North Dakota, a State that I have never visited. Even with it's closeness, I have never had a reason to drive past St. Cloud. I even have a cousin, my God-Brother, who graduated from NSDU (North Dakota State University), but sadly I did not attend his graduation. Which points me back in the direction that I have never been to N. Dakota. The third race a 10k (6 miles) was in the city of Fargo. One of the major cities in N. Dakota and from what I learned by watching the movie Fargo, it gets a lot of snow! More than the Minneapolis area even. And they say, "Yah" a lot.
To get to Fargo it is about a cool 3-4 hour drive one way from Plymouth. Nothing much to really look at; cow here, horse there. Oh look there is a barn! There were two unique things about this race, well three. It was a 6 mile race, 1st race I am completing alone and First race in a state I have never visited. 6 miles is easy to run. If I can run 10 then I can run 6 so I wasn't to worried about that. Being in a place where I do not know anyone and I am traveling by myself that wasn't new either. What did hinder my experience was the fact that this would be the first race that I would run alone.
My mind the entire time was missing part of the experience because I kept finding the loneliness in the experience. I ran into two women that were traveling together from Atlanta. They flew into Minneapolis and then drove to Fargo. One lady was running the half-marathon and the other lady was on her 17th state. I proudly, yet sadly, claimed this to be my third state. I felt there was just no comparison to where they were. I watched husbands supporting their wives as they pushed the stroller with their child right along side her. I saw young children running with their parents or grandparents. I saw women's and men's groups stretching together or looking at athletic gear. I saw couples taking photos together, sharing in their love of running together. Then I saw me, alone. Walking stopping to talk with vendors, sitting, observing, completing homework assignments. I saw me wanting to trade places with anyone in the groups that I saw because even though, not alone, surrounded by all those people; I was. I was like a dark stage with the single spotlight. I was thinking, "where is my spouse, friends, family, anybody?" and I wanted to cry. Call me a big baby. I am not afraid to show my emotions, that's life!
Then I thought you know what I am not alone because God is here and even if they cannot be here my friends, family anybody is cheering me on by posting smiling faces, hand claps and likes online!!! The spouse, well, we working on that...Wink :)
The night before the race I prepared myself with a warm bath and prayer. I went to sleep early. When I awoke I was ready like Sponge Bob. I put on my athletic clothes, fit socks, the ones with the Mayo Clinic logo and my head band to keep the sweat out of my eyes. In the background I played gospel music and I got focused and into my zone. I arrived at NDSU and it was on like popcorn. The air in there was thick! My nerves were on ten. I thought I was so BAD I stood at the front of the line. The guy began to count us down to start the race except he forgot a few numbers and it sounded like, "10, 9, BANG!" the gun went off!!!
All the men I stood with at the front of the line took off like bullets...gone! I was running my own pace. Staying in my own lane. The weather was hot and humid for it to have been 8 am. Loneliness crept in as I saw runners running with their running mates. I just kept reminding myself to focus, God is with me, God is in each one of these people, so therefore I am running with God. The run was easy, but then in the last mile I had to go pee. I tried to fun faster but that caused some leaking. Ops! Well I ran to the finish, I did it! I finished another race! Get out of my way people I have to go pee!!!!
At the end of every race they have plenty of refreshments and healthy snacks. My favorite thing to get in line two and three times for is the chocolate milk :) I always take the finishers photo and then I mingle around. Leaving I was very content with my performance. I also declared that, that would be the last time that I would feel alone at a race.
On my way home I stopped to gas up the Jeep and then I noticed on the back of my medal it read:
Hebrews 12:1 Let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
Wow God you was here all along. You were there, you were right there. In my heart, in that moment I felt a different connection with God through running!!! Since then I have come across more scriptures that referencing running races and I know there are more to come. So I am thinking I am asking God to tell me what is going on, what is He trying to show me through these races, just what kind of mission does He have me on?
Queen is a Author/Poet that through her written works inspires, encourages and provokes discussions