Last year my friend taught me to write a prayer list, a prayer for each mile; so I took it out of my pocket and checked my next prayer. I had a dear friend of the family who is fighting cancer, unfortunately it has spread over his organs and the doctors did not give him much time. I have struggled in finding a way to encourage him. It is not easy, there is no comfort in words and there are no words for good-byes. There it was the beautiful scene of green, orange and golden trees, the City Park. It made me think of our life as a tree, how we too have seasons and how the Fall is beautiful but in a way sad. After the beauty the winter comes and freezes everything, it ends life for some time. Anyway the Joy that warms my heart is to know that after our lives end it is then when it begins for all eternity long with our Father in heaven. The run in the park was of 3 miles, but the view was so amazing that one could not complaint. Miraculously I did not have to use the restrooms and was feeling really good, still at mile 7 I decided to have one of those Gu-Gel, those things are terrible! But my friend had told me that I needed to replenish the energy, so I did eat one. At every water station, I took a sip of Gatorade and a sip of water.
Emotionally I was feeling heavy and anxious but I did not know why. I kept running and continued with my prayer list. When I looked up, I saw this view. At that point I saw my life like on video mode, good things, bad things and lots of blessings. A Christmas song began to play, "It is beginning to look like Christmas" and it took my mind to happier thoughts. I was able to remember many blessings and many joyful moments. It is a shame how we get overwhelmed by the past sometimes, it only takes away the joy of the present. That is one thing I will try not to forget.
Without noticing I was at the second Park, Cheeseman Park. The one complaint I have about the half Marathon is that they did not place signs of the miles, so I had no idea where I was. Half way in the park I saw the 10th miles and the time was 2:04 minutes. I got a boost of energy in me and thank God for his help in the run. Last year I had regular candy so I could eat every other mile, this year the only thing I could find was Halls. I think that helped my longs to open up and my airway to be clear and breath as much oxygen as I needed. I had 3.5 miles to go.
There was something in my heart bothering me and I could not pin point it, but I felt it was growing as I ran. Then I bursted into tears. You have to understand I was not running just to run and proof I can run. I was learning to persevere and be disciplined in my faith while I ran. I was not going to let the possible anger, hurt and frustration take away my joy of being there and allow it to slow me down. That is exactly what happens in life, we get burdened by our frustrations and we can't see the blessings in our life. God had prepared a beautiful day to run, He had given me the energy and motivation needed to accomplish it why would I put my energy on the negative. I reached mile 12, the last water station, I felt that I was right there and drank too much water. Big mistake! I felt a terrible pain beneath my right rib and I could not even breath of the pain. I was running slower of course and it was painful but so are moments in life and we just need to go on and finish strong as they say. I could not see the finish line, I knew it was right there but I could not see it. I felt the noise of the crowd getting closer and closer and then... there is was... I ran thanking God for helping me out with this personal challenge in teaching me to run the good race as if I was to win the prize. When I passed the finish line and I was hoping for yet another miracle, when I felt breaking free from all my frustrations and felt a crisp and fresh breeze clear up my heart, I had overcome the heavy feeling of my stubborn heart. I completed the Half Marathon in 2:41:16; last year I completed the Half Marathon in Philadelphia in 3:21:59
It is after you get your medal that your body starts aching everywhere! Instead of walking to my hotel I stayed around in the park and talked to other runners, stretched a bit had something to eat and something to drink.
One verse kept popping in my head:
28Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not faint.
Thank you for running along with me, for your prayers and encouragement, together and against all odds, without stopping not even once, we ran the Mile High City Denver Half Marathon 2009, Thank you Jesus, thank you my Friends!