Call me CrAzY, but I registered myself to run in a competitive race within my first year of running. I don't know what I was thinking at the time, but I followed my usual process when I decide what race to run next. The process is: I sit down at the computer and I say to God, "Okay Lord where are we running next? When is the next race?" I type a few things in to the Google search bar and click on this and that and as things begin to resonate with me I look for significant patterns. I look closely at the titles/theme of the races, the location and the length (how many miles) and together God and I find the next race to run.
In June, there was a race that stood out the most out of all the race to run in the month of July. This race was in Chicago, Illinois on the 4th of July holiday. I looked at the calendar to confirm a few things (like work, school, children's schedules) and I noticed that the timing was just right, like Baby Bear :) So we booked it. Set up the travel arrangements and shared the news with friends and family!!! I love my friends and family because they get excited about me running races. They want to see me doing well in life and they cheer me on when I run. Thank-you :)
This race, The 4 Miles on The Fourth, was a 4 mile competitive race certified by the USA Track & Field of IL and the Chicago Area Running Association of Illinois (CARA http://www.cararuns.org/). This is an annual event that is held in Elmhurst, IL. Elmhurst is about 45 minutes from the city of Chicago. I spent three years of my life traveling to and from Chicago, so it is now my second home and I was looking forward to another visit.
Because this race was a competitive race I challenged myself harder in my diet and exercise because I wanted my body to be the strongest if I was going to compete. My diet, at the time consisted of fruits, veggies, lean meats/fish, bacon, but no red meat. I then changed my diet to just lean fish. I was baptized on May 15th of this year and since then I have given up alcohol. When I do train I refrain from consumption of alcohol, junk foods, fried foods, fast foods. For this 4th race I was at my strongest. If I was to run with these other REAL athletes I wanted to at least stand at the start line with some pride. In addition to the diet I trained at my best, even when I didn't feel like running I pushed through it. I ran those hill sprints, I completed my push ups, I walked past that donut! On the day before the race I felt damn good to be me, to be a runner and to be on this journey. In this fourth race I felt like I was destined to run, I was made to run and I was the best at running (for me).
This 4th race held a lot of significance at where I was in my life at that moment. I have gone through a lot in my life and in the past year. But look not at the things which are seen, for the things that are seen are temporal, but look at the thing which are not seen, for the things that are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18). What is eternal in my run; in my race in life is my faith. My faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1 NIV). My faith in how I approach each race; not to win; but to finish and to finish strong. To run a race consistently while in training and after the gun has gone off. To run the entire time and not stop running until I have crossed the finish line. The ways in which I approach running is a true reflection of how I apply my faith in my daily life; never giving up, never swerving, never yielding, trying to maintain the consistency, reflective, strength, focus, starting healthy and finishing strong. Every day I have faith and the evidence of faith are the things that are not seen, like the grace, mercy and Love from God. The evidence of my faith is in the strength and the power that God has given to me (which we all have) to get up and LIVE another day right in the middle of my test. Running is such a power sport, but yet it has been become for me a track of time that I; have spent, can spend and will spend with God.
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