Sunday, August 26, 2012

Meaningful Miles 5k and Hills

Saturday was a very special day for Back on My Feet Atlanta.  We hosted our very first 5k with one mile honoring each of our partner facilities/teams—a Trinity Mile, a Gateway Mile and a Salvation Army Mile.
I couldnt help to get a little emotional as we circled up.  The whole atmosphere and energy at the race was so amazing!! The weather was perfect as well.  I really didnt have any set goals for this 5k.  I have been trying to stop putting so much pressure on my times, but rather just enjoying the run.  I understand now, that this journey is going to take time, that I will not run my fastest half or marathon the very first time and by accepting that, it has relieved alot of pressure.  I had done a practice run with the group a couple of weeks ago, we did it twice so going into the race I was already familiar with what I was going to face: HILLS!! Oh the lovely Atlanta hills that I WILL learn to LOVE!! There was one hill right at the beginning.  It was tough, I tried not to go to fast up but stayed relaxed, didn't wanna drain my energy on that one hill, I started getting into a comfortable pace and relaxed, looked around, took it all in.  There I asked God to run with me, I didn't want to start feeling pressure, or let my negative thoughts interfere with this race.  Instead I wanted to be joyful, I wanted to run my own race, I wanted to be thankful for this amazing opportunity I had been given to run with this amazing group of people.  Then the other hill, which I was dreading, this time I never looked up directly at the hill, I had a hat on and looked at my feet and the road ahead, I just kept on going, even though I knew the hill was there, I refused to focus on it, instead I took one step at a time, and felt really strong, God immediately used this hill to teach me about faith, about trusting in Him, about my life and how many hills I just had to run up even though I had no idea how hard or long these hills of life would be and how faithful He was in these times in my life.
It's amazing how God can lovingly take the time to show me in running something more about Him. He shows himself in a place where I  hold so much passion in and reveals Himself in a way that my mind and heart can understand.  There, I received his peace. I told every police directing traffic good morning, I looked up at the sky, I listened to others conversations, I saw a really nice running skirt another runner was wearing. Mentally, I felt strong, I told myself that I have been working hard, I've done my speed workouts, I've been consistent.  This would be a good race.  I even had a little bit of "umph" at the end (even though I felt my abs hurting, I need to work on them more.)  When I got to the end and saw the time, I was so happy.  I thanked God, I smiled and just took in the whole experience.  I know it was just a 5k race, but to me it was so much more.  I ran my personal best, even with all those hills, 26:44 (about 20 seconds away from the only recorded 5k time I have from high school.)  I also placed 2nd in my age division and got a bouquet of lollipops I'm sure my girls will love. :)
Post race sweat and glory with Tiffany
After receiving my 2nd place bouquet

In my last post I wrote about how I had been feeling discouraged and fearful about the marathon and injury.  I had heard that this marathon that I wanna run in March next year is very challenging.  But God showed me, in only a way that He can that the hills in life that I have faced have given me strength, and that the hills in races would be a revelation of the strength I have within.  I am still in awe of His love and promises toward me.  Now, there is nothing in me that fears the marathon, in fact, I am starting to discover a driven women who accepts challenges with confidence. As far as injury goes, I found out that after counting my miles since March that I had already reached about 360 miles in my trusty Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12's, It will already be 6 months in a week since I have had them, so all I need to do is get a new pair of running shoes!! I have a pair of Brooks Green Silence racing flats, I am using for now, but I will definitely need to get a new pair of shoes soon as my long runs are going to start getting longer.  So I am so thankful that I figured that out!! :)

After I finished the race and cooled down, I saw a mother and father with a double jogging stroller, I had  that uncomfortable feeling knowing that there were twins in the stroller, my first reaction was to look away, I always get emotional when I see twins, but this time, I looked and smiled at them, I know this may seem like a very small moment in my day, but it was truly a moment of healing for me. God placed them in my path right after the race so that I could accept the strength I felt while running, because everything in me wanted to shut down, but I didn't, I just smiled and  I knew that my God was taking care of my twins and that one day I would see and hold them. I am so thankful that God helped me through the pain and what seemed to be a HUGE mountain of emotions when I lost them and now I am stronger and at peace. What are some hills/mountains in life that you have been through or are going through, do you see your strength in them?  I encourage you to take the time to let God reveal to you how strong you really are and how faithful He really is. 

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