I did it. I finished the 13.1 miles and the 40-Day Challenge. Here’s how the day went:
As I randomly stepped into line with over 1600 people to start the race, I realized I was standing next to two volunteers from our preteen ministry! The beginning of the race was by far the most nerve-wracking, so it was so calming to see friends and be encouraged.
I passed under a bridge that was a later part of the course. As I was suffering through Mile 3, I looked up and saw the lead group breezing by on Mile 6! It was a very humbling experience.
A 12-year old boy caught up to me and asked what distance we’d run so far. I told him that we were just past Mile 5, and then he said to me, “Hmm, I thought we had run a lot further than that.” Then, he took off ahead of me with little effort. Again, a very humbling experience.
I passed a spectator who was holding a sign that read, “Keep Going! The end isn’t even close! It’s still far, far away” The reality of that statement really did make me laugh and it eased the pain just a little.
I realized that I was actually going to finish. Not only that, but I was ahead of the 2 hour 15 minute pace group, so I was way ahead of my predicted time. I started to work that my family wouldn’t make it to the finish line by the time I crossed it.
I decided that I was going to sprint to the finish line. I looked at the runners ahead of me and picked out an “enemy.” I determined that I was going to beat that person, and I pushed the last half-mile to do so. I was really pleased when I crossed the line a split second ahead of the 56 & 59-year old ladies. Take that!
The whole idea was about challenging myself and learning from the experience. I finished the race in 2 hours 12 minutes 28 seconds. It was a great experience that has really spurred me to take care of myself physically.
After the race, I told my wife, “Now, the goal is to not stop. I need to keep running and get better so that the next time is easier.” That statement is so true for all areas of life.
I wrote last week about looking for my next challenge. God has already starting stirring something inside of me and I can’t wait to share more about that challenge.