challenge any time. I think I'll spend some time this next month adding posts: "Things I never blogged about." Like wedding pictures (Yes, that was more than a year ago, but we just got them a few weeks ago.... don't get me started) and the rest of our Europe trip last April... oh, and the incredible first few months of my son's life... in no certain order. :)

It's been a really fun transition into a family of three with Grady's arrival in our lives. The hardest transition of my life so far, but still wonderful. Being a parent is HARD- and I only have one child! I constantly marvel at the amazing parents around me and have found a new sense of gratitude for my own parents... you learn a lot in just a few months.

Grady is such a delight. We are always laughing with him- I had no idea 3-month-olds could have so much personality! He seems intent on being the center of attention and is very good at being LOUD. Is that a boy thing?

And here are just few random items about what's been happening in this crazy life of mine:

1. We are headed towards another half-marathon in a couple months. I kind of wish we could do the full, but it's hard enough to log any miles at all with a new baby.... he can't run quite fast enough yet to keep up.

2. I am figuring out this part-time work thing- it's tricky, but I am SO thankful to still be in ministry... such a blessing that it worked out for us!

3. I successfully fed our family for 11 days on 20 bucks. I didn't exactly need to, it was just to see if I could- and I made the rule all food had to be good (no Ramen noodles... not that those aren't good, it just would have been an un-nutritious cop-out.) The challenge was a success, but I spent so much time in the kitchen I decided it was worth taking some more expensive short cuts to balance the whole cost/time issue... it was fun being creative, though. (Disclaimer: I did use some frozen items from the freezer and spent exactly $19.99 on top of that.) Also, I don't know that I'll ever go back to store-bought bread... making it is so easy and it tastes tons better.

4. Brad and I got a Wii and I haven't laughed so hard in a LOOONG time as I did watching Brad hoola hoop on the wii fit. Hilarious. You gotta come over and see.

5. I read a book that I thought would give me ideas on how to cook different kinds of healthy grains in lots of recipes... instead it depressed me since the whole first part of the book describes how the meat industry is basically killing the planet... I'd much rather be an uninformed, mindless comsumer who contributes to the problem.

6. I left Grady overnight for the first time last weekend! Brad did amazing and he described the experience to be a lot like a 24-hour adventure race. I assured him that I totally believed him.

More to come... hopefully sooner than 3 months...