Thursday, December 6, 2012

Isaiah 40:31 - Running Mamas!

I did it.  I really did it.  I ran my first half marathon this past Saturday!  If you would had told me 6 months ago that I'd be doing something like this, I would have laughed so hard.  "Me??  I don't think so, I can barely run around my block."  Well it's amazing how much things can change in a matter of 6 months!  You could be saying I am done having babies and in a matter of 6 months be well on your way to having another one.   You could be sending your kids to public school and in a matter of 6 months time find yourself homeschooling.  Yes alot can change in 6 months. 

I recently started a running Facebook page called, "Isaiah 40:31 - Running Mamas!"  I did so because I have seen how much running has brought such support, encouragement, and friendship amongst myself and other women who run!  I wanted a place to be that inspiration, support, and encouragement for women everywhere!  So if you run, or even enjoy walking, check out my new page!

Pre-race photo (from left to right - Sarah, Anna, me, Sandi, Rachel, and Elizabeth)
The night before the race I laid in my bed and listened to the rain coming down so hard. "Lord", I prayed, "Please let it not rain tomorrow for my race, and it would be even cooler if the sun was shining." I know, a pretty big request right? But I serve a BIG God! "Oh and another thing Lord, my leg, it's been bothering me alot lately, please let my leg do well tomorrow." 

Me - #407 and my friend and running partner, Rachel - #322
 My alarm clock woke me up at 5:15 am...ok not really, I was already wide awake just laying there...waiting and waiting for that darn thing to go off!  I took a nice warm shower, got dressed in all my running gear I had laid out the night before, ate a little muffin and drank some coconut water, then headed out the door to meet 2 of my friends so we could carpool to the race.  As we arrived into the town of St. Helens, OR raindrops began hitting the windshield.  NO!!!  "Oh Lord, please let it not rain today."  I said out loud for the other gals to hear.  As we stood inside the building waiting for the race to start a bright glare outside caught my attention.  I poked my friend and said, "Look the sun is shining through the clouds."  It was breathtaking and glorious and I absolutely could not believe it.
At 8:30 on the dot the race began.  Here I go, ready or not!  I had my iTunes half marathon playlist going.  I started my run out with the song, "Good Morning" by Mandisa.  I chose that song purposely because 3/4 the way through the song there is a line that says, "Give me like a half a marathon"!!  I kept waiting for my leg to start giving me problems but it never did, not once the entire 13.1 miles!!!  I was at the back of the pack of all my friends and at the turn around point as they came running back in my direction I high fived every one of them!!  By mile 11 I was so done, that was the farthest I had done in training and I hit a road block.  It was ALL mental those last 2 miles.  "You can do this Andrea, you can do ALL things through Christ who gives you strength.  You can get through any challenge, any hardship, and difficulty with God at your side.  You got this girl.  Just keep going.  Just get to that next mile marker." 

Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon!
My legs felt so heavy, I honestly don't know how I kept going, maybe it was the sun shining down on me and reminding me of God's goodness!  As I turned the final corner I saw my parents car in the parking lot.  I wasn't sure if they'd make it or not and there they were standing at the finish line with cameras in hand.  I totally started to cry.  As I got closer I saw ALL my amazing homeschooling mama/running friends standing there cheering me on!  I crossed the finish line at 2:30:14 (2 hours, 30 minutes and 14 seconds).  My goal time was 2:20-2:30!!

Post race photo: 5 homeschool moms and 1 dad!
I felt like my legs were going to collapse under me.  As soon as my body stopped I felt the soreness, I felt weak, tired, exhausted, and amazed and overjoyed all at once!  What an incredible feeling.  I accomplished something huge!  But it wasn't just for me or all about me....this was a group effort.  Friends who all came together to accomplish something none of us had ever done before!  Our training time involved moments of wanting to give up, feeling so mentally/emotionally drained, running in the wind/rain, and for some, injuries.  But we were there for each other to support, encourage, motivate, challenge, and see that each one of us finished what we had started!!  I certainly could not have done this alone!
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us RUN with endurance the RACE God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne." - Hebrews 12:1-2

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the RACE, and I have remained faithful." - 2 Timothy 4:7

"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 3:14

"Don’t you realize that in a RACE everyone RUNS, but only one person gets the prize? So RUN to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I RUN with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified." 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

"Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ's return, I will be proud that I did not RUN the RACE in vain and that my work was not useless." Philippians 2:16

"Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” - 1 Timothy 4:8
What journey are you starting that may seem bigger than life, overwhelming, too much, too difficult, absolutely impossible?  Running/getting in shape? Homeschooling? A move?  Fighting to save a marriage?  Unexpected pregnancy?  A death of a love one?  You CAN do ALL things through CHRIST who give YOU STRENGTH!!
To: Anna, Rachel, Sandi, and Sarah.  I love you ladies and treasure your friendships!  Thank you so much for being apart of this race day with me!!  I am proud of each one of you and your individual successes!!  Looking forward to running through life with you gals!

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  1. Awesome, Andrea! So proud of you! So great to hear the behind the scenes action and heartache. It gives us all courage to keep going no matter what the battle. We CAN do all things through Christ who gives us strength!!