Wednesday, October 24, 2007

the race part dos

so i'm not limping anymore. which is a good thing-i think. As much as i liked the "reminder" i actually like not being in pain a little better. hmm. i hope that i don't need the limp to remember this...

Over the last oh i don't know how long i've had issues grasping the fact that i'm loved. broken friendships and relationships, shattered trust, gossip; they all contributed to the lie that no one really loved me, i was just merely tolerated. The way i responded to every situation reflected that idea about myself. I spent more time rationalizing why people were doing what they were doing and trying to convince them that they really didn't want to hang out with me, then i did actually enjoying whatever we were doing. This definetely carried over to my view of God. I didn't see Him as a lover, someone who i could love and who loved me.

One weekend near the end of this summer i had a HUGE breakthrough of truth and finally accepted the fact that I was loved by God and could love him with my whole heart (it's a really beautiful story, but that's another post, for another time). For about 2 weeks i was solid. i couldn't stop smiling-i was seeing everything through the lense of a beloved daughter. it was amazing. Then over time that weaned. the lies started seeping back into my mind and heart and it was a battle to not let them take over. I don't know if i've ever faught so hard in my life as i did in those moments. thankfully this time around i had a firm grip on the truth and was never fully consumed, as i had been in the past.

when i started telling people about my race, i did it more out of excitement and anticipation then anything else. So when my friends told me they were coming to watch me-i blew it off. 7 am on a saturday. standing outside for 2 hours just to watch me run by. yeah right. who does that? but friday night they remind me that they're coming. maybe they weren't just saying it to be nice.

i start off the race anxious. one of my biggest fears being that i don't know where they will be and i'm embarassingly afraid of needing a walk break right where they are and end up walking by them. lame i know. so i'm running and half scanning the crowd looking for people, consenting to the fact that there is probably no way that i'll be able to see them anyhow, and i just need to forget it.

running through the plaza, i look up and there is joey and ryan. HUGE smiles and waves. my heart catches, nothing about being at the race was convinent for either of them. a mile or so later i come around a corner and there is crystal and her dog gunner. She's jumping up and down running alongside me, yelling encouragment for me. at this point i tear up. really? all that excitement and looking foolish just to encourage me? i get to the finish and there at the end of the chute is wendy bell and two of our young life girls. i'm so excited that they're there i forget to keep moving, which wendy promptly reminds me. so we go to the finish where they boys are standing and just talk. and hug. lots of hugs. i really love hugs. ali tells me i made her cry when i crossed the finish. everyone's proud of me. i try to play it off, it's no big deal, blah blah. but inside i'm praising Jesus for each one of them. They are my blessing. Their love is my blessing. When mile 10 hit and i could barely walk and with every painful step was begging God to show me what he wanted me to remember this phrase is what i got:

you are loved.

henri nouwen says it so beautifully....
"That love that came to you in particular, concrete human friendships and that awakened your dormant desire to be completely and unconditionally loved was real and authentic. It does not have to be denied as dangerous and idolatrous. A love that comes to you through human beings is true, God-given love and needs to be celebrated as such... when you try to die to that love in order to find God's love, you are doing something God does not want. The task is not to die to life-giving relationships but ot realize that the love you received in them is part of a greater love...You can and must hold on to the truth of the love you were given and recongize that same love in others who see your goodness and love you"

i am loved.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

the race part one...

i finished the race. I say that only because that is the first question everyone asks me. "did you finish?" in my mind it sounds rediculous but knowing what was going on with my muscles last week, maybe it's not so absurd. When i was talking to a friend last sunday faced with the very real possiblity that i wouldn't be well enough to actually race i made the observation that it might not be about 13.1 miles one october afternoon. Maybe it was about the three months of training leading up to it, maybe it was about coming so close and not running it. I just wanted to be open to what ever purpose God had in it. I forgot that i had even said that until this moment. or maybe it was about the last 3 miles.

"So jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. when the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the soket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, "i will not let you go unless you bless me" Genesis 32:24-26

Last week i had a dream and part of it i was fighting with a older man (i thought it was someone's dad). i don't remember much but that it was like hand to hand and i was defending myself. if i didn't fight him, he was going to kill me. I had this dream two nights in a row. After the second night, i emailed my friend (who i always email my crazy dreams to) and she just responded how it reminded her of the story of Jacob wresting with God. interesting.

So saturday i'm cruising along. the weather could not be better. i made a new friend at the start, anne who was amazing! She even waited for me while i had to stop and pee at mile 3. Anyway no problems through mile 4. At the second drink stop i grapped gatoraide and the cup was so full i managed to spill it all over myself. red gatoraide. all over my face, my shirt and my leg. nice. Then i was having problems breathing (stupid activity induced asthma) so i told ann to go ahead and i'd catch up with her later (i never did). The course was beautiful and after the first two hills, relatively flat or downhill. At mile 8 i ate/gagged on my gu. nasty, but it helped keep my energy up. I had put a lot of random songs on my ipod and they seemed to fit perfectly along with my run. like i felt like i was in a movie that had been masterfully sountracked.

mile 10. i had never run further than 10 miles during traning. i was kind of dreading this point. you know. make it or break it time. so i cross the mile 10 marker, look down at my watch and i'm only 2 min off my pace (stupid potty break-never drinking that much before a race again). came to my rescue is on my ipod and at that moment it breaks into "my life be lifted high, my world be lifted high, my love be lifted high". it was such a beautiful moment. my eyes filled up with tears. i ran worshipping Him. Then i stepped and sharp pain shot through my right leg. left. right. pain. so i slowed to a walk. still pain. right on my hip socket.

i put pressure where it hurt and started to run again. Pleading with God to stop the pain. wondering if you needed someone else to lay hands on me for the spirit to heal me or if just my hands and prayers worked. i tried it anyway. swearing if i saw anyone i knew i'd stop and have them pray for me. the pain subsided a little. i continued to run. Then the pain came back. i walked a little more. At this point frustrated with the whole situation i started to get angry. Then i remember what susannah said about Jacob. it was his right hip. i put pressure back on the socket and started to run again. trying to remember the story. Why had God hurt his hip? what was the purpose? eyes welling up again. Ok God, what are you getting at?

The pain came and went for the last 3 miles. sometimes i was able to run for a good 4 min before having to walk. Then there were times where every step i took made me wince, clench my teeth and groan. suck. I managed to run out the last bit and finished in 2:16. i wish it could have been faster, but considering that i'm still limping 2:16 is probs a dang good time.

Jacob's hip was touched and dislocated so that he limped for the rest of his life. every step he took reminded him of the blessing that God had given him. he was never to forget.

i think i've figured out what i'm not supposed to forget...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

it sounded like a good idea at the time

Three-ish months ago i decided that I'd run the kc half marathon. I had my hal higdon training schedule and was ready to go. A month into training i'm running one saturday morning and step on a pretty thick rusty wire. Don't ask me how the wire managed to not bend when i ran on it or how i didn't see it. all i know is that i stepped on it, it went through my running shoes and stuck in my foot. i could barely get a grip on it to pull it out. but i did-and continued to run the rest of my 4 miles. Thanks to julie and a perscription of cipro-i survived.

Three weeks after that i'm running at 5:30-in the dark and trip over the most ridiculous patch job of sidewalk i've ever seen. i meant to take a picture and post it but i forgot. we're talking the tar with rocks mixture randomly splattered over 6 feet of sidewalk. and i bit it bad. For better or worse, there was no sliding, just all my weight on my knees and left hand. The gouge on my left palm finally healed a couple of weeks ago.

Then on my last long run before the race, i'm a half mile from home and my whole body cramps. and i NEVER cramp. it started in my calves, which i thought was odd, then spread to my hamstrings and lower back. At this point i slowed my pace and considered walking the last bit. Up my back and around my neck and shoulders. When my forearm started cramping, i gave up and walked. Which is kind of an overstatement. For 17 hours i couldn't stand up straight or move faster than a shuffle. it was horrible.

on sunday, feeling totally selfish and awkward, i asked my friends to pray for me. I didn't know what was going on with my body, but it definately wasn't fun. They prayed what i so desperately needed-rest, and peace, and strength that was not my own. I took the day off on monday to do just that-rest. it was good though i could have used 15 mondays between then and now. What is awesome is the number of people who "just happened to think" of me that day. I felt so covered by and washed over in His grace.

a day and a half out. i think i've felt every emotion under the sun in the last 2 days. Mostly fear. What if i start out too fast? What if my knee gives out? What if i can't get my shoes tied comfortably? (I've been having issues with this lately) what if the hills are too much or there's no wind or 80 year old grandmas pass me? I know. all irrational, but my mind is flooded with them. That and trying to remember everything i've ever heard about racing. alternate between gatoraide and water, eat 2 hours before race time, don't forget your inhaler (dang it-i'm sure i'll forget it. i have all week).

But there have also been moments of feeling like a total b.a. i've trained for this, i know i can do it. I'm totally shooting for a sub 2 hour race. i love the pain and the burn. i do.

Thanks to those of you who kept me accountable-some days knowing you'd ask how my run was was the only reason i ran. To those who saw me trudging up lamar and honked and waved. To those who endured my incessent complaining about my wifebeaters making me chafe. To those who made fun of the fact that i tripped on almost every run i went on. And to those who know this is a big deal, even when i try to play it cool and pretend it's not. You guys are awesome.

13 weeks of training coming down to 2 hours of racing. Here goes nothing...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

worst. feeling. ever.

so i have this thing with words. i LOVE them. speaking them. reading them. writing them. I take pride in my ability to love people with them and i hate the fact that they can cut so deep sometimes. Words are my crutch. when life gets confusing or hard, i process. rehashing every inarticulate detail to my friends/roommates/anyone who casually asks how i'm doing. if no one is there i journal. pages upon pages upon pages of questioning and pleading and praising. and usually by the end of it, all is well with the world again. funny how that works out...

i've never really had a problem with words, or a lack of them. i was the kid whose desk was pushed up against the chalkboard because if anyone was in 5 feet of me, i'd find something to say to them. even one the first day, in my first class in college i got asked to stay after because i sat in the front row and talked through the entire lecture.

but for some reason the last 3 days i've been at a loss of words. i feel like everything i want to say is caught in my throat. i try to swallow but it does no good, i try to speak and they just won't move. all my words are just sitting there, causing a dull ache. man it sucks. i feel like there is so much to say right now, so much to write but its just not coming out. I wonder if this is anything like Zechariah felt when Gabriel silenced him? I wonder if he had a lot to say during that time that just had to sit in his throat? I can only hope that when the lump is finally gone, i'm like Zechariah and the first thing that i utter is praise!